LI faculty members join international election observation mission in Honduras
Ron Nehring, Director of International Programs
March 14, 2017
LI faculty members join international election observation mission in Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA – Honduras is one of the few countries in Latin America with a center-right government. This week, four Leadership Institute staff and faculty members participated in an international mission observing the country's national primary elections. The Leadership Institute's International Department has a robust ongoing training program in Honduras. The center-right National Party is under pressure from two leftist parties, the more extreme of which, Libre, receives active support from radical left-wing regimes in the region including Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. International observation missions are an important means of ensuring transparency and accountability in internal party democracy. LI's Director of International Programs Ron Nehring, former Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine, and former party chairs Nyna Armstrong and Thaddeus Taylor, who made up the LI team, were joined by 17 observers selected from conservative parties of other Latin American countries by Germany's Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Foundation), which sponsored the program. The observation team visited 4 polling places in the region of Honduras' capital of Tegucigalpa, watching and reporting on how voters received and cast their ballots in each party's primary election. The team reported the election was well organized and experienced only minor complications, such as the late arrival of observers from various party factions at some polling places. “While countries like Venezuela and Cuba rest political liberties, Honduras demonstrates a strong national commitment to allowing every citizens' voice to be heard,” said Nehring. In 2016, the Leadership Institute trained 1,058 conservative candidates, potential candidates, leaders, and activists from throughout Honduras. Click here to learn more about how you can bring an LI training to your country.
Check here for updates on the Leadership Institute’s office hours and trainings.
Leadership Institute
March 13, 2017
Check here for updates on the Leadership Institute’s office hours and trainings.
Updates on the Leadership Institute's office hours and trainings. The Comprehensive Fundraising Training is still scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 14. Digital Creative Workshop: Design - Cancelled All Online Training will start on time. If you signed up for housing, the dorms are also available for check-in tonight. Any further changes or announcements will be posted here. Please monitor local weather reports and travel safely. The leadership Institute will grant 100% refunds for any cancellations this week.
Six Reasons You Should Work for a Non-Profit
Ben Woodward and Mauricio Bento
March 6, 2017
Six Reasons You Should Work for a Non-Profit
To conservatives, the non-profit sector is an increasingly attractive career path -- and it's not surprising! It is an exciting time to be involved, the job opportunities are vast, and conservatism is making an increasing impact in America. I offer you 6 reasons why you should work in the non-profit sector. 1. Jobs which produce tangible results are the most satisfying. My co-workers and I see tangible results of our work every day. The individuals who come to the Leadership Institute for training in professional skills get jobs. People who come to LI for campaign training get elected. People who LI trained in television techniques represent our movement on national television. Working for a non-profit means you get to see the effects of your hard work. 2. The conservative non-profit sector is a small community. For those who are ambitious and talented networkers it's easy to move around. Within the DC non-profit sector, those in the conservative movement speak at each other's events, co-sponsor projects and hire each other's staff. Most recently, the Leadership Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and others played a significant role in staffing the administration. The ripple effect means they are vacating jobs in the non-profit sector, for which you can apply. Also, small teams make the best of friends. D.C. can be a daunting place. Those who move here to pursue career ambitions often leave families and friends behind. In the non-profit sector, because there are often such close ties between staff inside and outside of your organization, it is easy to make friends and become part of a community. 3. Are you creative? The non-profit sector is the place to experiment with new ways of doing things. If you're a forward thinker, if you want to pitch a new idea or project, or perform more efficiently, the non-profit sector is the place to do it. Remember, non-profits are accountable to donors, so it's not just the private sector that innovates. Non-profits, like the Leadership Institute, are consistently innovating to ensure we are leading the movement forward. 4. You're not just a small cog in a giant machine. To ensure value for every donor's money, new staff are hired to fill critical roles. As a result, you are an important and valuable member of the team from day one. If you're a person who enjoys responsibility, and you want to push yourself to achieve in your day-to-day work, then work at a non-profit and push yourself. 5. There's diversity of opportunity. Non-profits like the Leadership Institute offer a multitude of possibilities. Staff are transferred between departments so their talents are utilized effectively. Therefore, whether your talents are in research, fundraising, events, or public speaking, you have the opportunity to involve yourself in many responsibilities. Also, the non-profit sector in the conservative movement is thriving right now. Just look on ConservativeJobs.com. You'll see the numerous positions available to you. Whether you're looking for an internship or an executive level position, there are hundreds of opportunities waiting for you in a multitude of departments. 6. Last, but not least – you're fighting for a cause bigger than yourself. To those in the conservative movement, seeing the enactment of conservative principles into the public policy realm is not just a news story, it is something to which they have actively contributed. Those policies then go on to benefit Americans and the world over. It's a crucial mission, and it's a privilege to be able to play a role in it. So if you're about to graduate, want to challenge yourself, change careers, or whatever your situation, consider working for a non-profit. Are you up to the challenge? If yes, then get started with Leadership Institute training today.
