Igniting Women’s Civic Leadership Across Washington

Igniting Women’s Civic Leadership Across Washington

“I’ve never thought about running for public office before today. Now, I’m willing and excited. We need women everywhere, and I really think I can do it after being here today.”

– Campus NEW Leadership Participant at Eastern Washington University

For Washington State to thrive, women must have their fair share of seats at the decision-making table. Today, just 36% of the state legislature seats are held by women; with even fewer held by women of color.

To bring more women to table as elected or appointed officials, candidates, voters, and civic leaders we launched the LEAD Initiative. Designed to engage women of all backgrounds, LEAD is increasing women’s leadership at every turn.

To encourage the next generation of leaders, we partnered with the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University to deliver an innovative training program directly to college women. Together, we developed a one-day, non-partisan leadership training program titled Campus NEW Leadership™ (CNEWL) as part of LEAD.

By working with colleges and universities across the state, we are igniting a spark for civic leadership in thousands of women’s lives.

“[Campus NEW Leadership] opened my eyes to how many other young women are as hopeful and passionate about social issues as I am,” said one student at Eastern Washington University, a LEAD Initiative partner.

Eastern Washington University (EWU) has hosted three CNEWL trainings on their Cheney campus, reaching nearly 550 women.

Lisa Logan, Women’s and Gender Education Center Manager at EWU, credits CNEWL for the creation of the first Multicultural Center in university history. Many of the students who led the effort to create the center are CNEWL graduates.

Lisa said many of EWU’s CNEWL graduates have followed through on the Leadership Actions Plans they created at their training. At the end of the training day, students presents an issue they felt passionate about, and how they plan to lead action in their community to resolve it.

At the most recent EWU training, a student shared a powerful personal story that illustrates how critical CNEWL is to building young women’s leadership potential.

As a first-generation, undocumented college student, she advocated for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in sharing her Leadership Action Plan.

She expressed the constant fear that dictates her life as she navigates college. She uses this fear to fuel her drive to make a difference in the lives of her younger siblings, and students across the nation. She wants to be an activist.

“I want to continue being the change needed to make sure student’s voices are heard,” she said.

Your support is encouraging women to pursue the issues that impact their lives, their families and their communities. Thanks to you, more women are nurturing their leadership and seeing themselves in public office.

As one student said, “I’ve never thought about running for public office before today. Now after Campus NEW Leadership I’m willing and excited. We need women everywhere and I really think I can do it after being here today.”

Thanks to your support, we can continue partnering with colleges and universities to expand CNEWL statewide. Together, we are amplifying women’s voices to become the change agents our state needs.