By Maria Saporta
The Commerce Club Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Atlanta’s historic business and civic club, has donated $200,000 to Georgia State University’s WomenLead program to expand and formalize its Atlanta Civic Leadership Initiative.
The Initiative is a program that connects students with influential civic leaders for educational and mentorship opportunities.
“WomenLead has proven to be an impactful, even life-changing, educational and experiential opportunity for students,” said Dr. Nancy Mansfield, director of WomenLead and Georgia State professor of legal studies, in a release.
“The grant from the Commerce Club Foundation will allow us to enhance the civic leadership component of WomenLead, providing our students with more connections with Atlanta’s leaders, more first-hand experiences with city and state civic institutions, and more classroom offerings that help build their confidence and capabilities,” Mansfield continued
One of few undergraduate women’s leadership programs in the nation, GSU’s WomenLead program was introduced in 2015 to address the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in the business, government, science and non-profit sectors. WomenLead provides experiences inside and outside the classroom to prepare women for leadership roles.
The grant will fund the WomenLead Atlanta Civic Leadership Initiative, inspiring students to take an active role in their communities. While an emphasis on civic engagement has been a vital aspect of WomenLead from its beginning, the Atlanta Civic Leadership Initiative will formalize and expand the program.
Components of the WomenLead Atlanta Civic Leadership Initiative will be piloted during the spring 2018 semester. The Initiative should be fully implemented sometime in the fall.
Funds will be used to:
- Create and incorporate civic engagement opportunities in WomenLead courses;
- Host networking events to provide students with valuable professional connections and mentorship opportunities;
- Establish a civic leader lecture series; and
- Organize signature experiences that leverage Georgia State’s network of alumni and friends in leadership positions in state and local government and the non-profit community.