President and Co-Founder, Higher Heights
Glynda Carr comes from a long line of civic and business-minded women and cites her foremothers as some of her greatest political influences. Her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother lived through the Women’s Suffrage Movement, Brown vs. Board of Education and Roe vs. Wade.
“They drank from ‘coloreds only’ water fountains, didn’t have the right to vote, and lacked real leadership and career opportunities not only because they were Black, but also women. Yet, my great-grandmother owned two businesses and my mother used her skills in political activism to ensure that my brothers and I had access to the best educational opportunities.”
Carr’s journey led her to becoming chief of staff for a state senator in New York for several years, and eventually working in advocacy and engaging voters, and public school reform, and eventually to Kimberly Peeler-Allen, her colleague turned friend and business partner. Discussions between the two about what they felt the world needed more of, sparked the idea for Higher Heights in 2010, after the midterm elections. That wasn’t a good cycle for people who see themselves as progressives. Tired of not feeling represented enough, they took matters into their own hands.
“Who knew it was preparing us for 2016 and beyond? In this work, you find that Black women can be totally marginalized. As candidates, Black women are marginalized and scrutinized differently. Therefore, it helps them to have the support of others like them to navigate elections. To create representation involves more work. For example, no Black woman has ever served as governor in our country’s 243-year history, only five Black women currently hold a statewide office, and a total of 15 have held a statewide office,” says Carr. “Thus, Higher Heights is providing Black women tools to make their own choices about which candidates to vote for and how to organize members of their communities to show up and vote. It’s been demonstrated throughout our history, and certainly shown by the women in my family, that when you unleash the organizing power of Black women, we will continue to mobilize and overcome the roadblocks placed in our paths.”