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Pro-Life Campaign Kick Off Training - Dayton

5 days until event begins

What you will learn

Under their proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution, the state ‘shall not interfere' with individuals getting abortions or sex changes. Meaning you could be cut out of the biggest decision of [your daughter's] life.” – Protect Women Ohio radio ad

Now that we have entered a post-Roe world, abortion politics have moved to the state. The left was prepared and has moved to use abortion to win elections.

Morton Blackwell, the founder of the Leadership Institute, teaches us, “Moral outrage is the most motivating force in politics.”

Surveys, after the Dobbs decision was released, showed that the majority of people thought abortion was immediately outlawed in every state. Using this misinformation and the false cry that liberty is being lost while exploiting the general public's ignorance of the gory details of most abortions, pro-abortion forces are swiftly moving to enshrine abortion without limitations (including parental notification or medical informed consent) into state constitutions.

The tactic worked in Michigan in 2022. The left was able to whip up outrage and turn out angry voters to vote for a pro-abortion constitutional amendment, as well as liberal candidates up and down the ballot.

Their next target, November 2023 ballot, is Ohio.

At least fourteen other states have been listed as targets for 2024.

Morton also teaches us, “You can't beat a plan with no plan.”

This three-hour Activism Workshop will cover the steps to organizing early efforts to defend the right to life. While primarily focused on the Ohio effort, the lessons can be applied to any state and any leftist-led ballot initiative.

Dinner will be served.

While this workshop is free, space and food are limited. Please pre-register.

Ideal attendees are center-right activists and leaders, congregants and leaders from faith-based organizations, and business owners and community members who do not want abortion on demand through birth, without parental consent or medical protections, at tax-payer expense.

Attendees will learn how to:
• Launch a campaign
• Craft a persuasive message
• Communicate with moderates and liberals
• Impact ballot access

This workshop is not an apologetics course on pro-life politics. The content will cover political organizing, not which policy a state should enact.

Another Morton saying is, "You owe it to your philosophy to learn how to win." Roe is dead, but the fight has just begun. Join us to learn how to win for life in the dining room, board room, and voting booth.


Monday, March 27

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM


Dayton, OH Map




Dena Espenscheid's Photo

Dena Espenscheid

Contact Dena with your questions.

What graduates say

Dan Crenshaw

Dan Crenshaw

U.S. Representative (TX-02)

"The Leadership Institute made it possible for me to learn how to run a campaign, how to craft my message, how to speak effectively in public, and how to handle the media.

Above all, I learned how to win.

Today, I stand in a long line of conservative leaders who owe a debt of gratitude to Morton Blackwell and to the Leadership Institute.


Melanie Grammar

Melanie Grammar

“This is the best training I have ever gone to (political or professional) over all the years I have been involved. People need to understand what a big deal this is." -

Melanie Grammar, Fannin County Chairwoman, Rockwell County Campaign School

Ryan Rhodes

Ryan Rhodes

Founder, Iowa Tea Party

"I can't forget who gave me the tools. Keep up the great work at LI. We can't save our country without the Leadership Institute!"

Your faculty

Dena Espenscheid

Dena Espenscheid

Director of Grassroots Coalitions, Leadership Institute

After completing the 2020 Marine Corps Marathon, Dena Espenscheid knows the truth behind the cliché, “Campaigns are like Marathons”. There are plans, deadlines, and expenses. There are worn-out shoes, blisters, pain, exhaustion, joy, energy bursts, and mile-marker accomplishments. The big day comes and before it is over you swear off running ever again; you want to quit. Then you cross the finish line. Success feels fantastic! The next day, after a good sleep, you are out on a trail, ready to do it all again!

Over her twenty years of professional experience, Dena held a variety of positions in public policy organizations, advertising agencies, and political campaigns including, Coalition for a Strong America, National Ballot Access, American Majority, Open and Clean Government, Vote Yes for Life, and the National Abstinence Clearinghouse. Much of her work has been focused on grassroots organizing, and training volunteers and fellow staffers.

Dena is a veteran of political campaigns as small as city council and as large as a presidential campaign. She has served in most campaign positions, including volunteer coordinator, regional field director, political director, and statewide spokesperson. She has overseen ballot qualification, volunteer recruitment and training, and get-out-the-vote efforts. She has formulated communication strategies, organized events, and done personal solicitation. In campaign and public policy, Dena is a “Jill of all Trades”.

Dena has returned to her roots as a coalition builder and is margining it with her campaign and training experience as the Senior Director of Coalitions at the Leadership Institute. In this position, she travels the country, meeting with groups who have special interest goals. She learns about the services and resources they offer and the needs they have. She introduces like-minded groups so they can build their community. Where needed and when possible, she develops new trainings to assist these center-right special interest groups win their public policy fights.

Dena graduated from Thomas More College in Northern Kentucky with degrees in Biology and Speech Communication.

Dena's favorite presentations are on persuasion. She knows that people want to stay consistent with the image they project. If you tell someone they are generous before soliciting a donation, they are more likely to give. To keep herself moving, Dena is ending this bio by stating that she still runs in Quantico, Virginia where she lives with her houseplants.