The Reflective Democracy Campaign investigates and disrupts the demographics of power in the United States. Our data – America’s only comprehensive resource on the race and gender of candidates and elected officials – prove that white male “electability” is a myth, and that voters want women of all races and men of color to represent them. Our research and analysis shine a light on both the recent waves of victories by candidates who reflect the American people, and the structural barriers that still prevent a fair distribution of political power.

  • Working with The Center for Technology and Civic Life, we generate rigorously researched data on the demographics of American politics, sparking coast-to-coast headlines and activism.
  • Our databases, reports, infographic toolkit, and other resources are freely available to researchers, journalists, activists, and fellow funders.

We fund and spearhead innovative efforts to help women and people of color gain their fair share of seats at the table. Our Reflective Democracy Innovator grants support a wide range of organizing, activism, and capacity-building by leaders and organizations committed to changing the face of power.

  • Our activist grantees focus on building political power in local communities to disrupt the entrenched gatekeeper system and realize the potential of leaders who reflect their communities.
  • Our research grants have yielded break-through findings about the systemic barriers that maintain the status quo— and innovative strategies for dismantling them.

The Reflective Democracy Campaign was founded by the Women Donors Network in 2014 on the belief that we won’t achieve real democracy until all of us are reflected in the halls of power. Now we’re at the forefront of the growing movement for leaders who truly reflect the American people.

The Reflective Democracy Campaign is directed by Brenda Choresi Carter, in coordination with a team of expert researchers, communicators, and strategists, and backed by the collective power of the Women Donors Network, a nationwide community of individual women philanthropists at the forefront of social change. Brenda has extensive experience as an organizer, strategist, researcher, and teacher. She worked in the labor movement for over a decade, starting as a rank-and-file leader of a union organizing drive by teaching and research assistants at Yale University, and later becoming the special assistant to the president of UNITE HERE, the union of hospitality industry workers, where she helped empower a workforce of mostly immigrants, people of color, and women. Brenda has been a visiting faculty member at Brown University and the Wesleyan University Center for Prison Education. She earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D in American Studies at Yale.