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A speaker at the Voices of Change presentation.

Dawn Blagrove, Deputy Director of Emancipate NC, gave the keynote address for the Contested Citizenship Conference held as part of the Voice of Change project.

Voices of Change Institute Completes Second Year

By Melyssa Allen

Voices of Change Institute Completes Second Year

By Melyssa Allen

The Voices of Change Political Institute, a comprehensive non-partisan training program for women, recently completed its second year of training.

A partnership of Meredith College, Advance NC, and the North Carolina Black Alliance, the Voices of Change Institute is designed to help women build their confidence and develop the practical skills to run successful campaigns and serve as powerful and effective leaders.

There were 13 participants in the 2022 session, representing all geographic areas of North Carolina, and with varied professional backgrounds in education, health care, advocacy, and more. Participants had interests in public policy issues such as voting rights, climate change, education, maternal health care, civil rights, and public safety concerns.

“Women selected to participate in the Voices of Change Political Institute hone their leadership skills, prepare for political campaigning, and develop tools for effective and ethical public service,” said Professor of Political Science David McLennan, one of the Institute’s leaders. Supporting this effort were featured presenters including state and local elected officials, professors, media experts, leadership trainers, noted political strategists, and community organizers.

Graduates of both year’s Institutes were recognized in September at the Voices of Change: Contested Citizenship Conference. Advance Carolina, NC Black Alliance, and Meredith College were the conference sponsors. The free, in-person conference provided a collaborative, educational, action-oriented space for those who want to study and support the voices of Black women and women of color seeking to bring change to the political system in the United States.

About the Voices of Change Institute

Voices of Change is an initiative facilitated by Meredith College and its community partners to elevate and support the political engagement of Black women and women of color as part of a multi-year project funded by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Gilder-Lehrman Center at Yale University. The Political Leadership Institute is co-directed by Meredith College Professor of Political Science David McLennan and Meredith College alumna La’Meshia Whittington, ’16, deputy director of Advance Carolina.

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