Women’s Voices: Training the Next Gen of Women Leaders

Women's Voices Project Materials

Local League Application for Pass-thru Grant Funds

Thanks to a generous grant from the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, we are launching “Women’s Voices: Training the Next Gen of Women Leaders.” The Women's Voices Project aims to connect current women political leaders in our communities with high school girls to serve as role models and encourage youth civic engagement. The project includes an introductory assembly or event at the high school, ongoing mentoring, and tools for high school girls to become engaged voters.

LWVOEF has $3,500 in pass-thru funds available to share with local Leagues electing to participate in the project. Leagues have the option to apply for one of two funding tiers, depending on your League’s participation level. Five Tier 1 grants will be awarded in the amount of $100. Ten Tier 2 grants will be awarded in the amount of $300. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted, so Leagues are encouraged to apply early.

TIER 1: High School Assembly or Youth Townhall on Women in Politics

The Women’s Voices project seeks to hold events at a variety of sites around the state – urban, rural, suburban, or ex-urban. Tier 1 activities, which would also serve as the kick off for Tier 2, will feature a large panel discussion with several prominent women leaders speaking about their experiences as women in politics, challenges they faced, perceptions of women and stereotypes they encountered, why women’s voices play such a critical role in shaping public policy, and how young women today can get involved. There will be break-out sessions with smaller groups to allow for drilling down deeper into various topic areas, and students may move between tables so they are able to ask questions of all speakers.

The launch event will also include voter registration (or informal pre-registration for students not yet old enough to register). Once registered, students will be encouraged to sign “pledge to vote” cards, through which they can sign up for reminders about upcoming elections and receive information from their local League about what is on the ballot. Leagues are encouraged to invite students to participate in that League’s voter service activities, such as opportunities to volunteer to help with a candidate forum or voter registration drive.

Participating local Leagues will conduct a post-event evaluation, with a toolkit created and supplied by LWVO, to assess whether and how students’ understanding of issues facing women in politics have changed.

Partnership with other groups in the school or community is encouraged (e.g., the Girl Scouts or a high school student group). However, grant funds are only payable to a local League, and that League is responsible for fulfilling reporting requirements.

TIER 2: All Tier I Activities, Plus Ongoing Student Engagement & Mentoring

Additional pass-through funds are available to League project sites that commit to ongoing mentoring activities. Each site will be required to offer a minimum of three activities in addition to the youth townhall described above. LWVO encourages local Leagues and their partner organizations to choose or develop activities most meaningful to the girls and mentors involved in the project, so the girls are building leadership skills by making the program their own.

All Leagues electing to participate in Tier 2 will commit to the launch event described in Tier 1 and, in addition, will agree to ongoing biweekly or monthly activities conducted by adult mentors and smaller groups of girls and accomplishing at least three of the items listed below:

1. Attend a government public meeting, such as a city council session, on which at least one woman serves.

2. Provide students a role in local League election year events, such as participating in a nonpartisan “meet the candidates” forum.

3. Shadow a woman mentor on the job to better experience politics in action.

4. College or career planning guidance from women leaders.

5. Share voting information in their community – e.g., assist the League in distributing print voters’ guides or voter information cards to community locales, create a series of social media posts to remind their peers and parents to vote, etc.

6. Encourage participating girls to develop their own activities for engaging peers in civic life, such as hosting a voter registration drive at their school.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Local Leagues committing to Tier 1 or Tier 2 project activities will be required to:

• Provide regular updates to LWVO of planned events and activities. LWVO will gladly assist in publicizing local events.

• Collect and report data on the number of attendees for the Tier 1 high school townhall, as well as student and adult mentor participants in Tier 2 activities.

• Log in all voter registrations and pledge-to-vote cards collected so that we can provide follow-up voter information and election reminders

• Take lots of photos of Women’s Voices events

• Write an article about your local project for print in local and state Voter newsletters and/or website.

• Collect participant evaluations of Tier 1 and Tier 2 activities.

• At the conclusion of your project, submit to LWVO a final report summarizing and evaluating your project along with a budget report. Final reports are due no later than January 1, 2017.

LWVO commits to provide participating local Leagues:

• Pass-thru grants will be paid up front, when your application is approved. Funds must be returned if the project is not completed.

• A free toolkit and print materials will be provided by LWVO to all Tier 1 and Tier 2 participating Leagues. Local Leagues are asked to request print materials far enough in advance of your event activities so that we have sufficient time to send them to you.