Lafayette College Posse alumna Chioma Iwuoha.
Lafayette College Posse alumna Chioma Iwuoha.

Lafayette Alumna Takes Leadership Role in D.C. Politics

Summer 2019 | D.C.

For Lafayette College alumna Chioma Iwuoha, becoming an at-large committeewoman for the DC Democratic State Committee exemplifies her lifelong commitment to choosing courage over comfort.

“I ran for this position as a young person who wants to see substantive changes that impact poor, working-class people,” says Chioma, who was elected along with seven other at-large committeewomen on a slate with progressive candidates. “I see myself as a grassroots organizer, building relationships with people and changing things from the ground up.”

The DC Democratic State Committee aims to increase civic engagement and works to educate people on the Democratic platform while seeking their input on issues. Chioma, who also serves as the fundraising co-chair, is interested in improving voter turnout rates among young people and residents of under-resourced D.C. communities.

Posse makes you understand that it’s important to be in a community of people, that you’re not in it alone.

Earlier this year, Chioma was invited to a CNN Town Hall, where she asked presidential candidate Bernie Sanders about reparations for African-Americans.

“To ask that question I had to deeply reflect on the backlash that it could cause,” Chioma says. “Not that it wasn’t an issue prior, but the interaction going viral made it a main issue in the Democratic election. CNN talked about it for two days straight afterward, and candidates have to think about the issue in a way that they have not before.”

In addition to the DC Democratic State Committee, Chioma currently works as a development director for Capital Partners for Education, an organization that supports low-income high school and college students.

Almost nine years after graduating from Lafayette, Chioma continues to lean on fellow Posse alumni. Many donated to her campaign, and she asked her close friend and Lafayette alumna Tiye Kinlow to also run for the DC Democratic State Committee.

“When I received the Posse Scholarship, it really hit me how much power young people have and how much impact we can make in the community,” says Chioma. “I built lifelong friendships. Posse makes you understand that it’s important to be in a community of people, that you’re not in it alone.”