2010: A great idea!
Out of frustration with always being the youngest people in the room, in 2010, over lunch in Kendallville between campaign events, Jeff Harris and Carmen Darland came up with the idea of creating a talent pipeline for Hoosier progressives.
2011: The beginnings
In 2011 Harris and Darland launched the first iteration of the Emerging Leaders program, holding two free training sessions in Indianapolis open to any interested Democrat. In 2012, the effort was paused to rethink the approach and strengthen the overall program.
The Emerging Leaders Project was restarted under its current structure with the help of Harris, Darland and former Senate Democratic Leader Vi Simpson and in partnership with the Indiana Democratic Party.
Former State Party Chair Robin Winston and Former State Party Political Director Pat Terrell make a $50,000, 10-year commitment to support operations of the Emerging Leaders Project.
After years of operating informally, the Emerging Leaders Project, Inc. was organized as Indiana nonprofit to ensure the program continues on to benefit generations of Hoosier Democrats interested being involved in public service.