Welcome to Athena!
The time has come for us to reimagine everything.
Grace Lee Boggs '35
Nearly half of Barnard students identify as women of color. More than three quarters held the position of president or co-president before coming to Barnard. All are intimately familiar with competition and the pressures high-achieving and ambitious young women face.
The Athena Center for Leadership meets these students where they are, with an approach to leadership development that uncovers connections, fosters collaborations, and recognizes the complex nature of challenges that lie ahead of us as well as the abundance that exists within our diverse communities at Barnard, inside Columbia University, and in New York City.
Athena is a hub for changemakers at Barnard College, itself a center for leadership for over 130 years.
We know leadership is more than a position — it's a practice. We bring aspiring, emerging, and experienced changemakers together to practice leading change through entrepreneurship, advocacy, policy and government, technology, research and scholarship, film, and more.
SPARK, our event series, ignites thinking about how change happens and where each of us can begin — or continue.
Our communities of practice are a place for hands-on learning, risk-taking, action, and reflection. Participants receive funding or support accessing funding to help them prioritize this work. Click through to see how our communities work.
And through the Athena Film Festival, we're changing what the entertainment industry looks like, and we’re inspiring storytellers — and audiences — to challenge tired and troubling narratives about women’s leadership in the process.