Ready, Aim, Fire: LI Graduate Speaks Out at CPAC 2017
Angel Chitnatham
March 1, 2017
Ready, Aim, Fire: LI Graduate Speaks Out at CPAC 2017
You may recognize Antonia Okafor from her many guest appearances on the Blaze, NRA TV, and Fox News. She is also a Campus News Correspondent for Independent Journal Review where she works to expose liberal bias and abuse on Texas college campuses. Her official website AntoniaOkafor.com has the following blazed across the top: Black, Armed, and Conservative. Antonia knows she doesn't fit the “normal” stereotype of a conservative gun activist but she's getting her message across to the media regardless. “There's definitely a lot of shock factor as I'm not the ‘typical conservative'. It's opened a lot of doors with being able to have people listen. Whether it's plain curiosity or genuine interest, I think being someone who is contrary to the typical conservative helps people want to listen.” Antonia is currently a student at the University of Texas at Dallas but aims to bring new female perspective to gun rights and regularly advocates for campus carry policies. Her own passion for campus carry often brings her into the cross-hairs of feminism and right to self-defense. “For me it's an empowerment issue. Being a feminist came first and the gun rights issue came after. I became so passionate above advocating for campus carry and the right to self defense because I strongly believe every woman should have the choice to decide which form of defense is right for them. That includes guns." Most recently, Antonia co-headlined the Armed and Fabulous panel at CPAC 2017 with fellow female gun rights activists Kimberly Corban, Ashlee Lundvall, and Kristi McMains, moderated by Townhall's Katie Pavlich. Before her rising success and spotlight in the media, starting in 2015, Antonia attended twelve different Leadership Institute trainings including the Youth Leadership School, Future Candidate School, Comprehensive Fundraising Training, Digital Communications Workshop, Television Workshop and more. “The Leadership Institute is what inspired and equipped me to be a successful advocate and voice for the campus carry movement. I knew how to relay my message effectively because of their generous Campus Reform student journalism program and their media training.” Antonia was later inspired to start a Network for Enlightened Women chapter in Texas because she attended LI's Women's Leadership Workshop where she met Karin Agness, founder of NeW. “Before then, I had no idea that the conservative values I hold dear could be an effective way to empower women who are turned off to the radical leftist feminism movement of today. Because of LI, I can 100% say that I am effective today because of them. I will forever be grateful.” When asked what advice she would give to young people in the conservative movement, Antonia paused for a second to think. Her answer that followed was resolute. “Network. Get to know people. Go to conferences and meet people. You never know where you will be a year from now, and a lot of times, it's people you meet that will give you that opportunity you want so much.” The Leadership Institute thanks Antonia for her dedication to conservative principles and congratulates her for her nomination for LI's Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,887 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 182,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
CPAC – A Family of Conservatives and a Chance to Learn
Ben Woodward
February 13, 2017
CPAC – A Family of Conservatives and a Chance to Learn
The conservative movement is formidable -- why? Because we're a family. Our organizations work together, share ideas, collaborate on events, and promote each other's staff and interns. Anybody who works in the movement will be able to list their many friends in think tanks, non-profits, lobby groups, and on the Hill. And, like any family… we have our challenges. We don't always cooperate the way we should, and we don't always speak with one voice. But we have a common purpose, and it drives us in the same direction. If the conservative movement is a family, then CPAC is Christmas dinner. The time when we all come together to catch up with old friends, celebrate our victories, commiserate our losses, trade ideas, network, and discover new opportunities. In this blog, I want to talk to you about the opportunities at CPAC, because CPAC is about so much more than big speeches, and selfies with members of Congress. CPAC is a chance to learn new skills! The Leadership Institute will run a Campus Activism Bootcamp, to teach you the core skills to fight liberal bias on campuses, draw attention to your activism, create student groups, change policy, and expose biased professors. Top lawyers will teach you the laws of academic freedom so you know when your rights to freedom of expression are breached. You will also learn how to draw attention to your activism and events through digital and social media efforts that have made many conservatives famous, and also given a platform for ideas mainstream media won't discuss. In addition, the Leadership Institute will run a Career Bootcamp to give you the skills you need to secure your next job or promotion in the movement. Learn to network with top conservatives, boost your resume, and stand-out at interviews. There will also be panel discussions with major recruiters from the movement, private sector, and beyond. Those of you serious about your futures should not miss out on this chance to question them and learn what you can do to work in the movement. To help you with your current job search… the Leadership Institute will be running Career and Resume Consultations throughout CPAC. Come find us! A few things to remember: Don't neglect ‘horizontal networking.' By this, I mean networking with people who are at the same professional level as you are. They are future leaders; they are also your connection to partner organizations who can help you in your endeavors. Get your business cards ready, and make sure you follow up with every person you meet. You never know whose recommendation will secure your next opportunity. Also, CPAC's true opportunities are waiting for you outside of the main conference hall. Go to as many lunches as you can manage, and as many after conference dinners as possible. The best networking happens in relaxed environments. CPAC is also a place to learn new skills and ideas. Go to the panel discussions, and learn from the experts in the areas of policy you agree with, and those you don't. CPAC is a chance to broaden your mind! The movement is growing, and CPAC is a great opportunity to put your foot on the door. Morton Blackwell, says in his Laws of the Public Policy: “Never miss a political meeting if you think there's the slightest chance you'll wish you'd been there.” This is one event you're not going to want to miss. I look forward to meeting you at what promises to be an eventful CPAC 2017! Find out more about Leadership Institute's six CPAC events at LeadershipInstitute.org/CPAC. Register for CPAC here.
