Almost one year ago, PLEN announced its Leadership Connection Series in conjunction with its 2018-2019 seminars in overall celebration of its 40th anniversary.
Since then, PLEN has celebrated four decades of transformative relationships, mentorships, events, panels, and thought-provoking experiences--on top of inspiring more generations of thoughtful, ambitious women.
Talk about a mid-life crisis.
It IS a lot to take in... but we are ecstatic about it.
PLEN's legacy has grown through the "Year of the Woman" (1992) and "Year of the Women" (2018), multiple waves of feminism, and numerous women's movements! We continue to further the environments of empowerment needed to guide young women to execute the next step in pursuing their policy ambitions.
Decade after decade, PLEN lives on.
In our reflection of this humbling year, we recognize those who amplify our mission to empower young women and make our operations possible. We thank our alumnae, speakers, board members, and PLEN founders who have championed PLEN's work.
After our final "Thank you!" event (held at CitiGroup this year), we wanted to pay one final tribute by sharing some of the staff's favorite moments from "turning 40" and surviving PLEN's mid-life crisis.
Sujan Sedhai, Programs and Development Manager, said, "August is always a great time to reflect on our past seminar year as we start planning for our new seminar year. There's a lot of logistics that go into planning a seminar -- and sometimes as staff, it's easy to get lost in making sure everything is running smoothly that you miss out on the great programming and vibrant discussions that are taking place.
...That's why I appreciate PLEN's Networking Receptions that much more. The receptions not only provide space and opportunity for the attending students to interact and network with one another, but it also serves as a great place to hear first-hand about the impact -- and importance -- of our programming.
A highlight of mine took place during this year's Women in Global Policy Seminar: A group of students attended Alston & Bird Law Firm for their site visit. The young women -- a group of first generation college students, scholarship recipients, and women of color -- stated they didn't expect to meet lawyers who looked liked them, sounded like them, and came from similar backgrounds.
...The students came back from the site visits with hope, energy, and connections to some pretty high powered awesome women."
Sarah Bruno, Executive Director, shared, "My favorite PLEN moment from the past year was our Leadership Connection Series event, "Equal Pay for Equal Work" which took place during our Women and Congress seminar in March.
This is an issue I care deeply about -- in fact, I got my start with PLEN doing salary negotiation workshops with Alyssa Best [@AlyssaGBest] -- so it was great to have so many inspiring speakers join us to talk about it! The fabulous Christina Antelo [@MsCEAntelo] of Ferox Strategies [@FeroxStrategies] moderated the discussion with panelists Liz Albertine, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro's [@rosadelauro] Legislative Director and Joi Chaney [@joitweets], Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's [@SenGillibrand] Chief of Staff.
Both discussed efforts to pass equal pay legislation on Capitol Hill over the years and how Rep. DeLauro has introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in every single congress since 1997! (Right after the panel, it passed the House!)
I am so thankful to all of these ladies for joining us to talk about this important issue."
The reach of PLEN grows daily with your support, donations, and excitement for women's leadership. As we prepare for next year, we want to share the width and depth of the #PLENpact with all #PLENfriends! If you have a favorite PLEN moment from this year, please send it our way.
40 years onward!
The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is the only national organization with the sole focus of preparing college women for leadership in the public policy arena. Each year, PLEN brings hundreds of women students from colleges and universities across the country to Washington, D.C. They experience first-hand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level. They are better prepared to become the next generation of public policy decision makers.
Contact: Mackenzie Kuhl
Programs and Communications Manager