The Center for Women’s Research & Public Policy (CWRPP) at Mississippi University for Women has announced the inaugural NEW MS Legislative Fellowship which creates the next step toward political leadership for NEW MS alumni.

“The fellowship offers these college students and early professionals the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of politics, public policy and public service at the state level. Fellows will learn how legislation gets made in Jackson firsthand from a bipartisan group of lawmakers and will receive support and mentorship through biweekly leadership workshops,” said Dr. Chanley Rainey, director of NEW Leadership ® Mississippi and assistant professor of political science at The W.

Representing the Center for Women’s Research & Public Policy (CWRPP) at Mississippi University for Women, fellows will serve as legislative aides to the bipartisan Mississippi Senate Study Group on Women, Children, and Families. The fellowship will begin Monday, Nov. 14 and will end Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 (deadline for legislative committees to report general bills and constitutional amendments originating in their chamber). Fellows will receive a stipend of $3,000 and a travel allowance of up to $2,000.

Rainey said the fellowship is also designed to be accessible because the center prioritizes socioeconomic diversity in its cultivation of tomorrow’s political leadership. Much of the work will be remote, and fellows are supported with a generous stipend and travel allowance, making the fellowship much more widely accessible than the typical D.C. fellowship.

Fellows will summarize and synthesize public comments and submissions received during the Mississippi Senate Study Group on Women, Children, and Families’ hearings and will conduct policy research on the needs of women, children and families in Mississippi. They will work with Senator Nicole Boyd—chair of the Senate Study Group—and the lieutenant governor’s legal staff to conduct their research and assist the Study Group in its efforts to improve various state policies.

Rainey added, “While working with legislators to improve policy for the benefit of women, children and families in Mississippi, fellows will develop a clearer vision of themselves as future lawmakers, putting them more firmly on the path to office.”

Any graduate of NEW (National Education for Women’s) Leadership ® Mississippi is eligible to apply. NEW Leadership ® Mississippi (NEW MS) is an annual summer institute designed to increase women’s political representation by gathering college students from across Mississippi to meet women leaders, learn about women in American politics and develop and practice leadership skills through panel discussions, workshops and hands-on projects. The CWRPP has offered the program since 2013.

The Fellowship is funded through the Ascend Fund, an initiative of Panorama Global dedicated to accelerating the pace of change toward gender parity in U.S. politics. The collaborative fund pools philanthropic capital to support nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that are working to ensure women have access to the resources and support they need to run for office, and that are breaking down the barriers that prevent women from running and winning. The Center for Women’s Research & Public Policy was awarded a $50,000 grant in 2021 to deepen and expand its programming aimed at educating and empowering Mississippi’s college women to become politically active and to take on leadership roles in politics and public service.

The Center for Women’s Research & Public Policy is a multidisciplinary center established in 2005 for the study of Southern women in both traditional and nontraditional roles. The CWRPP promotes research and programming centered on Southern women’s lives—both past and present—with a focus on increasing their representation in all areas of leadership, advancing their interests in public policy, and continuing The W’s legacy of expanding women’s education and professional opportunities.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.