Elect Her NCCU—Campus Women Win 2014—February 8
This year’s Elect Her—Campus Women Win at NCCU was even more successful than last year thanks to an extraordinary team of volunteers and staff at NCCU. Led by Chimi Boyd-Keyes, the Director of North Carolina Central University’s Woman’s Center, her team included Krystal Allen, Assistant-Director of Residential Life, Whitney Watkins, Community Director of Residential Life, Uyikhosa “Uyi” Idador, graduate student assistant at the Women’s Center, Brianne Gill, and me. Brianne Gill is the president of the current junior class at NCCU. She contacted other female student leaders from UNC-Asheville, St. Augustine University, and NCCU to head a panel discussion on running for a student government position. These young women were extraordinarily well-spoken, and introspective about the collegiate political process. I hope they will all run for office someday. Brianne also assembled a group of volunteers who filled the totes, served the food, and helped with registration. She will attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) in June. AAUW national provides a scholarship for the student liaison on each Elect Her committee. Tara Andrews, JD, was the facilitator of the event. When women run for office, she said, they win at the same rate as men do. She blamed social norms in society for the reluctance of women to run. “If you don’t know the choices you have, you can’t make an informed choice.” She also mentioned this; when women read a job description, women will apply if they have 7 of the qualifications, men only 3. Women need more chutzpah! Approximately 50 young women attended.
Minnie Forte-Brown, the Chair of the Durham Public Schools, shared her political experience and wisdom with the participants. Ayana Hernandez, Director of Public Relations talked of the power of personal connection. A politician, she said, should be intelligent, discrete, and have integrity. That person also need to be visionary, passionate and genuine as well as prepared.
The tote bags were a huge success. Thank you, AAUW-NC for your grant! They included: Valorie Burton’s Successful Women Think Differently, a pen, AAUW empower-mints, and an invitation to become an e-affiliate.