On September 24th, the LEAD office held its annual Leadership Conference this year, focusing on the power of connecting, collaborating, and engaging with the world around them. Students began their morning with a LEGO Leadership session conducted by our very own Lisa Snyder. Various activities surrounding LEGOs were designed to provide students the opportunity to discuss differences in communication styles, conflict resolution, as well as diving into their own stories surrounding leadership. After a brief lunch, students explored a variety of breakout sessions with topics ranging from understanding the basics of leadership, understanding unconscious biases, self-care strategies, and much more. In total, students could attend three sessions, with five options offered each session. Students closed their time reviewing the events of the day, and discussed strategies to implement the lessons they had learned with each other: discussing how to connect, collaborate, and engage with the environment around them.
Written by: Derek Smith, Graduate Assistant for LEAD
Freedom and Learning Forum
featuring President Anne Holton and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In her first Freedom and Learning Forum, George Mason University president Anne Holton sat down with best-selling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and discussed her book “We Should All Be Feminists,” which is this year’s Mason Reads selection.
Adichie, a Nigerian writer known for her novels such as “Americanah” and “Half of a Yellow Sun,” shares in her book “We Should All Be Feminists” her experience as an African feminist and her views on gender roles and sexuality. President Holton kicked off the chat with a question about societal expectations for women.
"To be human is to like being liked, I think that's quite natural," said Adichie. "But as girls, we are socialized to think that we need to be liked. I find that very problematic because what it does is that girls are taught very early on to change themselves to please other people."
During the panel, Adichie talked about topics such as sexual assault, raising her young daughter, and the relationship between money and masculinity. She also discussed gender expectations for both men and women and how that relates to the feminism movement.
"It's very difficult to unlearn things that we've learned from the time we were two years old,” said Adichie. “And, so, for me, feminism is a process of unlearning." She added, "I believe very strongly that men need to be a part of the feminist conversation."
Audience questions touched on subjects such as Adichie’s self-care advice and how her ideas on gender have changed since publishing “We Should All Be Feminists” in 2014. "The fundamental things that I believe have not changed, but I find myself rethinking certain things,”Adichie said, adding that in the past, she told men to imagine what it’s like to be a woman, which she now believes is the wrong way to approach the subject because of the limitations of our imagination. She said she now explores other ways to start the discussion around feminism.
After the discussion, students and community members lined up for a book signing and the opportunity to grab a picture with the author. "I'm from Nigeria so I was really excited when I found out this was the book [for Mason Reads] and that they had passed it out to freshmen," said Natalia Kanos, a sophomore government and international politics major, adding that she is glad to university is discussing pressing issues. Mason senior community health major and Honors College student Gabrielle Jackson, who also introduced Adichie to the stage, added that the book is very timely. "I think it's great that as a university we're now trying to put [women's issues] at the forefront and making sure people of all genders and all identities are reading it and are on the same page in terms of equality, equity and helping create a new campus culture,” said Jackson.
The program was sponsored by Fall for the Book, Mason Reads, the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Office and the President’s Office.
Story written by: News at Mason
Active Leaders Cohort
Our Active Leaders Program launched this September with 26 students as part of the cohort experience. The Active Leaders program is a 10-week seminar (2 hours each week) designed to provide a more advanced leadership opportunity for Mason students. There is no prerequisite for Active Leaders. You do NOT need to have a leadership position to be a part of this program! The program is for both those who are in, AND not in, leadership positions!
For the past few months, our Active Leaders have engaged in education around and learning around the following topics:
- Leadership 101
- Discover Your Strengths
- Values and Time Management
- The 5 As of Ethical Leadership
- Service and Civic Engagement
- Inclusive Leadership
- Emotional Intelligence: More Important than IQ?
- Resilience, Well-Being and Leadership
- Translating Your Leadership Experiences to your Career
For more information about the Active Leaders program, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/activeleaders/
Chapter Next: Ending Sexual Violence
For more information and to take the pledge, visit http://chapternext.gmu.edu
Five years ago, WE made a pledge to END sexual violence at George Mason University. What comes next is just as critical as what happened before. This is our call to action. Sexual violence is not an easy topic to discuss, and to ignore the fact that sexual violence has been an issue across college campuses would not only be a severely critical error, but it may also be considered downright unethical to ignore the growing problem. That is why the LEAD office has teamed up with the Women and Gender Studies Center and the Student Support and Advocacy Center to host Chapter Next: Ending Sexual Violence.
This event was not merely an opportunity to support survivors, but also a chance to educate the George Mason population as a whole. Knowledge is power, and by providing students with the tools needed to identify sexual violence, and then to act when they see or suspect issues, we foster a campus of dedicated and trained individuals that look out not only for their friends but for strangers. A campus that loves one another, a campus that does not tolerate the misdeeds of others. A campus that stands by survivors and supports them in their steps to recovery. Where there is pain, there is an opportunity for healing.
Hampton Middle School Partnership
For more information, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/hampton
Located in Prince William County is Hampton Middle School, one of only two Title 1 middle schools in the area, but what does Title 1 mean? A school is considered Title 1 if at least 40% of the students enrolled in the school come from low-income families. This is shown by the number of kids that require free or reduced lunches.
The LEAD Office has been partnering with Hampton for the past 7 years to provide leadership training to help these students be successful both inside and outside of the classroom. Recently, LEAD has begun to increase its efforts to impact the success of not only the students but their families as well. Last spring, we received $6700 in grant money from the Charles C. Jackson Foundation to enhance and strengthen Mason’s partnership with Hampton Middle School.
Upcoming, LEAD, along with several offices from George Mason, are hosting a Hampton Family Husky Night: The Mason Experience and the Incredible Leadership Conference. The Family Night on November 15 will provide dinner for the families in attendance, and be an evening full of engaging activities to allow students to understand that college may be an option for them in the future. Organizations will be present to help families understand how to navigate the collegiate process and provide them with the resources they need to be successful.
We are also excited to be hosting the Incredible Leadership Conference on the George Mason campus for the first time. On December 6th for 325+ sixth grade students from Hampton Middle School will have the opportunity to attend workshops dedicated to enhancing leadership skills they already posses while simultaneously gaining new skills that will benefit them in the future.
If you have any interest in joining us with this partnership, please contact Lisa Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Derek Smith, Graduate Assistant for LEAD
Spring Course Opportunity: Ethics and Leadership
Looking for a great undergraduate class to add to your schedule for the spring 2020 semester??? Know someone else you could encourage to take the class below???
Looking for a fun and interactive course focused on the relationship between ethics and leadership? Want to learn more about your own views about ethical issues and how you decide what's the right thing to do? Want a leadership course on your transcript? Need a course for the School of Integrative Studies (SIS) Leadership Minor (you do not need to be in the minor to take the class)? Check out INTS 404 (Section 002) “Ethics and Leadership”. The class will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon-1:15pm. Note: This is the course with “Lennon” as the instructor.
The course is designed to help develop effective, ethical leaders. It is a highly interactive course that incorporates reflection and in-class discussion. It will count for 4 credits because there is an experiential learning component. The main focus is to help students better understand the relationship between ethics and leadership, see how these topics apply to their lives and develop an ethical decision-making process. INTS 404 counts as a required course for the SIS leadership minor, but you do not need to be in the minor to take the course. We hope you'll register for this course! If you have any questions about the course, please email Dr. Nick Lennon at email@example.com.