Express your feminine power

By William Farris

The Clackamas Print

The Women’s Center for Leadership aims to encourage women and diversity in the world of business and education. To help do so the program is extending an invitation to any women in an Oregon college to come to their New Leadership Oregon program headquartered at Portland State University.

From June 21-28, participants will be able to listen to female speakers, talk and network with people from many disciplines and learn from successful professionals across Oregon.

The conference brings together a diverse range of women, ages 18 to 60 from all occupations across Oregon. It’s open to any women in college to apply no matter where they attend.

The WCL has been hosting events like this since their creation fifteen years ago.

Organizers Traci Rossi and Bernice Benade said in an interview that the event is full of energy.

“The New Leadership Oregon is one of our cornerstones of our organization and is a six-day residential program that is designed for women who are going to college in Oregon,” Rossi said.

More than 450 women have participated so far, and the plan is to grow in the years to come to offer more of their programs to different areas and people who want to participate outside of Oregon.

The WCL also hosts many other events for Oregon women, including a teen summit that high school girls run, and focuses on issues they face.

They have also sponsored a speaker series called ‘Big Talk’ that is available online and features presentations on women’s issues in life and society and many other regularily-hosted programs and seminars.

Clackamas Community College student Miranda Sohnrui, who is new to Oregon, said she is excited to hear about the organization and its programs. Although she was too busy to attend, she was still interested to hear about the event.

“I think it’s very important that women should be heard, especially now, just considering the climate,” said Sohnrui.

CCC student Miranda Floyd had a similar response. She said she felt that though there has been a lot of negativity surrounding the topic, these events could be an oportunity to bring people together in a positive way.

She also expressed how interested she was in looking up the conference and getting involved with the center and its activities.

The last day to send in applications for the New Leadership Oregon conference is Feb. 21. If students are unable to attend, or would like to participate in other ways, the WCL’s website lists conferences and events. Volunteer opportunities are also available year round for those who would like to get involved with the program.