Leadership Institute trains Canadian Conservatives poised to take back Alberta
Ron Nehring, Director of International Programs
February 6, 2017
Leadership Institute trains Canadian Conservatives poised to take back Alberta
With the left in control in “the Texas of Canada,” conservatives in Alberta are gearing up for a comeback. On Saturday, January 21 the Leadership Institute trained 223 activists, elected officials and future candidates with an intensive program that brought participants from throughout Alberta and as far away as Edmonton. Leadership Institute Director of International Programs Ron Nehring and expert faculty member Bill Faulk of New York led the program. They were accompanied by William McBeath of the Manning Centre. The overwhelming attendance shows a “pent-up demand for this kind of training” according to one Conservative Party leader. Participants received training in subjects including the real nature of politics and elections, campaign strategy, crisis communications, digital activism, campaign messaging, and more. The Calgary program was the second in a series of six programs the Leadership Institute is holding throughout Canada in 2016 and 2017. Future programs are already on the books for Halifax, Toronto, and Ottawa. Click here to learn more about how you can bring an LI training to your country.
Campus Reform Reporter Discusses Berkeley Riots on Fox
Nathan Hall
February 3, 2017
Campus Reform Reporter Discusses Berkeley Riots on Fox
Rioters on UC Berkeley's campus shut down a student club's speaker event, setting fires and causing damage. "This is not an isolated incident," said Cabot Phillips, a Leadership Institute reporter for Campus Reform, discussing the Berkeley Riots on Fox Business. Watch as Cabot discusses the dangerous tactics leftist protestors are using to silence speech they disagree with. Many Americans are asking when university officials and government authorities will stop campus violence and protect free speech. Leadership Institute's Campus Reform has been covering the riots and subsequent attacks on conservative students. "This is first class work by Cabot Phillips and our Campus Correspondent at UC Berkeley," said Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell. Follow this story and more like it at CampusReform.org as #liberalprivilege thugs terrorize colleges and universities.
Activism Success: Students Grow Club and Fight Unconstitutional Policies on Campus
John Osborne
February 2, 2017
Activism Success: Students Grow Club and Fight Unconstitutional Policies on Campus
Student groups can struggle with a balance between recruitment and activism. The Young Americans for Liberty chapter at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities tackled both when they hosted a successful free speech ball event. They interacted with nearly 200 people and informed them about the free speech rights students have and about unconstitutional speech policies on their campus. The group also successfully signed up several new members to expand their group. Your campus group can bring similar events to campus. Contact your Regional Field Coordinator to get started on hosting your own activism and recruitment event.
Delving into the Mind of the Interviewer: What Are They Asking You?
Ben Woodward
January 30, 2017
Delving into the Mind of the Interviewer: What Are They Asking You?
