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Democratic Debates take Atlanta, GA.

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

The 5th Presidential Democratic debates took place in Atlanta, GA just a few weeks ago. The debates were [ historically] hosted at the newly opened Tyler Perry Studios.

I had been looking forward to and planning to attend as many opportunities as possible during “debate week” in my hometown from volunteering with presidential candidates to phone-banking. As early as a month or so ahead of time, I was contacting the Democratic party, contributing, and staying up to date with local elections, events, and other community issues.

I got an opportunity to volunteer with the Warren campaign! I volunteered to distribute tickets in the AUC and was assigned to Spelman College. I was so damn excited, I changed twice... into the same outfit, adding fishnets because well why not. I also left without my purse and quickly returned to get it. Vowing that I would breathe and calm down.

Whew. Do you know when you’re walking in your purpose? Can you feel when it in the pit of your stomach? I call moments like these “God things” because they happen in such a way that only God could have done them.

After my arrival at Spelman, I felt good. Really good. I hadn’t been on the campus since I’d attended summer dance camps when I was younger. I’d had lots of friends attend there and was happy to be in community with them as I distributed tickets for Elizabeth Warren’s speech that Thursday after the debates. Her speech was focused on valuing the work of Black women. Knowing this, I gained even more motivation. For me, I was finally seeing myself in a Black space engaging with other Black girls about political involvement... even if I was just planting a seed by trying to give free tickets away. While I worked alongside other women who were white, I never felt less than and I felt seen and heard. So much so that my teammates for the day, invited me to shadow them and learn all about the work they do for Team Warren.


Ok, so back to ticketing, because that’s literally how the story goes. I spoke to students about coming to Elizabeth Warren’s speech. Many were eager to accept the free ticket. Some wondered who she was. Others simply weren’t interested. Lots were grabbing a meal between classes and some were attending the Health Fair that was happening simultaneously at the student center. I enjoyed working alongside a new friend, a political woman who was just as eager to serve in any capacity she could. We worked from the inside and then wandered around campus where we got to engage with even more students and staff. We talked to each other about what methods were working best, and the tedious but necessary logistics of ticketing. We shared some common peers and talked through some fulfilling and disheartening moments we’d had while working in community politics. We said our goodbyes and I headed home, excited about how the day went and even more pumped about the next day's adventures.

Excitedly, I went home in time for the debates and texted my friends throughout...well until I passed out sleep less than an hour in. I woke up eager the next morning (and obviously well-rested) to learn what the day would entail. I had mixed emotions though too, I would be working on the grounds where just weeks earlier Alexis Crawford was slain.

I was greeted by happy faces as I arrived and instantly began my day's work. I enjoyed seeing and doing the large amounts of work it takes to produce an event like this. I reflected on my first presidential rally for President Obama in my family’s hometown in Birmingham, AL. I remember how proud and honored my family was to attend. I remember the flashing lights, his intro song, and the pride that beamed from all the people in the audience.

Many of those same feelings came over me on my first official-ish day with Team Warren. I have always dreamed of doing purposeful work that is aligned with my calling. So I knew this was a God thing, as many moments in my life are. I watched and worked alongside my teammates as we made it happen from beginning to end. We danced, we laughed, and we worked hard! I lost my feet somewhere about halfway through the day 😂.

It was an awesome experience to see the production of a large scale rally centered on valuing and celebrating Black women. I was embraced throughout the day by many Sorors and several of Elizabeth Warren’s team members. To visibly see Black women in a political space doing the work needed to get a presidential candidate into office has me feeling all the feels and I'm sooo ready for the journey!

I'm both humbled and honored to have these opportunities, to show other people that look like me and come from the same places as me that we can do this. Black people are into politics and that there is space for us!

In power ✊🏾,

Teryn Denae

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