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 was protest. Be sure to tell us what you'd like to see in the next series! And this year, the Athena Film Festival took place March 2-4, 2023. Check back this summer to Save the Date for next year.
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.
In 2022-2023, we're offering the Athena Fellows Program; Athena Incubator (for entrepreneurs); Athena Policy and Changemaking; Athena Digital Design; Athena Advocacy Institute; Williams Program for Women in Politics; Laidlaw Scholars Program; and SEE + Athena: Student Leaders.
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.
Highlights from 2022-2023
Over 200 members of the Barnard community joined Athena for a screening of Boycott, a 2022 film that focuses on anti-boycott laws that require the recipient of state contracts to affirm that they will not engage in a boycott of Israel, and features the Arkansas Times publisher. The film was followed by a conversation with the director of the film, the news publisher featured in the film, and First Amendment experts about how anti-boycott legislation works, in what realms we might see it next, and what the future of this particular, powerful form of protest might look like.
The Athena Center brought together entrepreneurs from Barnard College, Columbia University, and across NYC to celebrate entrepreneurship! Barnard students and alumni, experienced entrepreneurs, and potential investors connected at the Athena Center’s Emerging Entrepreneurs Showcase.
The Barnard Startup Summit is back for its third year!
Sponsored by the Athena Center and Barnard Entrepreneurs network (BEnet), the Startup Summit is a free, off-campus, in-person opportunity for student and alum entrepreneurs to work with a successful group of Barnard alums in support of their for-profit ventures, followed by a reception for our entrepreneurship community. Learn more here.
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.
Earlier this semester, Athena Entrepreneurs took a delicious and educational field trip to local Harlem restaurant VEGANHOOD to chat with its Co-Founders about their small business journey. See what our Entrepreneurship Student Lead Diarra Seck ’23 had to say about the experience here.
Athena Post-Bacc Ruchi Shah traveled down south to a 3-day conference in the heart of New Orleans to present on a presidential panel centered around entrepreneurship and gender earlier this year. Read about how it went down here.
We are happy to announce our first Athena Incubator cohort! These members will participate in an year long incubator program led by Entrepreneur-in-Residence Deepti Sharma who will help guide them to reach their business goals. Click here to learn more about them and their businesses.
This spring, Athena Film Festival Post-Baccalaureate Fellow Gabriela Jatene participated in Artemis Rising Filmmaker Fellow, Abbesi Akhamie's mini-course on Film Grant Writing & Creative Career Strategy. Click here to read Gabriela's reflection on this hands-on learning opportunity.
We are thrilled to announce our Spring 2023 cohort of Athena Fellows! This semester, nine Barnard students from diverse majors and class years have been selected to participate in the program from January 27 to April 28. Click here to learn more about them.
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.