After being unable to find a club for conservative women at the University of Virginia (UVA), a group of women at UVA founded a book club for conservative college women in September 2004 and called it the Network of enlightened Women (NeW). These women would meet regularly to discuss a chapter of the book they were reading and also host events to educate their larger campus community. That is where the NeW movement began!
Within a year, women on other campuses heard about NeW and wanted to start their own chapters. Thus, NeW started to expand nationally. In the years since 2004, NeW chapters have been started on over 20 campuses nationwide from Virginia to Florida to Arizona.
NeW was started as a book club where its members could read about ideas and people often forgotten on college campuses. Through the book club, the women seek to educate themselves on conservative principles. Many chapters start with The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism by Carrie Lukas, What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman by Danielle Crittenden or Who Stole Feminism? by Christina Hoff Sommers.
In addition to the book club, NeW chapters seek to educate their larger campus communities by engaging in activities such as hosting speakers, holding debates, participating in philanthropic events and having social events. For example, the NeW chapters in North Carolina recently hosted Fox News Contributor Mary Katharine Ham.
Many NeW chapters participate in national events such as the Annual NeW National Conference held each summer in Washington, DC or the Gentlemen’s Showcase. For the Gentlemen’s Showcase, NeW chapters hold a contest to find and honor the top gentlemen on campus as a means to encourage civility and mutual respect between the sexes.
To learn more about the founding of NeW, read this article.
From the beginning, NeW members have met regularly to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing women today, conservative principles and current political issues. Women have found that joining NeW is a great way to build friendships with women who share conservative principles! If you are interested in starting a chapter at your campus or would like more information about NeW, please contact NeW.