Communities of Practice
Ready to get involved, and want to go deeper than a SPARK or Athena Film Festival experience? Join a community of practice and get:
- Meaningful connections with students who share your interests in a particular issue or a particular method of changemaking (e.g., entrepreneurship, advocacy, policy and government, tech, and research)
- Mentorship and guidance from experts and experienced changemakers
- An ungraded space to try something new, take a risk, get it wrong, and try again
- The guidance and support you need to consider your work through an equity lens, accessibility lens, and sustainability lens, in addition to the gender lens we're accustomed to applying here at Barnard!
- Funding from Athena or support accessing funding from external sources
We run multiple communities of practice and we're always launching new ones. In some communities of practice, members take on projects. In others, members practice skills. Some are anchored in internship experiences. No two are exactly the same.
Don't see one you're interested in? Come by and let us know — and maybe we can build a new one together!
A few key things. First, communities of practice are not credit-bearing — which mean they're not graded. They're a safe and brave space for you to practice getting better at something, alongside others who share that interest. At Athena, that's changemaking.
Second, communities of practice are a space — which means that the work you do in them is self-directed, though you’ll receive plenty of guidance from our expert facilitators. Think of it as being handed a few ingredients rather than a recipe. What will you add? What will you make?
Each community of practice has its own application process. Click on the links above to learn more.
Yes, yes, and yes! Just be sure to read about the expectations for each one.
Show up, all in. Each community of practice has meetings - for example, Athena Fellows commit every Friday for a semester, members of the Williams Program for Women in Politics, the Athena Advocacy Institute commit 10 weeks of their summer to their internship or startup, alongside weekly gatherings with each other. It's different for each community, but the most important thing for you to know is that it's really a community - our meetings are where the work really happens.
Be open to collaboration. The change we need won’t come from a single approach or a single person, but at Athena, we don’t force you to do group projects. We do create the conditions for collaborations to emerge and flourish.