Alene Moris Women’s Center


Leadership Academy: Emerging Leaders Program

At the Alene Moris Women’s Center Leadership Academy, intersectionality is more than just academic theory—it is also practice. We believe that anyone can be a leader with the right tools, skills, and support. Founded on this principle, the Leadership Academy is an intensive program that offers college students skills integral to becoming civic leaders and/or leaders in the public and private sectors. Participants will gain a lifetime of skills through intentional programming and activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Build and broaden a powerful network of professionals.
  • Organize communities around a collective cause.
  • Present ideas and engage with audiences.
  • Negotiate salaries within a workplace.
  • Manage both personal and business finances.

The Alene Moris Women’s Center Leadership Academy brings together students, faculty, and community members across Washington State to engage and participate in rigorous discussions about the fight for gender equity in leadership, community, organizing, and building. The program exposes participants to new ideas and opportunities to develop their self-awareness as they consider their future roles as leaders in the world.

We situate the Leadership Academy in an international history of organization efforts for female-identifying and gender-diverse communities. By looking at different issues alongside gendered experiences, we seek to use the Leadership Academy as a catalyst for community building, developing support networks, and sharing knowledge.

What is the Leadership Academy?

The Women’s Center Leadership Academy is a 10-week intensive program open to students who can dedicate up to 2.5 hours per week to the program. Leadership Academy participants will network with women leaders representing various political, civic, and professional backgrounds. During the Academy, participants will meet and learn from leaders actively engaged in changing society. While there is an emphasis on politics and the Academy hosts several elected officials, speakers come from various backgrounds and sectors, including business, law, medicine, non-profit, technology, and more.

When: Fridays, March 29 – May 31, 2024

  • 3:30 – 6 PM or 2:30 – 5 PM (2.5 hours each. Subject to change depending on participants’ availability)

Where: Alene Moris Women’s Center, Cunningham Hall, UW Seattle campus

How to apply: The program is limited to 35 students. Students are invited to apply via this link. Participants will be notified of acceptance once the selection committee has reviewed applications. 

Deadline for applications: March 5, 2024, 11:59 pm AoE

Participants’ Benefits

At the Leadership Academy, participants will gain knowledge and experience to:

  • Further professional development.
  • Enhance existing skills and develop new ones.
  • Join a network of emergent and established leaders.
  • Work and have fun with real-world women identifying leaders and students from across Puget Sound.

Participant Expectations

Women’s Center Leadership Academy participants are expected to attend all scheduled events during the program. 

  • Weekly meetings will be on Fridays between March 29 through Friday, May 31, 2024. Our typical day of scheduled events will begin at 3:30 PM and end at 6:00 PM (subject to change depending on participants’ availability). 
  • Students must remain on-site at the Alene Moris Women’s Center (Cunningham Hall) for each session’s activities. 
  • Students responsible for pets, children, and households are advised to arrange assistance during the institute to devote full attention to the Women’s Center Leadership Academy experience. Participants are responsible for their transportation to and from the institute. Parking is free, and bus service is available.
  • Students must be able to attend at least seven sessions. If missing more than three sessions, students will be dismissed from the program and invited to join future cohorts. 


Admission is $100 per person for the full program. This fee can be discounted or waived for students through the Leadership Academy Scholarship Program. If you are experiencing financial hardships, we invite you to apply for a scholarship to participate in the Leadership Academy. This scholarship is open to people of all genders and identities. Apply for the Leadership Academy Scholarship Application.


Who Can Be a Participant?

The Leadership Academy is open to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in any Washington State college or university of any gender identity. Students graduating in the spring and students entering the following fall quarter are eligible. Students are welcome to apply directly to the program. Nominations from faculty, staff, alumni, and students are encouraged but are NOT required. 

Nominate a Participant

Do you have a student in mind with the passion and characteristics to become a leader in their community? We invite you to nominate the student here. The program is limited to 35 students. Students are invited to apply via this link. Participants will be notified of acceptance once the selection committee has reviewed applications. 

