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AVOW Plans Women’s Campaign Institute August 3-5, 2018

Advancing Voices of Women (AVOW) will sponsor a Women’s Campaign Institute August 3-5, 2018, at Camp Red Cedar, 3900 Hursh Road in northern Allen County.

Designed for women who are seriously interested in running for elected office in 2019 or 2020, the institute will prepare women with insight into topics such as drafting a campaign story, avoiding expensive rookie mistakes, overcoming self-doubt, understanding campaign law, bouncing back from loss, public speaking, and campaign finances and fundraising.

It is being held as part of the Paul Helmke School for Women in Public Life, one of the three pillars of AVOW. Speakers will include:

  • Paul Helmke, director of the Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center at Indiana University
  • Sara Jane Rose, founder and executive director of Sally’s List of Oklahoma
  • Patricia Russo, executive director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University
  • Jill Long Thompson, former U.S. Congresswoman, Indiana 3rd District, and associate clinical professor, SPEA, Indiana University
  • Marilyn Moran-Townsend,CEO, CVC Communications, and AVOW Women’s Campaign Institute co-chair
  • Brenda Gerber, former deputy finance director for the “Mike Pence for Indiana” campaign
  • Jeff Brantley, VP Political Affairs, Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Business for Responsive Government PAC
  • Paula Hughes-Schuh, CEO of the YWCA Northeast Indiana, former Allen County Councilwoman, and co-chair, AVOW Women’s Campaign Institute
  • Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics

“The numbers paint a grim picture of women’s participation in public life in Indiana,” said AVOW co-founder and Women’s Campaign Institute co-chair Marilyn Moran-Townsend. “The interest in changing that is, however, a very optimistic picture. This Institute is a nonpartisan ‘boot camp’ to start women out right, with some of the most experienced and impressive guides in the nation.”

Sara Jane Rose, founder and executive director of Sally’s List of Oklahoma, said, “It has been proven over and over that prepared candidates are effective candidates, and since more women are stepping up to lead, it is vitally important that we offer them the strategic training they need and deserve. I am committing my time to the AVOW training because my work with women candidates in Oklahoma has been so successful and I am committed to sharing my program with any women who have the courage to run, no matter where they live.”

“The Women’s Campaign School at Yale is thrilled to be partnering with the AVOW Women’s Campaign Institute,” said its executive director, Patricia Russo. “Together, we will make sure women of all political parties of Indiana preparing to run for office will receive the skills they so richly deserve in order to be successful.”

Interested women should submit a resume and apply online by May 31 at The institute fee is $495, which will be defrayed by scholarships for accepted applicants, except for $50. The fee includes training, meals and materials for the applicant and her campaign manager or chief volunteer.