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Building Leadership and Capacity

Our strategic support to our 25 (and growing!) State Tables leads to long-term power-building that goes beyond election cycles, ensuring our movement is built to last.

Building sustainable infrastructure across our network begins with our State Tables, ensuring they and their partners can build their work and execute their visions.

State Tables receive consistent and timely mentorship, training, and technical assistance, along with access to a resource library and toolkit adapted to State Voices’ specific needs. This also includes multi-year capacity funding, year-round coaching, and professional development for BIPOC leaders.

Through our Project Power Up program, we provide two-year funding and technical support to a cohort of State Tables to hire, train, and retain full-time professional core-capacity staff positions.

We also provide monthly workshops on a variety of organizational development topics open to the entire State Voices network throughout the year.

Areas of Focus

  • iconDevelop Strong Leaders
  • iconSecure & Direct Funding
  • iconEngage & Educate
  • iconOrganize and Mobilize Communities

Amplifying Voices of Community Leaders

In Ohio, Ohio Voice hired a new Communications Manager with funding, training, and support provided by Project Power Up, and have since increased the press and media outreach of the coalition and their partners by 200%!

The Challenge

In order to achieve a healthy democracy, organizers and advocates in our movement must effectively change hearts and minds and amplify stories of marginalized communities fighting for change.

Unfortunately, with so many urgent priorities, many organizations struggle to build communications capacity to support their programs. This capacity is fundamental for the success and amplification of State Tables’ programs, the work of their partners, and grassroots organizers building power. State Tables seek to support their partners with this.

The Approach

In 2021, State Voices launched Project Power Up, a program where we provide funding, training, and mentorship for State Tables to hire and retain communications and development staff. In its inaugural year, 19 State Tables participated including Ohio Voice.

The Ohio State Table is in the communications track of Project Power Up and hired an incredible Communications Manager in early 2022.

“Hiring communications and development staff has been on our to-do list for years, but we just didn’t have the confidence to add to our operating budget without a multi-year commitment.

Project Power Up is allowing us to fill two big gaps that will ensure we can more effectively and frequently reach a larger audience and move more resources to our partners building power toward progressive governance.”

— Gavin DeVore Leonard, Executive Director of Ohio Voice

Our Impact

Within a month of being hired, Ohio Voices’ new Communications Manager worked with their partner OPAWL to land an incredible interview to amplify stories of how AAPI communities are fighting violence and oppression. With added capacity to connect and support their partners, Ohio Voice led a strategic revisioning of their communications messages to align their partners voices and priorities with the needs and actions of Ohioans.


Storytelling and communications are critical to all movement endeavors. It’s critical that BIPOC storytellers and leaders are invested in so they can tell their own stories and move people to action. Through Project Power Up, we are determined to do just that.