Diversifying Politics

For decades, the left has relied on an increasingly diverse electorate to win elections, while settling for campaign teams that are anything but diverse.

That’s not a recipe for success. At Arena, we know that campaigns are more effective when they’re run by teams that are reflective of our country and our communities. That’s why we’re breaking down barriers to access in Democratic politics, and ensuring that the Democratic staffing bench reflects the diversity of America. As part of this commitment, we provide full or partial scholarships to the majority of the participants in our training programs, and we provide Arena career development resources, jobs board, and the Arena Toolbox free of charge. 

“As a young Black woman new to politics, Arena has been invaluable. From the moment I left Arena Academy, my instructors followed up with me, gave me tips to ensure I was paid my worth, and helped me find a job.”

— Cayana Mackey Nance, Vice President, Digital, Emily’s List

“If Democrats are going to hold power and deliver on promises to restore abortion rights, fight climate change or raise the minimum wage, they need to build campaigns that are made up of — and led by — the people they aim to represent. Arena’s work to diversify the political talent pipeline is crucial to that effort.”

— Daniel Laurison, Associate Professor of Sociology, Swarthmore College and author of “Producing Politics: Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us”
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Powering Victories

At Arena, we build the teams that power victories.

Every cycle, Arena-trained staff hold thousands of roles in campaigns and movement organizations, and play a critical role in victories up and down the ballot, from city council races to presidential campaigns. Arena has helped build the campaign teams that won Democratic majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and New York State Senate in 2018, the Virginia House of Delegates in 2019, the White House in 2020, and the Pennsylvania State House and Michigan State Senate in 2022. At the same time, the Arena Toolbox has become an indispensable resource for candidates and staffers looking for cutting-edge tools to help secure victories.

“As a proud Arena alum, I can say from personal experience that the resources and training they provided me were invaluable. Thanks to Arena I had the skills I needed to successfully run for office in a competitive congressional primary, and then go on to be the first woman, person of color, and millennial to be elected to represent IL-14. Not only does Arena support candidates, but their work to train and place staff on races is exactly what we need right now.”

— Congresswoman Lauren Underwood

Arena has been an invaluable partner for ADLCC and candidates in Arizona. From engaging and hiring staff who have been through their training to providing staff with ongoing education, Arena has been an essential part of ensuring our down ballot races receive strong, professional, trained, and passionate staff. We are so appreciative of this partnership!

— Elsa O’Callaghan, ADLCC Executive Director
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Supercharging Careers

At Arena, we don’t just change politics, we change lives.

Together, our training and career development resources help people land their first job in politics and move up the ladder. By opening doors to career changers and communities who’ve traditionally been excluded, we’re bringing fresh talent to campaigns and movement organizations, all while helping individuals build sustainable, meaningful careers. 

“I cannot overstate how much attending Arena Academy has impacted my career. Previous to attending Arena I had data experience but no connections to the political space. By networking during Arena Academy in 2019 I got connected to someone on the Cory Booker campaign. Through that connection I landed my first job in the Democratic data space. Since then I’ve worked on data teams for two campaigns, city government, the DNC, and the White House.”

— Tarah Marshall, Chief of Staff, Democratic Data Exchange

“Arena Academy was a life-changing experience for me. I had worked in the data field for years, but after the events of January 6th, I was looking to get directly involved in defending our democracy. Arena Academy was my first step into the world of progressive data.”

— David White, Data Analyst, Zinc Labs

“I spent the first decade of my career in theater and finding Arena was a gift! I went in without any political experience and with a lot of anxiety, but was instantly put at ease by the warm, welcoming, inclusive environment at Arena. My instructors could identify my strengths and made me see the value in them. It was extremely confidence-building and I credit that experience with giving me the courage to venture into politics.”

— Kaitlin Fine, Operations Director, Joe Biden for President (2020)
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