Karin Agness

Age

29

Location

University of Virginia, 2006

Occupation

Founder and President of the Network of Enlightened Women

Twitter

@KarinAgness

With more than 20 chapters nationwide, the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) has developed a significant collegiate presence since it launched nearly a decade ago, and young conservative women have Karin Agness to thank.

Agness’ plunge into conservative activism began after an inspiring summer internship in then-Sen. Richard Lugar’s (R-Ind.) office on Capitol Hill after her sophomore year at the University of Virginia.

During her internship, Agness found that “rather than throwing out Republican or Democratic one-liners, my female colleagues were eager to talk about how issues in the news affected women.”

Upon returning to UVA, Agness was eager to find an environment similar to what she experienced in Washington. Instead, she found that all of the women’s groups on campus promoted a liberal agenda.

“[I] asked if the Women’s Center would be interested in cosponsoring a group for conservative young women,” Agness said. “They looked at me like I was crazy, chuckled and said ‘not here.'”

So Agness decided to take action, founding NeW as an alternative organization for conservative women in 2004.

“[I]t was a niche that needed to be filled, and that’s part of the reason it’s been successful and [NeW] has taken off,” she told Red Alert.

In addition to hosting an annual conference in the nation’s capital where young women come together and discuss how to spread their message across college campuses, NeW also sponsors the Gentlemen’s Showcase, a month-long contest honoring college gentlemen.

Agness said that she looks forward to spending the next few years growing NeW by creating chapters across the U.S.

 

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