Athena Center for Leadership
We're the leadership center you've been looking for.
We'll help you figure out how you can lead change and give you opportunities to practice leading change, in a supportive community, outside of the classroom.
We're here for all Barnard students, at all points of your Barnard experience. Scroll down to see how you can get involved or just drop by and we'll figure it out together!
What can you do here?
Don't have time to take on a specific project, or to explore a specific method of changemaking — or don't feel ready to do that yet? That's okay! SPARK, our event series, and the Athena Film Festival will inspire you and ignite your thinking about what's possible and what you might do. They're open to everyone and you can take part in whatever way works for you.
This year, our theme for SPARK is dialogue. Be sure to tell us what you'd like to see in this series! And save the date for the Athena Film Festival, which will take place February 29-March 3.
Communities of practice are where we roll up our sleeves and get to work here at Athena. Our communities of practice provide (1) meaningful connections with students who share your interests, (2) mentorship and guidance from experts and experienced changemakers, (3) an ungraded space to try something new, take a risk, get it wrong, and try again, and (4) funding or help accessing funding from external sources so you can dedicate the time and attention.
Read about how these work and find information about eligibility and application deadlines here.
Not sure what community of practice is right for you? Or if you even want to join one? Or maybe you do want to join one, but the timing isn't working for you right now? Maybe you want to join one, but aren't seeing it on the list?
Whatever your reason, we'd love to get to know you so that we can identify ways to help you with your individual needs.
Our team members hold office hours and we welcome drop-ins too. Our space is open from 10-5 pm every weekday, and if the CoLab isn't in use, you're welcome to use it to collaborate with others.
Upcoming at Athena
Are you interested in using tech for social change and connecting with other students who want to do the same? ADDA UX is a community of practice for students interested in exploring UX design to amplify their work as changemakers. Open to current Barnard and Columbia students. Sign up by Friday, September 29 at 11:59 pm.
Dialogue & Difference is a community of practice that will embolden students to foster environments of learning and inclusion through facilitation. Participants will explore the importance and challenge of dialogue, especially in democracy today. Students will leave with the skills to become the facilitators we need for discussing cutting-edge issues of our time. Interested? Submit this form by September 29th at 11:59 pm.
The Athena Film Festival is looking to refresh our festival poster heading into 2024 and would love to see your ideas. The winning design will be featured widely during the festival season. We are looking for an original poster design that amplifies and celebrates our mission of women in leadership. Find out more information about eligibility, poster requirements, and prizes here.
Submit to us by Friday, October 13, using this form.
Athena Senior Programs Assistant, Lauren Carr, interviews Festival and Program Manager, Kristin Molloy, about her promotion, the Athena Film Festival, and working in film.
Flavie has been a part of Athena in some form since 2019! This spring, she was the LeFrak financial wellness ambassador for our Conscious Investing community of practice. Learn how talking about money in community became central to how she approaches making social change here.
Every summer, 11 Barnard students explore advocacy as a part of the Athena Advocacy Institute through a nonprofit internship and weekly cohort gatherings. Click here to learn what 2023 participant Jenny Chen learned interning at She's The First this summer!
Athena Intern Joyce Zhou shares an overview and insights from the 2023 Startup Summit, for which she was the student lead.
Protest as a Tool for Change was a Spring ‘23 community where participants reviewed case studies and shared reflections exploring how protest has been used to effect change. Guest expert Cheyenne Wyzzard-Jones led discussions. Get a glimpse of the community of practice’s highlights here.
Athena’s pre-college programs offer high school students the opportunity to explore what collaborative changemaking looks like, just like Barnard students do here at Athena. Athena runs the Athena Summer Innovation Institute and assists with the Young Women's Leadership Institute. Read a reflection about summer 2023 programs here.
Stay in the know.
We do a lot around here!
If you're a Barnard student, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to hear about upcoming opportunities.
For our off-campus fans, we have a quarterly newsletter.
To catch a glimpse of life at Athena, check out our Instagram.