By Andie Rooney–
A week before the first presidential election with a female on a major party’s ticket, the Women’s Center and the American Association of University Women at U of L held “Elect Her.” The event focused on encouraging women to be involved in politics.
Three impactful women spoke and held workshops meant to sharpen skills for advocating about particular issues. The main goal of the night was to “expand the pipeline of women candidates and to diminish the longstanding political leadership gender gap.”
The program facilitator Jessica Kelly discussed why women are not running for office and ways to change that. Kelley got right to the point and asked audience members directly, “So, what do we do?” She gave tips on how to begin involvement as a college student and the different paths one could take to achieve this goal of holding a position in office. Workbooks were handed out at the door to turn discussions into actions.
Women in attendance expressed strong emotions about campus issues like parking and safety. Kelly used the examples provided by the audience to show they had the resources and the prerogative to make a difference in society – they just needed the confidence.
SGA Executive Vice President Amanda Nitzken furthered these beliefs in women and their capabilities, and drew on her inspiration to get involved.
Kentucky State House Representative-elect Attica Scott discussed her personal connection to these issues as the first African-American woman in her position in almost twenty years.
For Scott, the inspiration comes from a public issue relating to her in a private way. The lesson here is to be driven by the “uncomfortable,” because these are the things that will drive women to desire to make a change in society, and stop at no costs to get there.