April 27, 2021
From the nation's leading source on all things women and politics.
New on the CAWP Blog: Political Ambition and Community Lift 
Last week, Virginia Commonwealth University political scientist Jatia Wrighten published a new piece on the CAWP Blog, “Political Ambition and Community Lift: Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight,” in which she argues for re-evaluating how we define political ambition when it comes to the aspirations of Black women. Using the post-gubernatorial-bid career of Stacey Abrams as a case study, Wrighten posits that Black women’s political ambitions are broader than their own individual political trajectories.

“Abrams’ actions show that neither expressive ambition – explicit signaling of an elected official that they want to run for higher office due to a new opportunity – nor nascent ambition – which considers what type of people who want to run for office actually become candidates – aptly describes the type of political ambition that she has displayed as it relates to her work in the community…I suggest that Black women may not see their elected local/state position as a springboard into the national political arena. They may see their grassroots work as more important than the work they can do at the national level.”

Read the full piece on the CAWP blog.
Breaking Barriers: Women's Civic Engagement and Advocacy 
CAWP Associate Director Jean Sinzdak appeared on a panel discussion hosted by the Scranton Area Women in Philanthropy (WIP) about polarization, voter engagement, leadership development, and youth and civic education. WIP asked panelists how WIP can best engage with their community for civic education programming, and Sinzdak offered the following advice: “From a programming standpoint, you really want to make sure that it’s driven by the communities that it serves and that it also is reflective of the communities that you’re trying to engage.” Watch the full conversation here.
They Believe in Ambitious Women. But They Also See the Costs. 
“This generation of teenagers was raised hearing that girls could be anything they wanted — maybe even president. Many of them say it’s important for leadership to be more inclusive than in the past. But they are also cleareyed about the sexism female leaders face.” The New York Times polled teenagers and discovered that, while both girls and boys believed in a near future where a woman would be elected president, majorities of both also believed women face sexism as political candidates. This sobering view of the next generation is also reflected in a series of interviews with young women who were first interviewed by the Times as high school students during the 2016 election, many of whom have altered their personal ambitions in the intervening four years. Read the full story on the New York Times website.

CAWP has long been committed to broadening the image of leadership to be more inclusive through our Teach a Girl to Lead® (TAG) initiative, which offers lesson plans, film/TV/book recommendations, and field trip ideas that make the history and potential of women’s leadership visible to young boys and girls. TAG also sponsors a classroom reading program that encourages women officeholders to visit with schools in their district to read to and interact with their youth constituents. Learn more about Teach a Girl to Lead® here.
CAWP is helping change the face of leadership.
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Accountability in Minnesota
A jury in Minnesota last week convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on all counts related to the murder of George Floyd. We stand with the statements from Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and Eagleton’s director John Farmer:

While each of us has a personal responsibility to build a better world, what role can Rutgers as an institution play in bringing about the changes we so desperately need? We can continue being a place of opportunity for all, where every student, researcher, and faculty or staff member can thrive. We can commit more deeply to equity and inclusion, and to listening to one another, valuing every member of our community, recognizing our differences, and embracing one another precisely because of those differences. And we can leverage our powerful and unique academic resources, like the university-wide Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, to influence policy and bring structural change to our world. Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway

The Institute will continue its work to expand representation in the American political system. Our team will continue its work to include different perspectives and life experiences in decision-making. And our Miller Center will continue its important efforts to create and sustain positive relationships between law enforcement and the public. Eagleton Institute of Politics Director John Farmer
DATE CHANGE: Don Lemon Virtual Book Event at Eagleton 
Due to the breaking news regarding the Chauvin verdict, the virtual book event due to be hosted last week by the Eagleton Institute of Politics featuring CNN anchor Don Lemon was postponed and will now be held MAY 5TH at 5pm ET. Lemon will discuss his new book, This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism, in which he brings his vast audience and experience as a reporter and a Black man to today’s most urgent question: How can we end racism in America in our lifetimes? Learn more and register here.
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