From left to right: Racqel Butler, Brenna Skalski and Mary Pham are Georgia State students who were in the Fall 2017 WomenLead class (Special: Georgia State University)

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.

From left to right: Racquel Butler, Brenna Skalski and Mary Pham are Georgia State students who were in the Fall 2017 WomenLead class (Special: Georgia State University)

“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.

Maria Saporta, executive editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state. From 2008 to 2020, she wrote weekly columns...

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi Maria
    I’m also a member of Georgia State University’s WomenLead program. And it’s so pleasant to hear about the progress. Especially in the news. The updated Atlanta Civic Leadership Initiative has announced the following features:
    1. development of manager’s competence (input of passive leadership program);
    2. development of competence in help (developing the skills of exploratory, search and reading programs);
    3. development of competence in oratory art (development of abilities of monologue utterance).
         Educational: to raise mutual respect of students, to establish friendly relations in the team.
         Educational: Extend the horizons by analyzing programs.
         Developing: develop memory, attention, imagination.
    My Twitter – SamWilsonWhite
    Hireessaywriter Management author.

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