Nominate a Presenter

2023 speaker, Lafaitele Lydia M. Faitalia from Native Action Network’s Legacy of Leadership

We always seek to engage with potential speakers, presenters, and/or performers. We highlight leaders across all gender identities, who are both affiliated and unaffiliated with Washington State colleges and universities, and most importantly, who are interested in sharing their stories and experiences as leaders of movements centered around justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability (JEDIAS)

Potential presenters are welcome to self-nominate directly to the program. Nominations from faculty, staff, alumni, and students are encouraged but are NOT required.

We will contact nominated presenters about program development to find out how their topic of interest could support our program schedule. Selected presenters will receive an honorarium as an appreciation for their time and expertise shared. Nominate a leader and speaker or send any questions or concerns to 

Select List of Previous Speakers

  • Anna Macfarland 
  • Justice Mary Yu
  • Rep. Velma Veloria
  • Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos
  • Senator Rebecca Saldana
  • Pamela Eakes
  • Olive Goh
  • Dr. Monica Cortes Viharo
  • Martinelle Cole
  • Lorraine Howell
  • Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley
  • Judith Lonnquist
  • Darien Fleming
  • Councilmember Lisa Herbold



March 1, 2024, 11:59 pm AoE – Applications Due

March 15, 2024 – Applicants notified


Week 1 March 29 – Orientation & Introduction

We will kick off the 2024 Leadership Academy with the 2024 Leadership Academy cohort. 

Week 2 April 5 – Success Signals

Unlock the path to success and leadership for women with our empowering workshop, where you’ll learn to recognize and harness the signals that guide you toward achieving your goals.

 Week 3 April 12 – Public Speaking & Communication Skills

Empower your voice and enhance your communication prowess at our dynamic workshop tailored for women and gender-diverse peoples. Gain the art of crafting impactful elevator pitches and the finesse of building a powerful network for personal and professional growth, making your mark as a confident and persuasive communicator in any setting.

Week 4 April 19 – Interview Skills & Resume

Learn about the tools for successful career advancement. From perfecting interview skills and crafting standout resumes to mastering salary negotiation and presenting your unique personal story through a feminist lens, this workshop is the gateway to career success and a platform to advocate for gender equality in the workplace.

Week 5 April 26 – Ready to Run: Women’s Political Caucus

Meet an illuminating group of women in politics, where we’ll explore the intricacies of running for office, the role of a City Councilmember, and the realities of policymaking. Gain insights into the political landscape and empower yourself to make a meaningful impact on your community through informed, strategic, and effective political action.

Week 6 May 3 – How to Build a Powerful Network

Discover the strength in feminist and collective practices at our workshop, where you’ll learn the art of building a powerful and supportive network. Dive into strategies that leverage the principles of gender equality, inclusivity, and collaboration to create connections that empower and uplift individuals and communities.

Week 7 May 10 – Community Organizing & Purpose-Driven Activism

Meet and learn directly from seasoned community advocates on community organizing and purpose-driven activism, approached through the lens of gender equity. Learn how to harness the collective power of engaged individuals to drive meaningful change, advocate for gender equality, and create a more inclusive and just society, one grassroots effort at a time.

Week 8 May 17 – What Happens When Diversity Comes Into Play

Delve into the dynamics of diversity, the art of reading the room, and the power of allyship through a gender equity lens in our thought-provoking workshop. Gain insights into how inclusivity impacts all aspects of life, sharpen your ability to understand and navigate different perspectives, and become a proactive ally in the journey towards gender equality.

Week 9 May 24 – Disability Pride & Intersectionality: Paving A Path Toward Disability Justice

Join the Women’s Center for a conversation about Disability Justice, what it looks like, and how we can improve diversity and representation of the Disabled community on campus, in the media, and in the stories we tell.

Week 10 May 31 – Ceremony Celebration

Let’s celebrate our graduating cohort of emerging leaders from the 2024 Women’s Center Leadership Academy program! Family, friends, and colleagues are invited to congratulate our cohort of new leaders who are equipped with tools for equitable, fair, and successful leadership skills and support. RSVP HERE