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Vote Lead Impact

Creating a Legacy of Political Influence

Vote Lead Impact

Our Story

VLI Founder Krysta Jones started the organization after writing her Master’s thesis on the lack of Black congresspeople in Virginia.


Since Reconstruction, Virginia has sent only two Blacks to Congress, Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), who represents the 3rd congressional district, and Representative Don McEachin (D-VA) who represents the 4th congressional district. Ms. Jones concluded that in order to increase the number of Black elected office a number of steps had to be taken including providing training to Black Virginians interested in politics and providing information through a network of organizations in the Black community that focus on political empowerment.

Virginia Leadership Institute was created in 2006 with the specific goal of increasing the number of Black elected officials to 500 by 2026. Since that time we have trained close over 350 people and expanded our mission to include increasing the number Black appointed officials and the number enrolled in leadership development programs. VLI, now "Vote Lead Impact", has conducted a number of programs and events into our agenda with the goal of diversifying the voices at the political table, resulting in better public policy for us all.

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Vote Lead Impact

Exceeding Your Expectations


VLI Successes

Select VLI Affiliated Candidates (served on a VLI board, attended trainings, received a scholarship or consultations)

Terron Sims

Pastor Ray Bell

Cydny Neville

Lillian Garland

Carlton Stockton

Jeannie Armstrong

Michael Hepburn

Atima Omara-Alwala

Denise Joseph

Lynn White

Monte Johnson

Hala Ayala

Donald E. Scoggins

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VLI offers specialized trainings throughout the year on several topics including:

  • Grassroots operations

  • Media relations

  • Voter targeting

  • Civic engagement

  • Serving on boards and commissions

  • Executive presence

  • VAN database training

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Leadership Development Scholarships

Leadership development programs are a great way to learn about your community’s programs and leadership, network professionally and learn more about public policies and how your community is affected. VLI offers an annual scholarship to VLI members accepted to a Virginia-based leadership development program. In 2013, the scholarship was officially named the Dawn Lawson Leadership Development Scholarship, in honor of Dawn Lawson, our first awardee, who passed away in 2013. Dawn was a graduate of the Minority Political Leadership Institute, Leadership Fairfax, and the former chair of Northern Virginia African Americans for Obama.

  • 2011 Scholarship Winner, Dawn Lawson, Leadership Fairfax

  • 2012 Scholarship Winner, Cornelia Robinson, Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

  • 2013 Scholarship Winner, Howard Foard, Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

  • 2014 Scholarship Winner, Michelle Millben, Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

  • 2014 Scholarship Winner, Marlo Thomas Watson, Leadership Prince William

  • 2016 Kenya Savage, Emerge Virginia 


VLI provides consultations to those interested in public service positions including elected officials, campaign staff, and appointed officials. To start the consultation process, please complete this form.

VLI has identified several criteria needed for political advancement and we work actively with our leaders to help them grow in these areas.

  • Personal and Professional Network

  • Campaign Experience/Skills

  • Community leadership and involvement

  • Policy knowledge

  • Name recognition/Brand

  • Influence

  • Executive presence/Image

  • Education

  • How you connect with people

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm
Sat: 10am - 2pm
Sun: Closed

Get in Touch

PO Box 41390

(703) 831-7446

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