Has an interviewer ever asked you a question that completely threw you off your game? Don't worry; it happens to the best of us. No matter how well we prepare -- we cannot anticipate every question. And to make it harder… weird interview questions are becoming fashionable! I've heard that Google and Facebook like to ask what kind of superpowers you'd like, others may ask your favorite color, or what kind of tree would you be? As if interviews weren't hard enough! As part of my role at the Leadership Institute, I help conservatives prepare for interviews. In the context of this, I ask standard competency and some strange interview questions with two goals: determining how they answer and whether they can decipher why I have asked the question. One of my favorites is: “If I gave you a million dollars, how would you spend it?” If I had a million dollars, between you and me, I'd hire Gordon Ramsay to come to my house and give me private cooking lessons! Joking aside, I want to use this blog to help you read the interviewer's mind. By this I don't mean telepathy -- I mean delving into the motive behind the questions to understand what the interviewer is truly asking you. Introductory Questions: These are questions you should have rehearsed answers to. The key is to know what quality the interviewer is asking you to show them. For example: What is your greatest weakness? Nobody is perfect, so clearly you have a weakness, mine is written communication and an excessive coffee addiction! What the employer is looking for is recognition of where you have to improve and also what action you are taking. Admitting a weakness isn't a bad thing. Just remember what the employer is looking for. On this occasion, they're interested to see whether you practice self-improvement. Other introductory questions may include: describe your work style, or your motivations. How do you measure success? Etc. Questions About the Organization: This is where your prior research is essential. It is unlikely that the interviewer will try to trip you up here. You're not expected to know how many members they had in 1982; it's not trivia! But there is no excuse for failing to do basic preparation. You should be aware of the mission, the core breakdown of the organization, recent news stories, and the management. What does the interviewer want from you? Evidence that you care about the organization, that you applied to them for a reason, and that you are committed to their goals. For example: Why do you want to work for this organization over others? This is a multilayered question, but the basic premise here is to find out whether you're passionate about them. Do you know about their work? And perhaps any further involvement they have in their community or charities? Are you aware of their competitors and challenges they're facing? Basic research preparation is key. Other questions may include: what's your favorite thing about working in this industry? What challenges are you looking for in this position? Etc. Situational Questions: I'll be honest here… these questions are hard. Sometimes they can be unpredictable, and the answers you prepared can suddenly become irrelevant. I was once asked to describe an occasion when I had come up with a creative solution to a problem. I could demonstrate my problem-solving skills, but what qualified as a ‘creative solution?' The key here is to stop, think, and offer an example of how you demonstrated that skill, what you did well, what you would do differently, and what the result was. When asked to describe an example, don't be afraid to say: “that's a good question, may I take a moment to think about it?” It is better to take the time to think than to rush into an answer. An example of this is: When have you taken the initiative and what was the result? Stop to think about the job; what skills are they looking for? Then think about the best example and answer the question including what you did, how people reacted, what you achieved, and what you would do differently. Other examples may include: Tell me about a time you led a team; or tell me about a time you disagreed with a manager. Weird and Wonderful Questions: These are very unpredictable, and as such, there is not much you can do to prepare for them. Just remember to show your personality, don't be afraid to tell a light hearted joke or demonstrate your ability to work well with others. An example may include: What do you like to do in your free time? On a question like this, you're being asked whether you have any passions or interests beyond work that make you attractive. Remember many organizations have clubs. If people are going to work with you day-in-day-out, they have to have reassurance that you're interesting! So talk about sports or talk about your friends. Other questions may include: If you could have one wish? If you could have a super power?. Management Questions: These questions aren't just for people looking for management jobs. They are an assessment of what you look for in a leader and, therefore, your ability to work with your supervisor. They can also be an evaluation of whether you have the potential to be a leader, remember organizations like to hire people who have long-term potential, especially if they're committing time and money to training you. Think about what a real leader demonstrates: delegation, strong communication, and an ability to encourage and motivate, then reflect on how you have shown these qualities and on examples of when your previous managers have shown them. For example, did you like your last supervisor? Unless the circumstances were truly exceptional you should always say yes; remember the D.C. community is a small world and word travels fast. Say what you liked about their leadership style, what you learned from them, and what you wanted more from them. Remember they are looking to see whether you will work well under their direction; you want to come across as somebody who can take instruction but also add to the team. Conclusive Questions: This is the most common mistake in any interview, yet it's so simple! There is only one conclusive question, and that is: Do you have any questions for me? Yes, you do!! This question is an interview question! And yet so many people don't answer. The interviewer wants to know if you've thought about the job, the company, and whether you're curious to know more. If you don't ask questions -- you don't care. Have five pre-set interview questions on hand with the expectation that a couple of them will be answered in the course of the interview. Then you should aim to ask two or three of them. They should be about the organization and its ethos, management, people, etc. Here are five questions I recommend: What are the biggest problems facing this department, and how do we solve them? Who are the people I will be working closest with, their names, and job titles? How do you measure success? Ask about activities outside the workplace e.g. social life, charity work. Do you have any further doubts about my ability to do this job that you would like me to address? (My personal favorite. Either the recruiter admits you're perfect for the job or you get the opportunity to address any underlying concerns still prevailing.) Finally, if you would like a list of questions you should consider please look at the Leadership Institute's Jobseeker Guide. We are here to assist you with your career goals so if you have an upcoming interview which you are nervous about, please get in touch with your questions.
Activism Success: LI Trained Students Organize Petition Drive to Fight Back on Campus
Nathan Fatal
January 30, 2017
Activism Success: LI Trained Students Organize Petition Drive to Fight Back on Campus
When you're faced with unconstitutional policy on your campus, it can be overwhelming to find a line of attack. The students in the California Freedom Project at California State University in Northridge, a group which works to advance free market and constitutional principles, used their Leadership Institute training to draw attention to the unconstitutional speech code on their campus. In addition to a successful free speech ball activism event, the group also started a petition campaign calling for the end of the policy requiring a permit to distribute literature and for the 23-campus California State University system to remove such restrictions. The petition received more than 130 signatures during the activism event. The Leadership Institute can help you and your campus group with activism events and provide the training and the resources you need to succeed. Contact your Field Representative today to learn how the Leadership Institute can help you.
