Washington, D.C- Howard University is the first Historically Black College or University selected as one of the 30 campus sites across the United States and Jamaica to host the American Association of Undergraduate Women’s (AAUW) Elect Her–Campus Women Win in 2012 Initiative. Elect Her is the only nationwide program that trains collegiate women on how to run for and win student government elections.
The Elect Her initiative acknowledges the necessity to build the pipeline of women running for office in order to diminish the long-standing political leadership gender gap. The initiative empowers females from college onward to view themselves as political candidates. Since 2008, AAUW and Running Start have worked together to encourage college women to run for student government and launched the Elect Her–Campus Women Win training program in 2010.
Howard University’s Elect Her–Campus Women Win Training held its first forum on November 29, 2011 at the Hilltop Lounge in the Blackburn Student Center. The forum encompassed an intimate round-table discussion on women in leadership. The panelists included former executive president of the Howard University School of Communications, Brittney Butts, current executive president of the Howard University School of Business, Andrea Armstead, and coordinator of the Undergraduate Student Assembly, Erin Keith. Howard alum and CEO of Brown Girls Lead, Stephanie Brown, also provided her expertise during the event. Shakaria Buckson, a freshman, journalism major from South Carolina said, “At the end of the discussion I felt more confident and secure about running for a political office on campus.”
Elect Her Howard Women Win organizers, sophomores Kristin Tellis, a native of St. Petersburg Florida, and Angel Mills, a native of Detroit, Michigan along with Howard administrator, Norkia Baker have been instrumental in the Elect Her movement. “ Since high school, I have always held leadership positions in school. Coming to Howard I became extremely disheartened when I realized the disparity in female leadership in Howard student government. When Kristin [Tellis] told me she was working on the Elect Her program, I knew that this was something I wanted to be heavily involved in”, says Angel Mills
On January 21st, 2012 AAUW and Running Start will host a 5-hour Student Leadership Training Program called Elect Her – Howard Women Win from 11am-4pm in the Bethune Annex Seminar Room. The training will inform female students in depth on how to develop and communicate an effective message, how to reach out to your constituency, and how to win a campaign. They will also have the opportunity to speak with an elected official from the DC area, and network with women who have previously held political positions at Howard University.