Skip to content Skip to navigation

Women's Leadership Initiative

Womxn’s Leadership Initiative

Welcome! The Womxn’s Leadership Initiative is an academic yearlong opportunity to cultivate the leadership and community of womxn identified leaders. We will bring together those who identify as womxn who hold leadership positions across campus with the explicit goals of creating community, explore what it means to be a womxn identified leader, providing opportunities to gain additional leadership skills through the stories and experiences of our leaders and develop intentional support structures. We examine what it means to be a womxn leader, how our experiences impact our leadership and practice ways to effectively lead.

Womxn's Leadership Initiative is a developmental program open to 20 women identified leaders. Students must apply and be selected to participate. The program helps womxn identified leaders to understand what it means to be a womxn leader in todays society, assists them in developing strategies for addressing inequalities and successfully leading and building a sense of community with other womxn identified leaders. This program can help expand on leadership skills gain in programs such as the P.A.W.S. Leadership Seminar from the Margo Souza Leadership Center.


Womxn’s Leadership Initiative Learning Objectives:

Students who complete the Womxn’s Leadership Initiative will:

·      Develop a greater understanding of their personal identities, particularly gender identity, gender expression, and leadership

·      Gain knowledge of various methods to understand and change the sexist behaviors of others and, if relevant, their own internalized sexism

·      Articulate the diversity within the womxn’s community in regards to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, spirituality, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or circumstances of life

·      Develop effective personal and leadership skills, including but not limited to time management, effective written and oral communication, teamwork, group facilitation, and peer education

·      Develop an ability to navigate interpersonal conflict

·      Demonstrate a commitment to advocating for womxn

·      Gain knowledge of and ability to articulate the contemporary issues facing the womxn

·      Develop and/or empower womxn to create positive social change for themselves and other womxn

·      Demonstrate an ability and commitment to help womxn find and use the support and resources available to them


Program Requirements:

By applying to this program, you agree to complete the following requirements:

·      Attend the Womxn’s Leadership Initiative Retreat

·      Attend monthly Womxn’s Leadership Initiative Workshops

·      Complete Womxn’s Leadership Initiative Readings

·      Maintain a Womxn’s Leadership Initiative Journal



The Womxn’s Leadership Initiative Workshops will take place in the Bobcat Lair from 9-12pm on the below days:

Oct 29th   Dec 3rd   Feb 4th   Mar 4th  Apr 1st   May 6th



The Womxn’s Leadership Initiative Retreat will take place on Oct 7th-9th 2016 at the Yosemite Filed Station in the Yosemite National Forest in Wawaona, CA.  We will bus to the location, leaving on Oct 7th at 12pm and returning on Oct 9th at 5pm at the latest.

Who Can Apply:

Womxn identified leaders interested in participating in this program must meet the below criteria you must:
    1) Identify as a womxn
    2) Be a returning student
    3) Hold a leadership position in a student organization or be hired by a department at UC Merced
    4) Be in good academic and judicial standing

~Good academic standing means you have a cumulative UC grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 and your last completed semester grade point average (GPA) is at least 2.0

~Good judicial standing means are currently not on university probation

If you do not meet the above criteria but would still like to apply to participate in the Women's Leadership Initiative, please contact Angi Baxter at to set up an interview.


What do you need to apply:

To be considered, you must qualify with the “Who Can Apply” criteria and complete the application questions located at no later than Sept 16th 2016 at 11:59pm.


Selection Process:

If you are selected to be part of the Womxn’s Leadership Initiative, we will notify you after Sept 23rd 2016.


If Selected as a Participant:

If you are selected as a participant, you are required to provide a $20 deposit to reserve your space for the retreat. To submit your deposit, it must be received in the Office of Student Life (OSL) no later than Sept 30th 2016 at 5pm. Your deposit will be returned to you once you get on the bus Friday, Oct 7th 2016. The deposit will be donated to Women’s Programs if you do not show up for the Retreat. If selected as a participant, you will also need to complete a Liability Waiver and provide emergency information.


We invite you to apply today!