The Women’s Leadership Institute(WLI) met over the course of 2017 for a total of 7 intensive leadership training seminars. Each seminar had a different focus and by the end of the year WLI graduates had learned about race, immigration, gender justice, media representations of women, economic injustice, LGBTQ+ rights, HIV awareness and women’s health issues. The WLI brought together a diverse group of women who had a range of life experiences and needs.
Members worked together to learn how to increase advocacy skills, strengthen leadership ability, and build power through teamwork. This involved training in methods of contacting representatives, petition writing and gathering, fostering public speaking skills, letter writing practice, and more. Graduates kept track of hours spent in the community as leaders and advocates, and together saw the tangible impact of their efforts when the total times were gathered at the end of the Institute. Women also gained strength from the strong bonds of sisterhood that were fostered through open communication, trust, vulnerability and respect.