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“Women Who Run” Conference targets future politicians

Women interested in testing their political mettle can get straightforward answers at the third “Women Who Run Conference,” to be held at the UTC University Center on Saturday, June 18. UTC , the Women's Leadership Institute, and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust are co-hosting the full day conference, planned for women who want to participate at all levels of politics. Register online at or call (423)425-4281or (423)266-0382 to reserve a spot and register on the day of the event, beginning at 8 a.m. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m.

“Women Who Run” is not only geared toward those interested in becoming elected officials, it is also offered to those considering becoming community leaders, and corporate or agency board members.

“This conference is for every woman who has thought ‘there should be a change.’ While we will be focusing on how to run for office, we will also be talking about effecting change in your neighborhood, in your city, and in your county,” said Dr. Stephanie Bellar, Acting Associate Dean, Graduate School and Professor of Political Science at UTC. “There is a lot of work women can do other than running for office. Some of that work is in support of a candidate or cause. Other examples are the volunteer in the PTA who needs to understand more about why it is always about politics or someone who is involved in a faith based organization that is involved with Charitable Choice. There will be opportunities to network with women from across the city and county who are committed to improving the life of the area. So, even if you know you do not want to seek political office but you want to be involved in helping to make your home region a better place, you should come,” said Dr. Stephanie Bellar, Acting Associate Dean, Graduate School at UTC who is helping to plan the conference.

For those interested in launching a political career, a full conference session will be devoted to answering delicate financial questions. Content will address how to find financial support, who to ask, how to ask, and the amount you should request. Women who have been successful in a political campaign will touch on an assessment of the effects on family life; those who have run and not been elected will also discuss their experiences.

“Women Who Run” speakers include Linda Bennett, Chattanooga City Council Member representing District 1; State Representative Joanne Favors, who represents House District 29; Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern; Marti Rutherford, Chattanooga City Council member representing District 6 City Council; and former Hamilton County School Board Representative Debbie Colburn.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell will also address the conference.

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell was sworn in as Canada's nineteenth, and first female, Prime Minister on June 25, 1993. Trained as a lawyer and as a political scientist specializing in international politics and Soviet government, Campbell's career spans academia, the practice of law, administration, and elected office at all three levels of government. In addition, she had experience in private business ventures in Vancouver before going to Ottawa.

In the short period of time that she served in Canada's highest office, Prime Minister Campbell cut the size of the federal cabinet by one third and restructured the government ministries to make them more responsive to the policy needs of the 1990's. Campbell participated in major international meetings including the Commonwealth, NATO, the G-7 Summit and the United Nations General Assembly.

Since leaving office, Campbell has been invited to speak in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe. Notorious for her outspoken views, controversial opinions, and her sharp sense of humor, Kim Campbell is a powerful speaker whose appeal stretches Canada-wide and across all international borders. She speaks several languages including English, French, and Russian.

June 10, 2005

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