This year we had two top Congresswomen speak at NeW events, new professional development opportunities for NeW leaders, and national recognition in the media. All of this and more has led to another impactful year for the Network of enlightened Women (NeW). We are able to make a difference because of our generous supporters. To donate before the end of 2019, please click here.
In addition to these accomplishments, NeW celebrated our 15th Anniversary this September. Here are 15 highlights from 2019:
1. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik Speaks at National Conference
At the 14th Annual National Conference, NeW was honored to hear from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, the youngest Republican woman ever elected to Congress. She inspired attendees as she shared her story of running for office. Congresswoman Stefanik said during her speech,
“I am so proud to have watched NeW continue to grow year after year. And I’m so proud that you have a chapter at my alma mater, at Harvard. I wish we had Network of enlightened Women when I was there as an undergrad. Congratulations on all the success.”
2. NeW Chapters Receive Recognition in Campus Publications
In October and November this year, four NeW chapters were featured by their campus papers. On October 21, NeW at Baylor University received recognition for their unique event involving pumpkin painting while watching the Democratic Debate. The following week on October 31, The News Record at the University of Cincinnati interviewed NeW at UC’s leaders Paighton Baker and Erica Roeder about why they saw a need for a community for conservative women on their campus. The Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia wrote a flattering piece on November 1 about NeW at UVA’s event with Emily Jashinsky, Culture Editor for The Federalist. And on November 7, the student paper at The Catholic University of America wrote a feature piece about NeW at Catholic University’s successful event featuring Giovanna Coia Pence, Deputy Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison at the White House.
3. NeW Celebrates 15 Years of Empowering Women
In recognition of 15 years of empowering women, NeW celebrated with a large gathering in Washington, DC made up of current students, members of the NeW DC Professional Network, and friends and supporters of NeW. At the event, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers congratulated NeW and encouraged all in attendance to be proud of their conservative beliefs. She shared that she sees great hope and optimism across America right now because there is more opportunity for all than ever before and this is something women can celebrate.
The 2019 Leadership Retreat was a productive and fun weekend, providing practical training and an energizing atmosphere for young conservative female leaders. Attendees participated in media training exercises, professional development workshops, event planning for their chapters for the upcoming school year, and learned from an incredible line-up including, Sarah Hawkins Warren, Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of Georgia; Beatrice Torralba, Regional Representative for United States Senator David Perdue; Kelsey Bolar, Senior News Producer at The Daily Signal; Katie Yoder, Content Manager for National Review Online; Hannah Cox, National Manager of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty; and Susan Charnaux, Principal and Founder of Fairhill Ventures LLC.
Between exploring downtown Atlanta from the top of a 200-foot ferris wheel, karaoke at the ‘90s party, and a celebratory banquet, the women left Atlanta excited for the year to come!
5. NeW Women Featured in Fox Nation Town Hall
In March, three NeW women from the book She’s Conservative: Stories of Trials and Triumphs on America’s College Campuses were invited to appear on an exclusive town hall on Fox Nation. Neetu Arnold, Vanessa Rivera, and Magdalene Horzempa shared their impactful stories of overcoming challenges to become stronger, wiser, and more courageous. They talked about the big issues of today and why conservative women deserve a voice in these debates. And they gave their advice for standing strong as conservative women, no matter what the opposition says.
Horzempa said during the town hall, “The biggest piece of advice that I can give, especially to conservative women, is to find a NeW chapter on their campus or to start their own NeW chapter on campus. The leadership opportunities you get and the networking opportunities, aside from just being a conservative women’s organization is amazing. I’ve been able to meet so many great women and network with so many inspirational trailblazers in so many different fields that I’ve grown so much as a person.”
6. NeW Works with the White House to Host a Briefing for Students and Young Professional Leaders
On July 30, the White House organized a briefing for 27 NeW students and young professional leaders. Attendees had the chance to ask questions to high-level administration officials including, Stewart Young, Special Assistant to the President and Director of International Initiatives and Outreach; Hogan Gidley, Principal Deputy Press Secretary; and Jennifer Korn, Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Public Liaison.
