April 06, 2021

Recap of “Connect the Dots Leadership Workshops”

"It was a really welcoming way for people at any level of involvement to see how the org works and how to find their areas of interest," Sarah Mulloy, Vice Chair North and Central Bavaria Chapter, DA Germany

“I want to also say it was an excellent event and it was great to have so many people there who would not have ordinarily met," Veena Siddharth, Counsel DA Costa Rica

In the past four years, Democrats Abroad (DA) has seen a tremendous amount of growth in its membership. As we saw in 2020, having a strong volunteer base is crucial for achieving success and we will need to make sure we find ways to engage interested volunteers as we prepare for 2022. To introduce our members to the variety of opportunities available with DA, the Global AAPI Caucus and the Global Hispanic Caucus hosted the Connect the Dots Leadership Workshop series.

Three workshops, each at times convenient to members in the three main regions of DA (Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East, and Africa) were held over a three-week time span. Leaders from the different levels of DA were invited to present about their experiences becoming an active volunteer and leader, and what their current role in DA entails. The speakers included:

  • Global-level leaders: John Eastwood, former DNC member; Martha McDevitt-Pugh, DNC member, Global LGBT Caucus Co-Chair; Aaron Fishbone, Director Global Communications; Julia Bryan, Global DA Chair
  • Regional-level leaders: Kat Allikian, Regional Vice-Chair, Asia-Pacific Region; Merrill Oates, former Regional Vice-Chair, EMEA Region; Will Bakker, Regional Vice-Chair, EMEA Region
  • Country Committee leaders: Samantha Wong, Asia Pacific Deputy Regional Vice-Chair; Adrienne Johnson, Chair, UK Black Caucus and former member of the UK Executive Committee; Quyen Nguyen, Chair, DA Colombia
  • Non-Affiliated leaders: Carmelan Polce, Chair Taxation Task Force; Elisabeth Myers, Democracy Lead for DA-Morocco; Asha Subas, Chair, Global Election Committee; Roz Reymers, Non-Country Committee Coordinator, Americas Region

Virtual Speed Networking, specific Q&A rooms for volunteer teams, and the main plenary gathering provided 3 levels of participation - individual networking, live feedback from current volunteer team members, and presentations on different leadership positions.  

Approximately 500 people that signed up for the workshops. The organizers received positive feedback from both speakers and participants. Moving forward, we hope to host similar events twice a year and bring in more volunteers to help Democrats Abroad continue to grow and reach more voters overseas.