Emerge New Jersey, the premier political training organization for Democratic women in the state, has announced Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter as its 2016 Commencement Speaker. The graduation will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2: 30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at BlueWave NJ President Marcia Marley's home in Montclair, New Jersey.

"We are honored to have Assemblywoman Sumter deliver the 2016 commencement address. She is a trailblazer and inspiration to many in the state. Her efforts are known far and wide, and we know she will inspire our 2016 class to further pursue their political aspirations. She is a prolific legislator and leader who is committed to New Jersey’s communities," said Emerge New Jersey Executive Director Truscha Quatrone.

Assemblywoman Sumter was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly on November 8, 2011, to represent the 35th District which includes Paterson, Prospect Park, Haledon, N. Haledon, Garfield, and Elmwood Park. “I am humbled and honored to be the commencement speaker at Emerge’s graduation this year. The organization’s mission to assist more Democratic women to serve in public office is essential. Women voices are needed on every level of government throughout the state and country and hopefully in the White House. I am elated to share this great accomplishment with these outstanding women and look forward to seeing them in public office,” said Assemblywoman Sumter.

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She also serves as the Assembly Majority Conference Leader, Vice Chair of the Labor committee, a member of the Health and Senior Services and Law and Public Safety Committees, and the Second Vice-Chair of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus. Additionally, EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced Assemblywoman Sumter is a 2016 nominee for its Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. Named in honor of the dedicated and courageous Gabrielle Giffords, the Rising Star Award celebrates an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office.

The following women will graduate from the 2016 Emerge New Jersey program: Isabel Alarcon, Hudson CountyMarie Battist-Celestin, Cumberland CountyAerielle Belk, Camden CountyRebecca Cain, Morris CountyHeather Champagne, Morris CountyColleen Curren, Camden CountyMarie Marthelle Guervil, Union CountyTomecca (Mecca) Keyes, Essex CountyEmily Kullmann, Morris CountyNidhi Makhija, Somerset CountyDana Murray, Essex CountyCristina Pinzon, Union CountyLorna Phillipson, Monmouth CountyDamaris Ramirez, Middlesex CountyConnie Sanchez, Union CountyMaisha Scudder, Atlantic CountyStephanie Smith, Essex CountyBibi Taylor, Essex CountyDahlia Vertreese, Union Countyand Sharronda Wheeler, Essex County.

General admission tickets to attend Emerge New Jersey’s Class of 2016 graduation are $45.00 per person. The RSVP deadline is Wednesday, June 8, 2016. To purchase your ticket(s) for the event, please visit: https://act.myngp.com/Forms/-7649503145976920