I had the privilege of attending PLEN’s Women in Public Policy seminar in Washington, D.C in January 2017. I learned about PLEN through the Women’s Center on my campus. I felt as though I needed to attend due to the lack of women, and especially women of color, involved in politics. I needed to attend this seminar to find the political leader in myself, and I believe I did just that.
The seminar went above and beyond my expectations. I admire our keynote speaker, Alice M. Rivlin’s, trust in us to be women of power, I am thankful for her knowledge and dedication to her work. We also heard from Clare Bresnahan and She Should Run and gained even more momentum. We went to the FBI (WHAAAAAAT?!) and it was the coolest day ever. I met women who deeply cared about the same things I did and it makes me feel a lot better knowing that I’m not the only one.
IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE, YOU NEED TO ATTEND THIS SEMINAR. Regardless of race, ethnicity or anything else, you need to be in the heart of Washington D.C making strides against the inequalities of women. We need to be breaking through seen and unseen barriers placed before us. We are the future WOMEN leaders we’re looking for, so it’s time to get to work.
I’d like to believe that this seminar gave me purpose. I had little to no experience with politics and how bills were passed along with public and private sectors that play a larger role than many can imagine. I was able to see where my skills can be used without having a major related to politics. I enjoy that the sites we visited and the women we spoke to extended themselves to us and told us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and to never give up. We need honest, hard-working women to let us know that this task isn’t impossible, and I am forever indebted to the women who inspired me. I am forever grateful and I can’t wait to see where this knowledge and experience takes me!
Chi Ali is is graduating from Old Dominion University in 2017 with a major in sociology. She attended the PLEN Women in Public Policy seminar in January 2017.