National Education for Women gets re-established

The National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Summer Institute will be re-established on Washington State University’s campus in the summer of 2016. The organization that originally started in 2001 will provide a place for young women in Pullman to be inspired to pursuing leadership roles.

“NEW Leadership wants to get women interested and give them a nudge to get involved … it’s for women who have not considered public service or the political arena,” said Women’s Resource Center Director Turea Erwin.

A $17,000 grant from the Women’s Funding Alliance will help start NEW Leadership.

“We’re excited to have this partnership … the first year of funding is for planning,” said Risë McGill, director of development, University Initiatives.

Erwin and other organizers of NEW Leadership will be visiting the institutes in Moscow and Rutgers to see what changes have come over the years.

“We’re still working on the name. It might end up being NEW Leadership WSU … we’re changing our scope and we’ll probably have that new name after our Rutgers visit,” Erwin said.

The NEW Leadership institution will be one of two in the state of Washington; the other one is located in the University of Washington. Erwin hopes that the women in NEW Leadership will share experiences with other members around the nation to help spread the program’s drive for women leadership.

“We’re going to do a couple things differently. In the past we focused on recruiting students from campus … now we are going to allow all young women students in Washington who might go to other universities to apply,” Erwin said.

For students like Brittney Ramirez, a junior general biology major, the program is seen as a helpful resource for young women on campus.

“We have a lot of programs for minorities on campus, but nothing very gender specific … I think having the program will also highlight that there is an inequality issue,” Ramirez said.

Erwin is hopeful that the institute will share information and interests with women and motivate them to run for electoral seats. She expressed that even in our own state government and specifically in Pullman there is a lack of female representation in politics.

“In an area like Washington with many women in poverty … there is not a lot of NEW Leadership programs to keep momentum running,” Erwin said.

The program will contain several workshops where young women can improve on skills necessary for leadership roles such as public speaking.

“It’s extremely beneficial to the women in our area,” McGill said.