Applications are now open for 2020 NEW Leadership® Mississippi University for Women.
The intensive, nonpartisan, six-day residential program is hosted by The W, a member of the Center for American Women in Politics’ NEW Leadership National Network. With a mission to educate, empower and encourage college women to increase their civic engagement and pursue political leadership roles, NEW Leadership is a unique opportunity for Mississippi’s undergraduate women to further their ambitions.
The 2020 program will take place May 17-22, on the campus of The W, in Columbus. Applications are open to any woman studying at one of Mississippi’s colleges: public or private, two-year or four-year as well as Mississippi residents enrolled in out-of-state colleges.
“This program builds women’s confidence and ambition for political leadership by deepening their knowledge of political processes and careers, connecting them with women and men in positions of authority in Mississippi politics and creating a space in which they can hone the skills necessary for political advocacy and public leadership,” said Chanley Rainey, program director.
An important element of the program is its focus on mentorship and opportunities to interact with public sphere professionals in a variety of careers. Students live on campus with four Faculty in Residence (FIRs), professional women in politics who mentor participants, lead their work on a week-long group project and accompany them on a trip to the Capitol in Jackson.
Last year’s FIRs demonstrate the caliber of programming and the range of careers to which students are exposed: Judge Adrienne Wooten of Mississippi’s 7th Circuit Court (also a former Representative in the Mississippi House); the Tennessee Valley Authority’s government relations specialist Amy Tate; Lisa Shoemaker, a government relations specialist for the Mississippi Cable Telecommunications Association, and Kristie Metcalfe, a Mississippi Senate staff attorney (and former law clerk at the Mississippi Supreme Court). One of The W’s own graduates, Mississippi Sen. Sally Doty, has supported the program since its inception and volunteers her time to help arrange meetings with a variety of professionals at the Capitol in Jackson.
Thanks to generous and ongoing support from donors like the Stennis Center for Public Service and dozens of volunteers, the only cost to those accepted for NEW Leadership Mississippi is a $20 confirmation fee. Interested students can learn more and apply at muw.edu/NewLeadership. Only 24 students will be accepted and applications close Feb. 28.