NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin is based on a six-point curriculum, set by the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University to fit a wide rage of political cultures, geographic regions, populations and institutions.
- Discuss diversity of women's participation in politics and policymaking.
- Connect participants with influential women leaders.
- Explore the demands of leadership in a diverse society.
- Cultivate leadership skills.
- Enable the practice of leadership thorugh action.
- Engage students in activities that will enhance career development.
Discuss diversity of women's participation in politics and policymaking -
Historical biases in academics, government and mainstream media support the traditional definition of politics as a "man's world." As a result, today's college students learn very little about women's role in politics and policymaking beyond a token knowledge of the feminist movement of the 1970's. In addition, progress in anti-discrimination legislation of the past 30 years and limited life experience lead many students to conclude that women have been accepted as full and equal partners in the 21st century.
During NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin, students learn about the ways in which women have historically participated in the public arena and how traditional definitions of politics and leadership have created and reinforced barriers for women and women of color in particular. We encourage students to examine the changing relationship between women and public life, the connection between community service and policymaking, and the important ways women often approach leadership and politics differently from men.
Connect participants with influential women leaders -
Strong role models can serve as powerful sources of inspiration and as mentors, which are critical in helping students achieve their leadership goals. At NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin students hear from a bi-partisan group of women leaders with varied roles and experiences in the public sector. In addition to the political women who participate in NEW Leadership™ as speakers and panelists, the summer institute includes a few women leaders who agree to stay for the entire six-day program serving as residential faculty. The residential faculty are critical to the success of NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin. They serve as mentors and advisors and teach the students about the day-to-day world of politics and activism. Through their own experiences these women illustrate some of the challenges that women leaders face in both their public and private lives. The women leaders who serve as residential faculty give the participants insight into different styles of leadership and help the students overcome cynicism about politicians and government.
Explore the demands of leadership in a diverse society -
American society is highly diverse and political participation among various groups continues to expand. We believe that in order to prepare a generation of leaders for the 21st century, it is essential to address issues and concerns of diversity. Each NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin program includes students, speakers and staff who exemplify a broad range of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds so that students will interact with people who have different ideas, different backgrounds, and different life experiences.
In addition to being exposed to a diverse population, at NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin students have the opportunity to discuss issues of diversity and confront the difficulties associated with leadership in a diverse society. NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin creates a safe space where students can address these sensitive issues. Having speakers and workshop leaders who represent diverse political perspectives and life experiences ensures that each student will have someone she can relate to as well as someone who may challenge her world view.
Cultivate leadership skills -
Enhancing and developing participants' leadership skills is an important component of NEW Leadership™. Through interactive workshops and hands-on projects, students learn to develop skills such as effective communication, public speaking, networking and advocacy. Each NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin program creates opportunities for the students to practice these skills. For example, students may practice networking with local political leaders at a reception or exercise their communication and speaking skills by participating in a mock legislative session or making a presentation about a current public policy issue.
Helping students strengthen their leadership skills also builds self-confidence. NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin participants recognize their own leadership potential and gain confidence in their ability to participate in the public arena to advocate for change.
Enable students to practice leadership through action -
During NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin, students discuss political issues that are important to them and strategies for action. They may participate in exercises such as debating a bill in a mock legislative session or preparing to lobbying a Congressional committee. They will learn about various opportunities for political engagement, from volunteering on a campaign to serving on a local board or commission or finding a government internship.
Participants are encouraged to build on their NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin experiences after the summer institute ends. Many programs require students to develop an action plan based on their own leadership abilities and interests. They may run for student government, advocate for an issue, or implement a civic participation project on their campus or in their community. After NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin, many participants have gone on to establish political organizations on campus, work on political campaigns, volunteer on advocacy campaigns in the community, or even run for local office.
Engage students in activities that will enhance their career development and expand their career opportunities -
NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin participants are college women thinking about future career choices. NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin provides a wide range of role models, skill development, and information to help students as they consider career options and prepare themselves for making the transition from school to work. Participants often report that the program gave them a good understanding of how to translate their skills into a career in the political realm. Program speakers, staff and resident faculty are eager to connect with students to offer information and advice. NEW Leadership™ Wisconsin participants can and do make important connections during the summer institute that will provide them with mentors, job interviews, internships or other career options.
[Information reproduced from the website for the Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University. See the permission to reproduce.]