De'Ara Balenger
@dearabalenger
National Organizer and Strategic Advisor to the Women’s March
Williamsburg

De’Ara is the definition of a powerhouse women, using her efforts to create positive impact in the New York City community and well beyond. De’Ara is a disruptor, a creative and strategist for brand and cultural institutions on social impact, philanthropy and public affairs. She has worked with many companies and brands like AT&T, Teen Vogue, Hillary Clinton’s political organization, Onward Together, and more.

Prior to her consultancy work, De’Ara spent over a decade in public service. She worked in the criminal justice system in South Florida, ran the Philadelphia Youth Commission, worked on two Presidential campaigns, and was a political appointee in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of State, primarily serving as Special Assistant and then Senior Advisor to Cheryl Mills, Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the last presidential election cycle, De’Ara was the Director of Engagement for Hillary for America.

De’Ara was a National Organizer and Strategic Advisor to the Women’s March, and named a 2017 Glamour Woman of the Year for her involvement. She is co-chair of the Board for the Lower Eastside Girls Club, active supporter of the Women’s Prison Association and a fundraiser for progressive political candidates.

Q&A

Since working on Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, how has it changed or impacted you or your views?

Not going to lie – I was shaken by the last Presidential election. Shaken but not broken. Hillary  has honestly been my guiding light in picking yourself up after you’ve been knocked down. She deals with disappointment and crisis with such grace, and I really admire her ability to bring EVERYONE into the fold. She believes that we need the collective to move this country forward – no ego, no bullshit, no excuses – simply how can we work together, how can we move the needle?

What does having a supportive community mean to you?

Having a supportive community has been the foundation for my success. I’m so blessed to have started my life with a strong, supportive community of women in my family. I’m pretty sure this is what propelled me to always look to build communities of women in school and then later in my professional life.

What's your advice to others as we, as a society, look to further support one another bravely - especially during times of such adversity?

My advice here is to focus on the small, tiny but meaningful acts of love and kindness that you can perform every day. Do your research – what do you care about? What organizations speak to that? Reach out to those organizations to volunteer or raise funds. The two organizations that I support are local – the Lower East Side Girls Club and the Women’s Prison Association.