The Network of enlightened Women hosted our 2023 Leadership Retreat in Washington, DC on August 4-6. More than 75 NeW chapter leaders from across the country gathered in the nation’s capital for three days of training on how to better articulate conservative principles on campus and learn how to recruit new members, engage existing members, and grow their chapter into a positive community for women.
We kicked off Retreat on Friday with the chapter leaders taking a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building. Angela Morabito, Visiting Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum and Communications Consultant, later provided an engaging media training workshop for the women. She educated the women on the differences between on-the-record and off-the-record conversations, and offered the women advice on doing successful interviews on both television and radio. That evening, students went on a private monument tour organized by the National Civic Art Society.
Saturday, August 5, was a full day with a great lineup of speakers. Kristen Soltis Anderson, Founding Partner of Echelon Insights and author, spoke on politics, polling, and the “selfie vote.” She encouraged the women to start building connections now, sharing how the friends she made in her early 20s have become beneficial in her professional life over the years. She also encouraged the women to make friends with individuals on both sides of the political aisle.
Stephanie Slade, senior editor at Reason Magazine, spoke on free markets and free societies. She shared strategies for communicating about free enterprise that would be compelling for other students on college campuses.
Cherise Trump, Executive Director at Speech First, was a big hit with the women. Trump provided the women with resources to defend their First Amendment rights on campus and discussed examples of ways that their rights may be infringed at the university-level.
Stephanie Keaveney, Outreach Manager at Talent Market, provided advice on how to build a career that advances liberty. Keaveney gave the women things to think about for their long-term career and shared opportunities within the liberty movement that many young professionals don’t know exist.
On Saturday evening, we hosted the Leadership Retreat Dinner and Gala featuring Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears. As a special part of the event, NeW was honored to present Lieutenant Governor Sears with the 2023 Empowered Woman of the Year award. The Lieutenant Governor spoke to the women of NeW and provided valuable advice on speaking out even when they might face backlash. She encouraged the women to never back down from speaking the truth, even when it is countercultural. Women had the opportunity to ask the Lieutenant Governor questions and even were able to get photos with her following the event.
We wrapped up Retreat on Sunday with a session featuring Madeline Fry Schultz, contributing editor at the Washington Examiner. Madeline Fry Shultz provided the women with an uplifting message on how they should respond to the culture wars. She told the women that they should remain positive, proactive, and passionate. Instead of falling into despair, she encouraged the women to share uplifting stories that show that conservatism is alive and well in our country.
“The NeW Leadership Retreat was a great opportunity for young women to learn more about why their freedoms are so important to preserve. NeW allows us to branch out, explore politics, and make amazing friends from all over the country with shared values!”- Faith Kimble, NeW at University of Arizona