Activism Success: Conservative School Newspaper Exposes
Samuel Mariscal
January 26, 2017
Activism Success: Conservative School Newspaper Exposes "#StopWhitePeople2K16 RA Training"
When you experience liberal bias on your campus, finding a way to expose it can be a challenge. Resident Assistants at Binghamton University in New York came face to face with that bias during their training when one of the breakout sessions was entitled #StopWhitePeople2K16. Binghamton Review, the school's conservative newspaper, broke the story and asked school administrators about the training. School administrators initially stood by the name of the training. But, thanks to the hard work of the journalist at the Binghamton Review, the story was featured on the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and was trending on social media. Shortly after, the school apologized for the name of the training. When liberal bias strikes your campus will you be ready? You can submit stories to the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform and get paid, or you can start your own conservative student publication. Contact your LI Regional Coordinator to learn how to bring the Conservative Student Publication Training to your school today.
Activism Success: Conservative Student Coalition Hosts Week of Activism
Rebecca Campbell
January 19, 2017
Activism Success: Conservative Student Coalition Hosts Week of Activism
At the beginning of each semester, your goal is to reach as many new students as possible. A great way to do that is to host a week of activism. Students at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque kicked off the fall semester when several conservative groups formed a coalition on campus to further conservative principles. Young Americans for Freedom and Young Americans for Liberty both requested activism kits through the Leadership Institute and put on a week of activism. The week started with a 9/11 memorial, and then moved into activism projects which highlighted liberal bias and unconstitutional policies on their campus, from free speech to “PC” Police Activism Kit. The Leadership Institute's trained Field Representatives are ready to help you and your organization host one activism project or a week of activism projects. Contact your Field Representative today to learn more.
Preparing for Your Interview:  Failing to prepare is preparing to fail
Ben Woodward
January 16, 2017
Preparing for Your Interview: Failing to prepare is preparing to fail
Even the most confident people are nervous at interviews. Who wouldn't be? A lot is riding on a 30-minute conversation where your personality and career successes are scrutinized. I bet you can remember your worst interview; I do! I had researched thoroughly. And as always, I showed up 15 minutes early to scan through my notes one last time in the busy public lobby. Eventually, my name was called, and I took the endless walk down the oak paneled corridor to the interviewer's office. I sat down in the overheated room and faced my interviewer. It was tough! The questions were in-depth, and my interviewer was giving nothing away in his reactions. As the interview progressed, I was becoming more and more in need of water. My nerves and the heated room caused my throat to dry up, and I could barely speak. Too keen to impress, I did not dare ask for a drink, and I had not brought one with me. Approximately 20 minutes in, I could not speak at all, except in a suffocated whisper. The interviewer, now concerned for my wellbeing, got up from his desk and left the room in search of water. By the time he returned 10 minutes had passed, by which time he had no doubt forgotten anything he had liked about me. I didn't get the job. I was unprepared. I learned failing to prepare is preparing to fail! We can be our worst enemies in an interview. Sometimes we don't have to be tripped up by a difficult question because we are already rooting against ourselves. So here are some important ways you can prepare for your interview: Analyze the job description: This is obvious but crucial. Before you can determine what you want to put across in your interview, you need to know the details of the job in question. This means knowing the day-to-day responsibilities, the travel required, and who your supervisor will be. It also means you know the skills the interviewer will expect to see and even anticipate some of the questions. Learn about the organization and the department: Go to the organization's website and determine its mission statement and its current projects. You will almost certainly be asked about those. Also, review their social media, recent stories in the news, and their annual report. Ask yourself what you can offer them and how you have demonstrated a commitment to their values in the past. Be prepared to explain why you want to work for them over similar organizations. Basic competency questions: Consider the core skills required for the job and how you have demonstrated them in the past. The Leadership Institute's Job Seeker's Guide (pages 17 & 18) contains a list of competency questions you should be able to answer. Plan your outfit: Have your outfit picked out the night before. If you're indecisive about what looks good, this will give you time to work it out. Just don't change your mind in the morning! I recommend wearing business clothes you have worn before. Materials: Do not leave this until the last minute. Otherwise, you risk forgetting important documents. Take three copies of your resume printed on professional paper, two lists of references, letters of recommendation, writing samples, and take a notepad to jot down relevant information and anything you promise to send the interviewer as a follow-up. Logistics: Plan ahead when it comes to your interview. How are you getting there? How long will it take? What potential pitfalls could delay you? I recommend checking traffic reports and weather. If it's going to be hot for example, you don't want to sweat because you have walked a long distance. You may even want to allow time to change your clothes. Other: Think of anything else you may need, for example, something to eat or drink, or any medication. Interviews are stressful, but with preparation, you have every right to feel confident! If the employer has asked to interview you, it's because she or he thinks you are qualified to do the job; so don't sabotage yourself by failing to do basic preparation. For more great interview advice, check out LI's Job Seeker's Guide.
