UMass Boston

NEW Leadership Summer Institute 2024

A Political Leadership Training Program for MA Undergraduate Women Begin Your Journey Here!


About NEWL

Mission and Rationale for New Leadership Massachusetts

NEW Leadership Massachusetts® is program of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy (CWPPP) at UMass Boston. It is also part of a national initiative originated by the Center for Women in American Politics (CAWP) to educate and empower the next generation of women in political leadership.  CWPPP’s three-day hybrid program teaches women and gender- expansive individuals who are recent high school and college graduates and college students the value of civic engagement. The program helps young people to develop the skills to become more involved in their campuses and communities.

NEW Leadership ® inspires students to see themselves as empowered leaders who can effectively participate in politics and public policy. What better time than now to bring programs such as this to women and gender-expansive people who attend school or reside in Massachusetts?  

CAWP’s research indicates that women and gender-expansive individuals bring different priorities and experiences to public life and provide perspectives that are often under-represented in political decision-making (Dittmar, 2017). While many college women and gender-expansive individuals indicate an interest in public service and are active in community and volunteer organizations, studies have shown that they are significantly less likely than young men to be interested in politics or to view political involvement as a priority (Lawless and Fox 2013).


NEW Leadership® was created by CAWP in 1991 to encourage college women to become civically engaged and to consider a future role in politics or public policy, including campaign workers, nonprofit organizers, government appointees, lobbyists, aides and advisors, staffers for elected officials, and/or as elected officials themselves. The hybrid summer institute educates women and gender-expansive people about politics and policymaking and helps them develop the skills and confidence necessary to join the rising vanguard of public leaders needed to address complex societal challenges and policy issues.

In an era where partisan gridlock and rancor are front and center in the media, young people often confront a very negative view of politics and politicians. At NEW Leadership™, students interact with female and gender-expansive political leaders who are dedicated public servants, representing a wide range of backgrounds, political perspectives, and experiences. They also given the opportunity to get a firsthand look at ways to change the political landscape.

NEW Leadership® participants are recent high school and college graduates as well as undergraduate students representing a wide range of socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, educational backgrounds, academic majors, and ideological perspectives. During the NEW Leadership® summer institute, students meet with women and gender-expansive individuals serving in a variety of roles in the public sphere, learn about the history of women’s political participation, explore ideas about gender, leadership, and politics and participate in hands-on skills-building exercises. After the institute, students are encouraged to take the skills gained and put them into action on their campuses and in their communities. 

Participation in the NEW Leadership® Network creates an opportunity for partner schools to expand their institutions’ leadership education programming and outreach to women and gender-expansive people. NEW Leadership® can help develop the institutional capacities of partner schools; some partners have established centers and institutes for women and politics with NEW Leadership® as their keystone program.


The curriculum establishes a pedagogical foundation for the NEW Leadership® programs. This curriculum can be adapted to accommodate a wide range of political cultures, geographic regions, populations, and institutions. Network partners implement the curriculum in their own way to incorporate state and regional issues and institutional strengths. 

The NEW Leadership® Massachusetts curriculum will:

  • Teach about women's and gender-expansive individuals’ historical and contemporary contributions to American politics and policymaking, utilizing an intersectional anti-racist perspective
  • Connect students with women and gender-expansive leaders who make a difference in the public sphere
  • Equip students with an understanding of the legislative process
  • Provide insights about the relationship between public policy and political advocacy and the roles of individuals in both spaces
  • Learn about running for elective office or considering the best way to prepare for an appointed position.
  • Explore the unique challenges and opportunities working at municipal and state levels in both legislative and agency positions
  • Help participants explore concepts of leadership in a diverse society
  • Offer students the opportunity to participate in exercises related to diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism and accessibility
  • Cultivate participants’ leadership and networking skills
  • Encourage students to practice leadership through action
  • Engage students in activities designed to enhance their career development and expand their career opportunities
  • Key Components of NEW Massachusetts Leadership®

Program Structure

NEW Leadership Massachusetts® participants will enjoy a hybrid experience.

On June 5th and 6th, students will enjoy a synchronous online experience designed to save money and time without a commute to campus and will minimize interruptions in their lives. Despite being online, activities have been developed to facilitate community building and effective communication. Throughout the summer experience, participants will be placed in primary cohort groups and have robust opportunities to interact with all program participants.

On the third day, students will be on campus where they will engage in three sessions. They include: 1) the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism workshop; 2) a networking luncheon with community leaders and elected officials; and 3) a closing ceremony with certificates.

Connecting with Women and Gender-Expansive Leaders

Strong role models can serve as powerful sources of inspiration. At NEW Leadership® Massachusetts, participants will learn directly from women and gender-expansive leaders with a variety of perspectives, roles, and life experiences.

Building Diverse and Inclusive Leaders

With increased diversity of all kinds across and among communities in the United States, it is essential for future leaders to receive an education in environments that reflect the populations they will be serving. Yet on most college campuses and in many neighborhoods, students often spend most of their time with people who look and think like them. To prepare a generation of leaders for the 21st century, it is essential to be inclusive and help students learn about and develop language around their own identities and those of their peers.

During the summer institute, students interact with individuals with different ideas, backgrounds, and life experiences. The program strives to ensure that each NEW Leadership® program includes students, speakers, and staff who exemplify a broad range of socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, and educational backgrounds, as well as academic majors and ideological perspectives. Throughout the program, students will engage in discussions about social justice and explore the impact of public policy on diverse populations. NEW Leadership® Massachusetts aims to provide students with a safe space where they can respectfully address issues of difference and discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with leadership in a diverse society.

Leadership through Action

In addition to the panels and speakers offered by NEW Leadership® Massachusetts, the program offers participants a balance of hands-on exercises that encourage them to practice their leadership skills. Many program sessions are interactive, and student driven. During the summer institute, students participate in workshops to develop skills such as public speaking, networking, and advocacy training. They are also given the opportunity to practice these skills throughout the program.

After attending the summer institute, participants are urged to continue honing these skills by seeking out leadership experiences on their campuses and in their communities. NEW Leadership® Massachusetts encourages students to get involved in by running for office in a campus organization, organizing a student group, working on a campaign, and/or organizing around a political issue on their campuses, in their communities, or in their state.

How to Apply

Application material will be available after April 1st. Please email with any questions about the application, deadline, or program.  Here is the link to the application: Applications are due May 15th 2024


NEW Leadership® participants are expected to participate in all (or at least most) of the NEWL-MA Summer Institute sessions and to be part of the NEW Leadership national network when they complete the program. Please send any questions to Dr. Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson -

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy
Healey Library, 10th Floor, Room 12
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125 USA
Cell- 617-930-0506

Maps & Directions

Click here to view the full program for NEWL-MA 2022.