13 Caribbean American Women in Politics You Should Know

13 Caribbean American Women in Politics You Should Know

Black women in America are leading a movement. A movement to save themselves and those in their communities. Black women have led the quest for social change for decades and under the current oppressive administration, are coming together as one to take action and to organize a national charge that will move this country forward.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting a few of these women who are of Caribbean descent. We hope you will be inspired by their work and feel empowered to take this call to join the movement too.



Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor

Heritage: Haiti


Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour. Prior to joining PBS, she was a reporter and videographer for The New York Times covering national politics and social justice issues. She also previously worked at USA TODAY as a national breaking news reporter based in New York City. Yamiche has been a frequent guest on MSNBC and has explained her reporting on PBS, C-SPAN, NPR and a variety of radio stations and local television stations.




Glynda CarrGlynda Carr

Heritage: Jamaica


Glynda Carr is the Co-Founder of Higher Heights, a national organization focused on mobilizing and electing Black women. She is the former Executive Director of Education Voters of New York where she joined in 2008 and became New York’s youngest African-American woman to run a statewide advocacy organization. Prior to Education Voters, Carr was Chief of Staff to New York State Senator Kevin Parker and served as campaign manager for two of his successful re-election campaigns. Glynda is a sought after speaker and trainer, her writing appearing on TheRoot.com, BET.com, Ebony.com and Feminist.com and is a contributor on The SPIN: All Women’s Media Panel and has appeared on Fox News Live, MSNBC and several other media outlets.


Kristen Clarke

Kristen Clark

Heritage: Jamaica


Kristen Clarke is President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – one of the nation’s historic civil rights organizations. Clarke speaks and writes regularly on issues about race, law and justice.  Kristen has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Democracy Now, Fox News, C-Span’s Washington Journal, TV One, and Yahoo News, the world’s second largest news site and has written many articles and books including Barack Obama and African-American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America’s New Leadership (co-edited with Dr. Manning Marable).  In 2015, she served as a lecturer in law at Columbia University School of Law.


Congresswoman Yvette ClarkeCongresswoman Yvette Clarke

Heritage: Jamaica


Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives representing Ninth Congressional District of New York. She serves as Co-Chair of the Caribbean Caucus, where she has works to build the relationship between the United States and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on matters of trade, immigration reform, and direct investment through development programs and is currently co-sponsoring legislation to put a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman and Caribbean American elected to Congress, in the U.S. Capitol.


Maya Harris

Maya Harris

Heritage: Jamaica


Maya Harris is a Political Analyst for MSNBC and in 2015 was appointed one of three Senior Policy Advisers to lead the development of an agenda for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Before joining the Clinton campaign, Harris was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress where she authored “Women of Color: A Growing Force in the American Electorate,” documenting the current and increasingly future prominence of women of color in influencing political outcomes and previously served as the Executive Director of the ACLU of Northern California. Maya is an accomplished attorney, public policy advocate, philanthropic leader and the younger sister of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris.


Gabrielle JacksonGabrielle Jackson

Heritage: Trinidad & Tobago

Gabrielle Jackson is Co-Founder and Mental Wellness Director of UndocuBlack Network, a multigenerational network of black undocumented people organizing communities and building power. She is a therapist and clinical social worker, and her passion and life purpose is the mental and emotional well-being of the community, with a special emphasis on Black immigrants, of course.





Michele JawandoMichele L. Jawando

Heritage: Bermuda, Jamaica


Michele L. Jawando serves Vice President at the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, and a Senior Adviser for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. She is also co-host of the highly acclaimed podcast Thinking CAP, a 30-minute weekly news and politics podcast which reached No. 16 on the iTunes Top 200 list for News and Politics podcasts in early August. Michele appears frequently in print and on air on national media outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, PBS, News One, ARISE, Sirius XM Radio, Huffington Post, and she is currently a contributing columnist for InsideSources. Additionally, she serves as a contributor of politics and pop culture on “The Leslie Marshall Show” on the Progressive Voices Network and iHeartRadio, as well as on “The Progressive Agenda” on SiriusXM Progress Channel 127.


Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-Pierre

Heritage: Haiti


Karine Jean-Pierre is Senior Advisor and National Spokesperson at MoveOn.org, the largest independent, progressive, digitally-connected organizing group in the United States, and is a Contributing Editor for Bustle. She is also a Lecturer at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. She previously served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Martin O’Malley for President and Campaign Manager for ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Initiate. She is an Obama alum- having served in his administration as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs and serving on both of his campaigns, in 2008 as the Southeast Regional Political Director and in 2012 as the Deputy Battleground States Director. Karine appears as a political commentator on MSNBC, CNN, CNNi CSPAN, PBS News Hour, ABC “This Week”, HBO “Real Time with Bill Maher.”


Renee JohnsonRenée J. Johnson

Heritage: Jamaica


Renée J. Johnson is the National Training Director for the United State of Women, an initiative started in 2016 in conjunction with the White House Council on Women and Girls. Last June, they launched by hosting the first-ever “United State of Women Summit,” which made headlines and sparked conversations about gender equality across the world. Prior to her work at USOW, she worked in government, serving in numerous roles in both the House and the Senate. Renée is currently running for a DC Democrat State Committee Ward 4 Seat.


Nakisha M. LewisNakisha M. Lewis

Heritage: Antigua, Dominica


Nakisha M. Lewis is Co-Founder of SheWoke, an advocacy space rooted in the belief that equity is achievable for Black women, girls, and their communities.  She is also Director of Programs and Institutional Development at the National Black Justice Coalition and recently served as an Organizer for Power Rising, an intergenerational power force of black women from various sectors who recently hosted the Power Rising Summit. Nakisha is published in several periodicals and nonprofit journals, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post and NBC News. She also makes regular media appearances on outlets like CNN, Mic. News, Huffington Post Live and Essence Live.


Congresswoman Stacey PlaskettCongresswoman Stacey Plaskett

Heritage: Saint-Croix


Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett represents the United States Virgin Islands’ at-large Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. She is a member of the Congressional Caribbean Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and the New Democrat Coalition. Congresswoman Plaskett is a staunch advocate for poverty reduction and equal voting rights and is well versed in Caribbean economic development and public-private partnerships for growing the economies of developing areas.


Stacey SamuelStacey Samuel

Heritage: Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti


Stacey Samuel is Supervising Editor at NPR, each week putting together “Weekend Edition” –a broadcast that puts a premium on Arts & Culture coverage. Before radio, Ms. Samuel covered politics, national security and the Supreme Court for CNN, where she was part of the team that won an Emmy for the coverage of the 2012 US presidential elections. She also has field produced for CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning. Stacey’s reporting experience includes reporting on education for an ABC affiliate in Florida online journalism at the Daily Beast. She has completed two HBO documentaries on children focusing on music and another dissecting diversity in America, which won Emmy Awards and many other acknowledgments. She also works for some familiar cable channels, including the History Channel.


Congresswoman Frederica WilsonCongresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

Heritage: Bahamas


Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson represents Florida’s 24th Congressional District, one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse districts in the nation and includes parts of northwest Miami-Dade and southern Broward counties. Now in her fourth term, has continued her mission to improve the quality of life for her constituency by creating jobs with dignity, improving education, stopping home foreclosures, safeguarding Medicare and Social Security, and strengthening ties with Haiti and the Caribbean.

Joanne Antoine

Joanne Antoine currently serves as Manager of State Outreach and Engagement for Common Cause MD where she implements outreach plans for key policy campaigns, specifically around money in politics and voting rights, and engages local, state, and national organizations in the coalitions and campaigns in Maryland. She is Founder and Principal Strategist of At the Forefront Strategies, a political consulting firm focused on building winning campaigns for women candidates in the Caribbean region and Democratic women candidates of Caribbean descent here in the US. Joanne, is also in the process of launching At the Forefront nonprofit which would serve as a free resource for Caribbean candidate, a means for engaging the Diaspora in their elections and provide trainings for young women who hope to run for office in the future.