Activism Success: Pro-Life Students Encourage Dialogue with #GreatDay2BeAlive Celebration
Abe Alassaf
January 12, 2017
Activism Success: Pro-Life Students Encourage Dialogue with #GreatDay2BeAlive Celebration
Conservative students are routinely harassed and attacked for their views. This environment can make starting a dialog on the issues difficult. Students for Life at the Ohio State University celebrated #GreatDay2BeAlive by encouraging people to share why they were glad to be alive on their giant beach ball. This fun and inviting activism event resulted in great dialog about the right to life with over 150 people. Leadership Institute Field Representatives are equipped to help conservative groups put on successful events, like the one at Ohio State. Contact your Field Representative today to learn how they can help you.
LI Trains Conservatives for Success in 2016
Kyle Baccei
January 3, 2017
LI Trains Conservatives for Success in 2016
Last year was an exciting year for many reasons! In 2016, the Leadership Institute trained 10,274 conservatives, launched new online programs, and trained candidates and campaign staff across the country -- all thanks to the generous support of LI donors. Through 2016, Institute graduates impacted campaigns across the country. The Youth Leadership School trained 925 conservatives at 37 trainings in 2016. Of those 2016 graduates, 81 were involved in a youth campaign across 16 states. LI's staff and 178 volunteer faculty trained 10,274 students -- totaling 103,014 hours of student training. The Institute trained 8,216 students nationally and 2,058 students internationally, bringing the total trained to 181,459 since 1979. In total, LI offered 371 training events representing 44 types of Institute trainings. These ranged from on-camera TV trainings to weeklong Campaign Management Schools to grassroots activist workshops to the Youth Leadership School, the boot-camp of politics. The Institute also launched a new type of training: online programs. These workshops offer attendees the same benefits as the Leadership Institute's top-notch trainings -- from the comfort of their own homes. Online attendees can see and hear the instructor, ask questions and talk with others in the workshop; and learn from a variety of lectures, hands-on-projects, and demonstrations -- just like any in-person training. LI trained 350 students online in 13 trainings, totaling 1,050 student hours. On college campuses around the country, LI's National Field Program staff identified 88,395 new conservative students and added 678 new student groups to LI's unique network of affiliated conservative student organizations. By the end of 2016, this network of conservative student groups had grown to 1,856. CampusReform.org remains America's #1 source for campus news online. Its 1,380 stories – many written by 70 campus correspondents – about liberal bias and abuse generated 15.8 million pageviews, 2,140 republications by online news outlets, and 151 appearances on TV. In total, CampusReform.org's reporting led to 36 victories and campus policy changes for conservatives on college campuses. More than 4,146 job seekers connected with 2,005 available jobs on the Institute's ConservativeJobs.com. The Career Services Center hosted 470 attendees at job fairs and offered 394 personal resume consolations. Viewers from all 50 United States and around the world have tuned in to LI's free webinars since they began streaming from LI Studios in 2011. In 2016 alone, 1,546 viewers watched LI's 23 webinars. LI's Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfasts hosted 1,059 attendees and 11 speakers in 2016. Speakers included Pete Hegseth, Congressman Tom Emmer, and Congressman Alex Mooney. The 45th National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree hosted 356 attendees. The 2016 featured speakers were Ed Gillespie and Rob Bell. There are countless stories about the impact of Leadership Institute graduates in 2016. It's been a good year at the Leadership Institute, and LI is excited about what 2017 has in store! Review the online 2017 training calendar for currently scheduled trainings near you. How has LI helped you? Email Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org to share your story. LI is always looking to spotlight faculty doing incredible things for the conservative movement, notable LI graduates making waves, and college students taking a stand on campus.
Activism Success: Students Arrested During Empty Holster Protest Garner National Attention and Bring Change to their Campus
Crissy Brown
December 27, 2016
Activism Success: Students Arrested During Empty Holster Protest Garner National Attention and Bring Change to their Campus
Your next activism event can be just what it takes to turn the tide and eliminate unconstitutional policy on your campus. When Students for Concealed Carry at the University of South Alabama organized an empty holster protest with the goal of highlighting the school's unconstitutional policy, the activism event was so successful the students were charged with violating the school weapons policy. When this unconstitutional treatment garnered national attention, the school was forced to drop the charges and offer an official apology for blatantly violating students' rights. As a result of Students for Concealed Carry at the University of South Alabama and their empty holster protest, the school is now closer to eliminating their unconstitutional policy which denies students the right to defend themselves. Your Leadership Institute Field Representative is ready to help you organize an activism event on your campus today. Contact them about fighting back against your school's liberal bias and unconstitutional policy.
