About the Network of enlightened Women (NeW)
In September 2004, a group of students at the University of Virginia founded a book club for conservative college women and called it the Network of enlightened Women, known as NeW. Within a year, women on other campuses heard about NeW and wanted to start their own chapters. NeW began expanding nationally, growing one chapter at a time.
NeW was started as a book club, so that members could read about ideas and people often left off of college syllabi and forgotten on college campuses. In addition to the book club, many NeW chapters seek to educate their campus communities by hosting speakers, holding debates, participating in philanthropic efforts, and organizing recruiting events.
NeW educates young women on conservative values, cultivates a community in which to discuss and strengthen these values, and emboldens young women to speak out on campus and in their communities. NeW seeks to foster the education and leadership skills of conservative women. NeW is devoted to expanding the intellectual diversity on college campuses. NeW members meet regularly to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing women today as well as current political issues. Joining NeW is a great way to build friendships with women who share your principles!
In the years since 2004, NeW chapters have started on more than 25 campuses nationwide and young professional chapters have been started in Washington, DC and New York City. In addition, NeW hosts national events including an annual National Conference in June in Washington, DC, a contest honoring college gentlemen called The Gentlemen Showcase, and professional development trainings. NeW has been covered by TIME, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, the AP, Politico, and many other publications.
Join NeW today by starting a chapter, attending an event, or donating! NeW is a 501(c)(3) organization. Please contact NeW with any questions.
NeW is making a difference on campus. Why should you start a NeW chapter? Here is what some NeW leaders from across the country say about their NeW experience:
“NeW has provided countless opportunities for me to develop my leadership skills. The club at ASU is small, so taking on a leadership role allows me to get a lot of experience organizing events, writing press releases, communicating with prominent conservative speakers and attending national events. I have attended numerous conferences in Washington, DC, Portland, and Santa Barbara because of the contacts I have made through my work with NeW.”
-Blayne Bennett of Arizona State University
“My involvement with NeW has opened up a world of opportunities in both education and friendship. Reading the books in NeW’s book club has helped me find my position on so many issues simply by being in a free-speaking environment – the NeW environment. Additionally, NeW has helped to create a true bond among conservative women nationwide – since each chapter is always up-to-date on what other chapters are doing, it strengthens the club and lets NeW women know that they are in good company while facing radical feminists on campus.”
-Danelle Gagliardi of Ohio State University
“Today’s college campuses are a battleground of ideology where intellectual diversity is nothing more than a buzz phrase. Students are, more often than not, unsure of what they believe. NeW understands that not everyone enters the club at the same factual understanding, but instead the same instinctual understanding that the liberal propaganda and feminist talking points are wrong. But more than that, there must be another way of understanding the issues. NeW addresses the need for another view and is structured as a book club in an effort to understand why the feminist movement has failed society with respect to both men and women. Within the book club setting, a healthy discussion is achieved in an effort to reach true intellectual diversity. Opposing thought is addressed and reasoned through, while relating issues back to the struggles of women, the deterioration of the family unit and the overarching career mentality. NeW has provided me with an outlet of intellectual development in an encouraging environment with other women who share the same questions.”
-Anna Beavon Gravely of Meredith College
“As a student at a very large and predominately liberal university it is very uncommon to find conservative and well-grounded thinkers. NeW is a response to this, is a beacon of conservative inspiration, and has helped harden my moral convictions. I am very thankful and proud to be a part of this premier conservative women’s group, and I hope to help it expand at my university and nationally.”
-Jean Morrow of the University of Florida
“As a second year graduate student at the University of Kentucky (UK), I have been fortunate enough to attend UK for the past six years. During my time at the University, I have never encountered an organization that provides an outlet for conservative collegiate women like NeW does. That is why NeW is so important to intellectual diversity on college campuses; it creates an environment for conservative women to network, learn, share ideas and life experiences.”
- Elizabeth Petrun of the University of Kentucky
“The Network of enlightened Women (NeW) provided an avenue for me to explore, strengthen and defend my conservative beliefs in college. I know of no other university organization or club that does a better job than NeW at educating its members and the greater community on conservative principles. As a member of NeW, I have been able to read conservative authors such as Dinesh D’Souza, Carrie Lukas and Miriam Grossman and I have also had the opportunity to bring some of these men and women to the Grounds of UVA to speak. NeW has also provided a forum for me to meet and develop lasting friendships with other like-minded women both at UVA and across the country.”
-Kathleen Bracken of the University of Virginia