About Us

Virginia21 is a statewide, non-partisan organization that brings young Virginians together to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. In every corner of the Commonwealth there are young people who are looking for the right resources to enact change and lead within their communities. We find these leaders and work alongside them to empower their advocacy by building relationships and honing leadership skills that bridge regional and political differences.

Virginia21 continues to amplify the voices of young Virginians. Our work targets many challenges that young people face: college affordability, campus safety, civic engagement, and leadership development. Our success relies on collaboration between our Student Leaders, Virginia higher education institutions, policy experts, government officials, and community advocates who represent all sides of the political spectrum.

Our name is a nod to those we serve: Young Virginians of the 21st century. Today, we remain committed to advocating for policies that will make Virginia the best place to live, work, and pursue an education. Together, we will ensure that we are heard in our local communities, campuses, the state Capitol, and beyond!

Our Mission

Virginia21 empowers college students and young Virginians to be engaged citizens and advocates for issues important to them and Virginia’s future.

Our Vision

VA21 envisions a well-educated, prosperous, and civically engaged Virginia.

Our Work

Kate oversees the strategic development of Virginia21’s program, external communications, and serves as the organizational liaison to Virginia's college students. She manages all student leader development, communications, and recruitment. Kate has worked with VA21 since 2017.

She is currently Chairwoman of the Children’s Home Society of Virginia junior board. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary (’14) and the Sorensen Emerging Leaders Program (’19). She lives in Richmond with her two cats, Porky and Charlotte.


Our Team

Kate Slayton, Executive Director

As a Summer 2024 Policy Intern, Janai' will be tasked with the responsibility of conducting comprehensive research and analysis on key policy areas in addition to collaborating with Virginia21’s team to identify and prioritize policy issues and develop well-researched policy proposals and recommendations.

She is currently a senior political science major on the pre-law track at Hampton university. She plans to attend law school and pursue a career in law after graduating in spring of 2025. She lives in Baltimore with her mom and little sister.


Myracle researches potential partners, evaluates suitability, and develops strategies to initiate and nurture relationships with corporations, non-profits, government agencies, and academic institutions. She maintains a database of potential partners and assists in strengthening existing partnerships; representing Virginia21 at meetings and events.

She is a rising senior at Virginia State University, pursuing a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Investigation. She plans to obtain a dual masters in Cyber Crime/Forensics and Psychology, with hopes of becoming a cyber crime analyst and a therapist in her own practice. She currently lives in Petersburg, Virginia with her spouse.


As a Civic Engagement Intern, La’Niah will lead the creation of a comprehensive strategy to connect young professionals and college students that share a passion for advocacy. She will be conducting in depth research to devise these goals, while maintaining consistent communication with current partners to ensure the growth of Virginia21.

She is a rising senior at Virginia State University, majoring in Political Science on the Pre-Law track. Post-graduation, La’Niah plans to obtain her master’s degree; and following attend law school in hopes of pursuing a career as an immigration attorney.


Janai' Marshall
Policy Intern
Myracle Sweatt
Strategic Partnerships & Cultivation Intern
La'Niah Booker
Civic Engagement Intern

Our Board

Michael Forehand, Chair

Vice President, Government and Community Affairs, Inova Health System

Falls Church, VA

Leslie Frazier, Vice Chair

Senior VP of Community and Industry Relations, Virginia REALTORS®

Richmond, VA

Dr. Corey B. Miles, Treasurer

Marketing & Merchandising Data Analyst, Virginia ABC

Richmond, VA

David Solimini, Virginia21 Co-Founder, Secretary

Senior Director, Democracy, Third Plateau

Director, Democracy Communications Fund

Washington, DC

Demas Boudreaux, Immediate Past Chair

Government Relations Manager, Virginia Housing Development Authority

Richmond, VA

Anne Schlussler

Founder/Partner, Clarity Technology Partners

Richmond, VA

Luis Aguilar

Virginia State Director, CASA

Richmond, VA

Richard "Drew" Marrs

Government Relations, Norfolk Southern

Washington, DC

Thomas W. Minnick

Chairman, National Counseling Group

Marshall, VA

Jay S. Poole

Owner, Common Sense Strategies

Richmond, VA

Bryant Thomas

Director of Government Relations, Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters

Norfolk, VA

Marilyn H. West

Chairman/CEO, M.H. West & Co., Inc.

Richmond, VA

Fran C. Bradford

Senior Vice President of State Government Relations, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC

Richmond, VA

Jason R. De La Cruz

State and Local Government Affairs Manager, Dominion Energy

Richmond, VA

Edward Reed

Vice President, Two Capitols Consulting

Richmond, VA

Patrick Cushing

Principal, Fall Line Strategies

Richmond, VA