So You Got an Internship for Christmas?
Ben Woodward
December 19, 2016
So You Got an Internship for Christmas?
Good for you! D.C. is excited to have you here because, if we're truly honest with ourselves, those of us in the non-profit sector, think tanks, and on the Hill depend upon you to keep our organizations running. I was in your shoes. I have been an intern more than once, starting a new adventure in a strange land. Many thoughts went through my head in the weeks leading up to my internship at the Leadership Institute. What if I can't find my accommodation on the first day? What if I'm not as smart as I thought? What if, what if… I've been there. Trust me, you will be great. I want to use this last blog before Christmas to remind you of a few things which I hope will allow you to enjoy your Christmas and be excited to begin the New Year in Washington, D.C. Most importantly, enjoy Christmas! I know it sounds obvious, but this is your last chance to rest, spend time with your family, and enjoy home comforts before you get to D.C. The first couple of months in the New Year are busy. Catching up on work after Christmas, networking events, and not to mention CPAC! You will have to be prepared to work hard, so don't exhaust yourself by stressing out now. You will be trained. I know you want to come in and prove yourself from day one. Remember that even your CEO was a beginner once. We all need some practice to become good at our jobs. Your bosses are used to having interns and will provide you with a basic level of training on how to use relevant software and databases, speak to stakeholders, produce reports, etc. You should always strive to be the best, but remember that you will be forgiven for gaps in your knowledge. D.C. may be big, but it's friendly. Big cities are daunting. Coming from a small, industrial town in the heart of England, D.C. was another world to me. But D.C. is a fluid city. The vast majority of people who live and work here are away from home too. You're not alone. Everyone in D.C. wants new friends, and you will find it easy to meet new people who share your political values, and your hobbies, which leads nicely onto my next point. Events! D.C. is a lively city; there is always something going on. Whether it's a stimulating debate at Heritage or CATO, a training at the Leadership Institute, or a drinks reception, you'll never be without something to do. Also, a little tip, you can eat for free most days in D.C., and many events have open bars. Take your business cards and go meet some new people. Finally, there are ways you can plan ahead now: Send your supervisors an introductory email or, better yet, call them! Tell them a little about yourself, what you'd like to get out of the internship, and ask them any questions. Trust me, this will impress your new boss and eliminate any initial anxieties. Research, research, research! Make sure you know your organization, its mission, and find out what your initial responsibilities will be. Then you can prepare in advance. Also, research some events and networking opportunities taking place when you arrive. Then you will hit the ground running. Get business cards printed. In fact, stop reading and go do it right now! Ask how to contact your fellow interns, set up a Facebook group, and get to know them. There is plenty more I can say, but I want to end where I began. You will be great. Just work hard and make the most of your time here. And if we can help in your career, let Leadership Institute is here for you. Come to one of our trainings or call for a free career consultation. We'd love to meet you. Merry Christmas! Ben Woodward works with Leadership Institute's Conservative Jobs. You can contact LI for a free career consultation and get career help on ConservativeJobs.com.
Why Your Campaign Skills Make You an Asset
Ben Woodward
December 5, 2016
Why Your Campaign Skills Make You an Asset
The campaign is over. It's been a tough few months, and now you have a moment to breathe. I hope you have taken time to enjoy your victories -- or for those not as lucky, commiserate your defeats. But it is important to remember that life moves on and the time to think about your next career move is now. Whether you are looking for a job in the administration, think tanks, non-profits, or on the Hill, seize the moment. The current opportunities in the conservative movement are boundless. Following the election, hundreds of vacancies are opening up as people change jobs. If you're coming off a campaign, you may have gained skills which will make you an asset. The following skills you have learned could carry you to your dream job: Fundraising: During the campaign, you learned how to sell your candidate. You learned what to say in order to convince donors to help keep the campaign afloat. You probably accumulated these donors into a network you could rely on. To do this you may have planned events, written direct communications, created social media campaigns, and more. A development role in most movement organizations will require these skills. They will need you to be able to sell what they offer and convince donors why giving to their organizations will advance the movement and produce tangible results. Event Management: One of the toughest elements of a campaign is event management. This is your opportunity to reward your donors and volunteers, raise publicity, and raise money. You have booked venues and entertainment, managed a budget, and procured caterers. To do this you may have had a small team to run, you had to keep an eye on the details, and your organizational skills were pushed to the limit. Use these skills to your advantage. All organizations run events of some kind, and there is a high demand for competent event staff. Using Digital: Marketing in the private sector, organizations are constantly seeking new ways to sell their brands and identify new customers. The competition to remain at the forefront of digital marketing is intense. Campaigns are no different. During the campaign you used social media initiatives to target supporters