LAWRENCE — Ready to Represent, a series of leadership training programs designed to empower Kansas women to participate more fully in civic life, will return this month. The program is organized by Appointments Project & Ready to Run Kansas Women’s Leadership Series, a partnership between the Institute for Leadership Studies at the University of Kansas and United Women’s Empowerment (United WE). It starts on January 22.
The first iteration of Ready to Represent, held in 2021, trained over 60 women from Kansas, Missouri and across the United States.
“This training program has encouraged me, boosted my confidence in my abilities to serve my community, provided me with valuable information and provided me with wonderful networking opportunities that I would not have had anywhere else,” said Terri Easley-Giraldo, Ready to Represent 2021 participant, professor of communication studies at Johnson County Community College. “Above all, I was inspired: inspired by the incredible women who put the program together, inspired by the guest speakers and mentors for the advice they gave, and inspired by the other participants I I could easily relate to throughout our travels in service to our communities.
Ready to Represent will help train women who want to run for office or serve on civic boards and commissions. The program also offers sessions specifically for female students who are interested in civic leadership and more engaged in their communities. Ready to Represent, which will take place via Zoom, also includes mentorship opportunities. Participants may also receive additional leadership training at no additional cost through the Kansas Leadership Center after completing Ready to Represent.
“The goal of our program is to help women gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to run for public office, serve on a civic council or commission, and be more active in the civic life of their communities,” said Emily Vietti, Institute for Associate/Leadership Studies Speaker and Director of Partnerships for Project Appointments and the Ready to Run Kansas Women’s Leadership Series. “Women are often underrepresented in these spaces in Kansas and across the country. When we have more women and more diverse voices in the spaces where decisions are made, we see more collaboration and better outcomes for more people. Everybody wins.
The Appointments & Ready to Run Kansas Women’s Leadership Series Project is a unique partnership between Ready to Run at KU’s Institute for Leadership Studies and United WE’s Appointments Project. The series launched in the spring of 2020. Ready to Represent is its large-scale training program.
Ready to Perform will take place over four Saturday mornings: January 22, February 5, March 5, and April 2 in two- to three-hour online sessions. Sessions will cover topics such as media training, political fundraising, Kansas open meeting laws, the importance of diversity and inclusion in leadership, impostor syndrome and more. again. Each session will also include small group mentoring circles to build networks among Kansas women across the state.
The price of the program is $99 and need-based scholarships are available. Kansas students can take the full program for just $12. More information and program registration can be found at https://womenlead.ku.edu/programs/.