ENGAGE Conference of Leadership for Change to be Held March 1

Friday, January 24th, 2014

West Virginia Wesleyan College will be hosting the first annual ENGAGE Conference of Leadership for Change on March 1.  The conference is designed to grow leadership knowledge and skills in young people and community members who have the desire to use those skills to create positive social change.  The conference will feature an opening keynote address by Dr. Andrew Johnston, Professor of Leadership Studies & Director of the LEAD Project at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Dr. Johnston teaches graduate students at Belmont and Vanderbilt Universities, and engages educational, corporate, and church leaders in a wide variety of consulting and developmental relationships.

Following Dr. Johnston’s presentation, conference attendees will break into four interactive workshop sessions throughout the day organized around the following topical areas:

  • leadership skill-building and development
  • community organizing and grassroots networking;
  • advocacy & public policy
  • faith-based leadership & serving the community
  • leadership of self: examining privilege, bias, diversity, and exploring identity
  • exploration of social justice issues.

In addition to the third and fourth workshops, the afternoon will bring an interactive service project for conference participants.  Attendees will have the option of filling a bag of hygiene items to be given to the Upshur Cooperative Parish House, while others will choose to “take action” by writing letters to their legislative representatives about a societal issue.

The college is proud to host a panel discussion in the evening, entitled “Faces of Homelessness,” from the National Coalition for the Homeless, based in Washington, D.C.  The Coalition will also present three workshops throughout the day.

“We want this conference to serve as a catalyst to connect like-minded students in our region who dream of making their communities better through effective leadership.  We anticipate that this will be the beginning of the conversation and will be the inspiration some students need to ENGAGE—to create positive social change in community with others where there is a need,” says West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Center for Community Engagement & Leadership Development Director, LeeAnn Brown.

The Center for Community Engagement & Leadership Development is organizing the conference and seeks presenters for workshops.  Registration for all WVWC students, faculty, and staff is $20 while the general registration fee is $30.  The registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner; a StrengthsQuest assessment code; t-shirt; and conference materials and supplies.  The deadline for registration is February 19, 2014.  More information can be found at www.wvwc.edu/engage or by e-mailing wvwcservice@wvwc.edu.