and boost posts; you may have used Facebook Live for example. You may have used Photoshop software, mass emails, and explored your creative gifts. For conservative organizations to compete with the left, they have to hire talented, creative, and tech savvy candidates. That's where you come in. Planning: To fail to plan is to plan to fail. Working on a campaign means you planned how to use time, people, and money effectively. Planning ahead means you anticipate mistakes, you research, and most importantly you manage a budget accordingly. These skills are universally valued, and they will aid you in all aspects of your life. Communications & Marketing: Campaigns are a fierce battle between rivals who are not just selling themselves but discrediting their opponents. Learning to deliver your message effectively so that people identify your candidate with the right policies is essential. Learning how to handle negative information is also a requirement. You have to know when to discredit attacks, when to apologize for them, and when to ignore them. Learning to identify the target market of an organization, deliver your message, and manage negative information will make you an asset in the job market. Managing people: Management is tough; you have to be a leader, be able to give clear direction, and know your staff well enough to identify their strengths and weaknesses. A campaign is a team effort; and without a motivated army of committed activists, it will fail. Organizations in and out of the movement are no different. Success depends upon good leaders who get the best out of their teams. Personnel is Policy. GOTV: Getting out the vote is not so different from persuading clients and supporters of organizations to invest, purchase, donate, and volunteer. During the campaign, if you knew there were individuals who were likely to vote for your candidate, it was your job to make sure they voted. Many conservative organizations require those skills to motivate people to attend their events, sign up for correspondence, and actively participate in their campaigns. Remember, if you have worked on a campaign, you are a uniquely skilled individual! Some or all of these skills, and no doubt many more, will apply to you. Use them, be proud of them, and most importantly, use them to get a job! Ben Woodward works with the Leadership Institute's ConservativeJobs.com. He provides jobseekers with career advice and helps them find jobs in the conservative movement.
Activism Success: Activism Events Change Campus Policy
Allen Clarke
November 30, 2016
Activism Success: Activism Events Change Campus Policy
Activism events are a great way for your group to grow its membership and share your message on campus. Earlier this month at Middle Tennessee State University, the Turning Point USA group worked with their Leadership Institute Field Representative to hold a free speech ball event on campus, which started the conversation on campus about safe spaces. As a result of the activism events, the student senate voted overwhelmingly to oppose all future creations of safe spaces on campus, and actively work to remove safe spaces on the campus. Students at Louisiana State University used a free speech ball to get over 200 signatures in support of unregulated free speech and ending the campuses “Free Speech Ally.” The signatures were sent to the student government who will now take up the issue. Your Leadership Institute Field Representative is able to help you organize activism projects which can help you change unconstitutional policy on your campus. Contact your Field Representative today to get started.
Thanksgiving is a Day to Celebrate, and be Thankful for, our Religious Freedom
Karla Bruno
November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving is a Day to Celebrate, and be Thankful for, our Religious Freedom
The myth of the First Thanksgiving is held dear by most Americans:  Pilgrims, having reaped a glorious harvest of squash and other vegetables, shared a feast with Indian friends in 1621. The reality, alas, is a bit different. The Pilgrims of Plymouth landed in the New World in December 1620, and the following spring celebrated a day of Thanksgiving for having survived the cold Massachusetts winter.  There was no harvest feast because the crops hadn’t been planted yet. Only half of the original 102 settlers survived that first winter. Meanwhile, back in Virginia, earlier English settlers had already celebrated two official annual days of Thanksgiving each December at Berkeley’s Hundred on the James River (now known as Berkeley Plantation). The friendly First Thanksgiving rivalry between Virginia and Massachusetts dates to the 1930s and continues today.  In truth, no one knows when the First Thanksgiving took place because it was a normal part of everyday life for Virginia Indians as well as Spanish and French Catholics in Florida. The consistent factor in all Thanksgivings—regardless of year, population, or location—has been the religious nature of the day, with the full support and encouragement of elected officials from the town mayor to the U.S. President. America is blessed with freedom of religion, not from religion, thanks to the First Amendment, and we continue to embrace the Judeo-Christian principles that helped shape our great nation politically and sociologically.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As Ronald Reagan said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” You and I must continue to fight for religious freedom.  Never rest; the opposition never does. One way to fight that fight is to practice the religion of your choice in a public way.  Let us all enjoy our families, big meals, football, and parades on Thanksgiving, and maybe take time to attend a religious Thanksgiving service at a place of worship near you, recalling that we are endowed by our Creator with the right to the free exercise of religion and that all Thanksgivings in America, past and present, are centered on gratitude to God for His blessings.  
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