Gigi Traore

A political and nonprofit consultant by profession and public servant by passion, Gigi Traore has fifteen plus years of political experience with a focus on young adult, collegiate and urban engagement. Traore’s activism began during her undergraduate tenure where she used hip-hop culture as a tool to engage the student body and administration on various issues as well as held a city-wide conference on the No Child Left Behind Act.

Gigi has appeared on national and local television and web syndicates such as TV One, MSNBC, CBS, NPR, Headline News,, and as well as locally (Cleveland, OH) in the Call & Post, WTAM 1490AM, The Bottom Line with Andre Bryan, WCPN’s Sounds of Ideas and The Carl Stokes Brigade Television Forum as a voice of leadership and political equity advocate.

She served as a 2017 US Delegate to China, was elected and served as a 2016 Ohio Delegate for Sen Bernie Sanders and 2012 for Pres. Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention. Gigi is the founder and chair of the Pinkston-Traore Leadership & Civic Service Scholarship, Vice Chair of the Cuyahoga Democratic Women Caucus, member of Cuyahoga County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee and graduate of Cleveland State and Walden Universities, Green For All, Young People For Leadership and Front Line Leaders Academies.

Gigi is a mother of two, a servant leader, philanthropist and advocate for those traditionally excluded from social and politically participation. Gigi Traore, a leader for this and future generations!


Location: Cleveland, OH, United States

Campus: Cleveland State University - Cleveland, OH

Fellowship Class Year: 2005

    Fellow Groups:
  • Leadership Academy
  • Front Line Leaders Academy

Featured Fellow Spotlight

1.What experiences/opportunities led you to apply for the YP4 Fellowship program?

Gigi Traore: I was very active in several campus organizations (i.e. Hip Hop Dance Company, Black Student Union) as well as throughout the general campus working on various minority student issues; so someone recommended me for the YP4 fellowship.


2. What social justice work are you currently doing in your communities, or on your college campuses?

GT: Currently, I’m working on building progressive collaboration in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, OH), training, developing and mentoring young political leaders or ones interested in politics (especially those of color) as well as being involved with the social-political movement for the Black diaspora, women along with my local and state’s Democratic Party


3. What are you passionate about/what motivates you to do public service?

GT: I am passionate about the livelihood of Black American citizens and young politicos (both current and future leaders).  My goal is to not leave earth without sharing every piece of knowledge gained and to have drastically improve the Black American status.  My motivation is wrapped in a personal story as mother and someone who’s been afforded so much support, love, knowledge, opportunity, encouragement, friendship and family – I want to replicate the greatness I’ve experienced in humanity.


4. What is the main goal you want to accomplish in your social justice work?

GT: I want to normalize Blackness as it relates to the humanity of who we are as a race and the American people as well as develop a diverse pipeline of young Democratic and Progressive political leaders.


5. Can you give an example of how your YP4 Fellowship helped you accomplish something meaningful for your community? 

GT: The most identifiable is partnering to launch a statewide civic engagement program that engaged young people of color on college campuses.  YP4 Fellowship was essential in helping to make this a reality (connecting us to resources/networks, providing training, seed money, advice). Yet the unseen impacts such as confidence in giving speeches, talks (Joel Silberman), environmental justice knowledge (Kari Fulton), creating a personal presence (Alisha Thomas Morgan), lodging during conventions and philosophizing (Dr. Nyron Crawford), support, friendship, understanding (Kevin Killer) and all those who donated to political campaigns and connected me to other progressives (organizations and individuals) are remnants of the YP4 Fellowship, which translates into a better me to continue the work in my community.


6.What piece of advice would you give to a current YP4 Fellows?

GT: Trust the process and your struggle as this is just the foundation for something larger.  Second and most importantly give yourself the space to experience, develop and enjoy the work because it all matters.


7.Can you summarize in one sentence the impact YP4 has had in your life? 

GT: YP4 gave me the understanding of my work and shaped how I navigate political systems; as well as provided the best worldwide network of friends and colleagues.


8. What do you want to be remembered for?

GT: Charity and intellect.  I want folks to know that I did all I could while learning all I could then I gave it all away to others while impressing upon them to also share the knowledge.