“Mississippi is the only state in the US that has not had a female governor or elected a female to Congress.”
“Women make change in local communities and across the country, and when women run, they are elected. If this is the case, what’s stopping us?”
For the past week, these are the questions we are asked to confront every day at the Mississippi University for Women’s N.E.W. Leadership program, a free five-day residential program for Mississippi college women. I spent the week living with other Mississippi college women who share a passion for politics, government, and public service. I spent the week debating the pros and cons of charter schools, studying the historical context of having women in leadership, learning how to run a campaign, having fun conversations with women who work in Jackson, glimpsing the world of policy-making and public service, and listening to inspiring women, such as civil rights activist and lawyer Constance Slaughter-Harvey, tell their unique stories. Because of this program, I’ve gained a hands-on understanding of the world of politics. I have met so many inspiring women from across the state, heard their stories, got to know them personally. I’ve been inspired to have the confidence and optimism to work for, fight for a better, more just world, with fellow inspired women! I’m grateful to have been a part of this program and gladly recommend it to other women at Mississippi State.