7. Mary Katharine Ham Receives Empowered Woman of the Year Award
During the 14th annual National Conference, NeW was honored to present Mary Katharine Ham, CNN Contributor, with the 2019 Empowered Woman of the Year Award. Following the award presentation, Ham motivated attendees as she shared her story of how she has overcome hardship to get to where she is today. We are proud to recognize outstanding women like Ham each year at our National Conference and thank them for being amazing role models for young conservative women.
8. Winners of 2019 NeW Essay Contest Recognized on Women’s Equality Day
The 2019 NeW Essay Contest celebrated the upcoming historic centennial of women winning the right to vote. This was a chance for participants to feature conservative women leaders. Participants were asked to write about a woman they believed had a great impact on American history and what we can learn from her. With the help of our co-sponsor, the Washington Examiner, we were proud to select Xaviera Lee as the winner of the high school contest and Jaime Fields as the winner of the college category out of nearly 300 submissions. Their essays were published in the Washington Examiner on August 26, Women’s Equality Day.
This year, the NeW DC Professional Network hosted five incredibly successful events and welcomed in many new Professional Network members. Starting in January, the women learned how to improve their time management techniques with Ashley Rooney from the Charles Koch Institute. On April 3, the professional network was taught how to negotiate like a pro from Emily Dunham. On May 22, Rachel Bovard spoke to the women about Owning Your Seat at the Table at a dinner co-hosted with DonorsTrust. On July 10, the NeW DC Professional Network women, along with NeW college women that were interning in the city over the summer, got a real talk on the gender wage gap from Sabrina Schaeffer. Lastly, they wrapped up the year on November 5 with an enlightening discussion on leadership lessons from female entrepreneur Ann Fitzgerald, founder of AC Fitzgerald.
In addition to these dinners, the Professional Network in Washington, DC hosted a book club in the fall. They read The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman and met monthly to discuss what they were learning.
10. NeW at American University Hosts Lisa Boothe On Campus
On April 29, NeW at American University hosted Lisa Boothe, Fox News Contributor and Independent Women’s Voice senior fellow. In a conversation-style event, Boothe shared with the attendees about her work in the media and the importance of being a bold conservative today. Anita McBride, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush and advisor to NeW at American University, moderated the discussion.
During this year’s Gentlemen Showcase, America was encouraged to recognize and celebrate the gentlemen on their campuses and in their communities. Jim Martinson, our College Gentleman of the Year, attends Notre Dame University. Grant Frazier, a law student at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, was chosen as the Under 30 Gentleman of the Year. Frazier and his nominator, Stacy Skankey, were interviewed on Arizona’s Family, the morning show in Phoenix, Arizona, for their win, which brought excellent attention to the annual contest. We are already looking forward to 2020’s Gentlemen Showcase that will take place next month.
12. NeW Women Share their Story During Special Piece on CBN
Two NeW women were featured in a special segment by the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) about conservative women in college. In the piece, Grace Bannister shared, “You have to be more articulate, more well thought out than your liberal peers because your words will be scrutinized, they will be examined, they will be held up in front of everybody. But your friend that’s liberal will get the benefit of the doubt if they say more or less anything.”
13. NeW Chapter at Catholic University Has Great Success at First Meeting
NeW chapters started the 2019-2020 school year off strong. It was thrilling to see NeW at The Catholic University of America host their first event of the semester, Cupcakes and Conservatives, with 50 women in attendance. One woman who came to the meeting told the chapter, “I was planning on going to the College Democrats meeting after this but now I’m not going to. I want to be a part of this club!”
14. NeW Leader Recognized as National Expert on Gender Wage Gap
Women are told time and time again that on average they make 80 cents for every dollar men make in the workplace. NeW has sought to counter this liberal narrative, educating conservative women on the key differences between the type of work women pursue versus the career path men tend to follow. This fall, Karin Lips, President of NeW, was nationally recognized for her work on this divisive issue when she was asked to be an expert witness on the subject. On October 3, Lips testified before the Utah Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the factual evidence countering the gender wage gap.
15. Launch of the Student Media Fellowship
NeW launched the Student Media Fellowship this fall. Four NeW women from The Catholic University of America, the University of Mississippi, and Baylor University participated in the fellowship, receiving personal mentorship from the NeW team as they wrote op-eds and learned more about job opportunities in communications. One Fellow had her piece published in The Daily Wire and another was published by NorthJersey.com and GoSanAngelo.com.