Atima Omara is an award-winning political strategist, advocate, writer and speaker who has spent 15 years engaging youth, women, and people of color in the political process and related progressive causes. From grassroots organizations to state houses; from the Governor’s mansion to running for a public office herself, Atima has toiled in the trenches for social and electoral change.
She is the founder and president of Omara Strategy Group — a D.C. metro based consulting firm, providing strategic political services to progressive people of color, women and LGBTQ candidates. In addition, it also offers political- and capacity-building services to organizations that center women and people of color in their work to build progressive political power and enact a more representative democracy.
Atima has more than a decade of campaign experience, which includes working for a governor as well as a campaign staffer on more than nine federal, state, and local Democratic campaigns in Virginia and other battleground states across the country. She has successfully led grassroots advocacy campaigns in six states with labor unions and community organizations, working on the ground for voter registration, ballot initiatives, and get-out-the-vote operations in low-income communities of color and immigrant communities. Atima’s multi-faceted political experience includes campaign management, field organizing, fundraising, and paid communications for coordinated campaigns and independent expenditures.
Additionally, Atima served as president of the Young Democrats of America from 2013-2015, the nation’s largest youth partisan membership-based organization. Upon her election, she became the first African American and the fifth woman to serve as president of the organization in its more than 80-year history. As president, Atima not only organized young people in the political process in almost all 50 states, but she also achieved membership growth, fundraising success, streamlined operations, and increased collaborations with allied progressive organizations. In addition to leading the Young Democrats, Atima served as the vice president of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, a research-based advocacy reproductive health and rights non-profit organization. She has also served on many boards related to the women’s rights and health movement.
Currently, Atima is an elected Democratic National Committee (DNC) member from Virginia and a vice chair of the DNC’s Women’s Caucus. She is a board member for Emerge Virginia, that identifies, trains and encourages Democratic women to run for office, get elected and to seek higher office, a founding board member of Virginia’s List PAC, that endorses and help elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates to office in Virginia and she is Board Chair of the Planned Parenthood Metro Washington Action Fund.
Throughout her career, Atima has worked for the social and political advancement of women, developing a special niche of empowering women candidates in the political process as well as supporting the causes of women-focused organizations. She has lent her efforts and skills on multiple campaigns, including PACs that elect women and trained women advocates for leadership roles.
Atima is a sought-after speaker, panelist and media expert because of her expertise in politics and women’s rights. She offers social and political commentary about different issues making headline news, including national politics, the millennial vote and activism, plus gender and race in politics and pop culture.. She’s appeared as a political commentator on national and international media outlets, including, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, Fox News, Fox Business, Sirius XM and NPR.
She has been quoted in local and national newspapers and publications, such as the Washington Post and the American Prospect magazine. Her writings on topics of national politics, candidates, race, gender and culture have been featured in various media outlets, including The Lily (a Washington Post publication), Salon, Mic, The Root, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Hill, and Talking Points Memo as well as the American Prospect magazine and Ebony Magazine – just to name a few.
In 2014, Atima decided to run for public office. She ran as the only African American candidate in the Democratic primary election for a seat in the Virginia General Assembly. Although she came up short, she has translated her experience and extensive knowledge as both a candidate and a campaign staffer into speaking engagements and training sessions about political participation, leadership, and addressing issues important to a diverse electorate.
Kudos and Awards
Atima is a mover and shaker in the political world, and her name has popped up on media power lists. She has been recognized for her public service, landing on Ebony Magazine’s 2013 “Power 100” list of emerging leaders; Jet magazine’s 2013 “40 Under 40” list and featured in Essence magazine’s “Ten Things We’re Talking About.”
In addition, she has nabbed a plethora of awards, including the 40 Under 40 African Americans award by the Virginia Leadership Institute, the Women of Vision award by the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women, the Young Women of Achievement Award in Leadership from the Women’s Information Network in Washington, D.C., as well as the Young Democrat for Life and the Female of the Year award from the Virginia Young Democrats
American Born, Immigrant Bred
Atima attributes her hard work and dedication of underserved and underrepresented communities to her immigrant parents from Uganda. In the 1970s, her father came to the United States as a refugee, seeking political asylum, and her mother, came independently, pursuing educational opportunities in America. Today, they are proud, naturalized citizens.
Atima is married and based in the D.C. metro area. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her master’s in public administration with a concentration in non-profit management at George Mason University.