Supporting the development of women’s leadership has been a cornerstone of the Women’s Center through the years. Through programs and opportunities such as the Women’s Leadership Council, student programming assistant positions, internships, practicums, peer facilitator positions, the Women’s Leadership Conference, and more recently the Feminist Leadership Academy the Women’s Center has worked to develop leaders poised to create meaningful change in their communities through a myriad of ways.
While the very first Women’s Leadership Conference was held in 2011, after a hiatus it received a reboot in 2019 as the inaugural Leading Change: Women’s Leadership Conference. A collaborative effort of the Women’s Center, Leadership Programs Office, Alumni Association, and the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, our attendees were able to participate in a variety of workshops, hear from esteemed alumnae, and network with presenters and panelists.
This year, the Women’s Center hosted its inaugural Feminist Leadership Academy (FLA). FLA brought together a cohort of students for a two-day leadership retreat. Small group sessions and community conversations helped students become better able to understand how their values can combine with leadership theories to make positive social change. FLA has been an incredible way for us to gather, create community, engage in feminist practices, and work to create plans for future involvement on and off- campus for the betterment of our communities.
Through the years the Women’s Center has hosted dozens of student program assistants, interns, and practicum students. These students gain hands-on experience in project management, critical and creative thinking, teamwork, and intersectional diversity. Here’s what a few of our former students have to say about their experience in the Women’s Center or what they learned through the Women’s Center:
“Taking part as a peer facilitator with Project BRAVE!! It gave me the leadership tools that I still employ in my day to day life. It empowered me to make a difference not just on campus but in how I operate in the larger world. I'm constantly amazed at how Project BRAVE still shapes my interactions and expectations of others. I would not be the same leader that I am without the thoughtful and thorough training that the program provided.”
“That speaking up is to be celebrated rather than feared.”
“Inclusion is about dismantling the systems in place that made diversity difficult so people can thrive in those environments.”
“I learned skills in leadership, program planning, public speaking, advocacy, and empowerment. Working at the Women’s Center was the most impactful part of my time at GCSU. It helped me to grow in so many ways.”
“I learned how to organize, advocate and to fight for what I believe in. I learned that it never hurts to ask for what you want or deserve and that doing your research and being able to tell a compelling story about your "why" can take you a really long way. I also learned that having a circle of women around you, who believe in the same things you do, and who have your back and push you to be better is absolutely invaluable.”