• Hawaiʻi State Senate


(Alexandria, VA) – From September 21 to 22, Senator Donna Mercado Kim joined an additional thirty elected women from across the country for the National Foundation for Women Legislator’s inaugural State Director Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. This summit was by-invitation only and was restricted to NFWL State Directors, Board of Directors, and Committee Chairs.

The summit was unique in its leadership focus. All programming aimed to provide elected women with concrete resources and tools to bolster their leadership skills.

One main component of the programming was civil discourse. With what many consider to be a challenging political climate, NFWL brought in Next Generation – The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD). NICD facilitated a thought-provoking discussion about the role of civil discourse in government and how civility can be improved among elected officials. Elected women were even trained on how to improve civility.

“The National Institute for Civil Discourse is honored to continue our outstanding partnership with the National Foundation for Women Legislators to develop great leaders and improve governance,” said Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. “In today’s climate of extreme polarization, we’re proud to support the foundation’s commitment to building civility among lawmakers at every level to ensure that elected officials can work together and achieve progress. Every attendee to this leadership summit should be commended for their dedication to improving discourse and strengthening relationships across partisan divides.”

“I’m proud to be a part of this organization that believes in building strong women leaders and lawmakers to help tackle the important issues of our states,” said Sen. Kim. “As the Southwest Regional State Director, I had the opportunity to meet with women legislators from across the country who share the same concerns and priorities and who are also working hard to make our home states better, more resilient and to create greater understanding and respect within our communities.”

NFWL Executive Director Jody Thomas shared, “Without the elected women who chose to serve as leaders within our organization, we could not do all the work that we do. These women represent some of the most dedicated public servants in America and we are immensely proud to have them in our organization.” Thomas added, “NFWL thanks Senator Kim for taking time out of her busy schedule to join us in Washington, D.C. We look forward to seeing how she takes what she learned at the summit and applies it to her work as an elected woman.”

About the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Inc. (NFWL)

Through annual educational and networking events, the National Foundation for Women Legislators supports elected women from all levels of governance. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, NFWL does not take ideological positions on public policy issues, but rather serves as a forum for women legislators to be empowered through information and experience. www.womenlegislators.org

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