Leadership Institute

Application Due June 4

Leadership—what is it? How is it developed and cultivated? How could skillful leadership help WILPF branches build their vision, their direction, and more effective local work?           

Whether you are a “newborn” activist or someone born to activism, new to WILPF or a long-time member, the WILPF Leadership Institute is for you. If ever there was a time that called for another kind of leadership, this is it! Discover what it means to become a WILPF leader—on the local and/or national level.      

Now is the time to stand up for the Earth, for humanity, and for yourself—and make cooperative, positive change. Learn the skills and practice the art of

  • helping people find their place in activism
  • building a group process that elicits shared planning
  • connecting groups into networks
  • linking grassroots actions to international movements.

In sessions before the Congress and tucked in throughout it, you will participate in meetings, activities, and evaluations that will delve into what it means to be a leader as well as enhance your Congress experience. Learn from national and international WILPF leaders and from each other. The WILPF Leadership Institute will give you greater confidence in taking on leadership roles within WILPF.

Take your activism to a higher level. Through the WILPF Leadership Institute, discover who can be a leader in these dangerous and dynamic times:  you!

Application and Registration

You must apply to become a participant. Fill out the application form and e-mail it to nominatingcommittee@wilpfus.org by Sunday, June 4. The fee for the Institute is $25. Once we determine Leadership Institute enrollment, we will contact you with further instructions on how to register for the Congress and pay the fees. The Congress begins on July 27, and the Institute begins on July 26. Participants will be housed in single rooms in clusters with shared bathrooms. Please hold off registering for the Congress until we can tell you if you've been accepted into the Leadership Institute. Once you have that information, you can register for the correct number of nights at the college.  It is not easy to change registration once made.


Congress: registration, housing (single room) for 3 nights (Thursday through Sunday): $425
Leadership Institute: $25
Housing for 1 additional night (Wednesday): $50
Total: $500

Extra meals during the Leadership Institute ((Wed. lunch and dinner; Thurs. breakfast and lunch; Friday, lunch; Saturday, dinner; and Sun. lunch) will be at your own cost. Partial scholarships available to reduce the $500 cost.

More information 

Contact the WILPF US Nominating Committee at nominatingcommittee@wilpfus.org, or Laura Dewey at 313-882-1596 (eastern time) if you have any questions.

(Subject to Change)

For Early Arrivals  
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch Together
1:00 – 1:30 pm Check-In for the Congress
1:30 – 2:50 pm  Conversation about Leadership with a WILPF Leader: A national or international WILPF leader will present on how she became a leader and other topics, followed by informal Q & A.
Official Opening Session
3:00 – 3:10 pm  Conversation about Leadership with a Welcome, Logistics, Introductions of Leadership Institute Organizers
3:10 – 4:00 pm  WILPF-International Institutions:  Learn about Peace Women, Reaching Critical Will, the United Nations office, WILPF-International UN representatives, the office in Geneva, the International Board, Executive Committee, International Committees, and Triennial International Congresses.
4:55 – 5:25 pm  Discussion:  What benefits does WILPF US get from being part of an international organization?  How can we make better use of our WILPF-Int’l connections and institutions?
5:25 – 5:40 pm  Rapid-Responses Evaluation of Day
6:30 – 8:00 pm  Dinner
8:00 – 8:30 pm Orientation to Leadership Institute:  Why, what, goals, schedule.
8:30 – 9:30 am Breakfast Together: Q & A with a WILPF Leader
9:30 – 10:00 am Brief Recap and Further Evaluation of Wednesday’s Sessions. What is useful and positive evaluation? Evaluation as fundamental activity of leadership. What to listen/watch for during the evening plenary.
10:15 – 11:00 am Racism and Other Oppressions (especially sexism and internalized oppressions):  What it/they are and why we start with it; what to listen for in our self-introductions.
11:10 am – 12:30 pm Self-Introductions and First Personal Experience(s) of Racism (prejudice + power)
12:30 – 2:00 pm Lunch Together: Q & A with a WILPF leader about balancing work, activism, and personal life; maintaining energy and enthusiasm.
2:00 – 5:00 pm Chicago Bus Tour.  Assignment:On the bus tour, look for and exercise ways to encourage team-building on your bus; identify and articulate at least two appreciations.
5:15 – 6:30 pm Leadership as a Team Effort:  How to build a team, involve members, and effectively delegate roles and responsibilities; why and how to encourage team work and cooperation. (See below for further description)
6:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner
7:00 – 9:00 pm Congress 
  Breakfast Together:  Q & A with a WILPF leader
8:30 – 8:50 am Meeting: What to listen/watch for this day
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Congress
12:00 – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 – 3:30 pm Congress
4:00 – 5:30 pm Building Meetings with Good Process (See below for further description)
6:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner
  Breakfast Together: Q & A with a WILPF leader
8:30 – 8:50 am Meeting: What to listen/watch for this day. Special focus: which skills sessions are most applicable to leadership?
9:00 am – noon Congress
noon – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 7:00 pm Congress
7:00 – 8:00 pm Dinner Together: Q & A with a WILPF leader
8:00 – 9:30 pm What Does It Mean to Be Part of a Movement? (See below for further description)
8:30 – 8:50 am Meeting: What to listen/watch for this day.
9:00 am – noon Congress
noon – 2:00 pm Check-Out and Lunch Together
Post-Congress Session
2:00 – 3:00 pm Wrap-up: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for! What did you learn? What was most useful to you? What will you do differently in your branch/other organizations in which you work?

Descriptions of Workshops

Leadership as a Team Effort 

  • Sharing a comprehensive/integrated view of the goals and/or work of the organization/team
  • Working in a volunteer group:  special considerations
  • Acknowledging and appreciating work of each person, including leaders
  • Qualities of good “process” and how it encourages positive participation
  • Brainstorm on what skills a team needs
  • Importance of team-building activities
  • The components of effective delegation (clear assignment, follow-up)
  • Brainstorm on pros and cons of delegation
  • Incl. strategies for working effectively in WILPF
  • Recruiting and organizing; how to talk about WILPF?

Building Meetings with Good Process 

  • How a branch meeting is different from a business meeting.  (Brainstorm qualities of each.)
  • Making space in a meeting; addressing our full humanness
  • What goes into a good agenda?
  • Important roles in a meeting
  • Roberta’s rules of order – or what?

What Does It Mean to Be Part of a Movement?

  • Do you think WILPF is part of a movement?  Are you?
  • If we are … what builds a movement?
  • How do WILPF US and the leaders (and members)in it contribute to that?
  • Organizing vs. accompanying