A new event celebrating Women’s History Month: March 21 at Historic Union Station!

By Danielle Shockey, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana

Last year on International Women’s Day, I sat in the audience at the Indianapolis Arts Garden at the Pass the Torch for Women breakfast–witnessing the speakers, the energy, the diversity–and a palpable momentum. Sitting among hundreds of advocates for women’s leadership and advancement, I knew our collective power could move mountains to become a powerful force for women and girls in Indiana—if we could work together to harness it.

From the stage a speaker asked, “Now what? How can we together not lose this feeling? What differences can we make? Let’s make our collective passions to empowering, celebrating, and supporting each other happen every day, not just on this day once a year?”

In the weeks following the event, this call to action, intended to motivate all attendees to make a difference in their communities, began to feel like a personal challenge—calling me to capture the power of that moment, working not in isolation but as a collective community across not-for-profits serve Indiana’s women and girls. How could we pool our networks to advocate unapologetically for the female future in this state?

And from that moment, the INSpire Her Leadership Summit was born! On the eve of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day 2024, I am proud to share that Pass the Torch for Women, the Indiana Girl Coalition, and Girl Scouts of Central Indiana have joined forces to host a powerful community event for champions of women and girls in the Hoosier state.

Our immersive, full-day experience will be held on March 21 at Historic Union Station in Indianapolis, and it’s a must-attend event for allies and advocates in central Indiana!

What makes this event so critical is that each person participating–either from a seat or the stage–cares about the same thing: the female future. This isn’t a fundraiser for any one entity, nor a competition for volunteers and grants, but rather a collaboration across the three host organizations and every single attendee—all united equally in our commitment to making a better world for women and girls in Indiana.

Also unique to this day is the attendee experience, which will include:

  • Time to browse the Mission Marketplace, where they will learn about central Indiana’s landscape of not-for-profits whose missions are dedicated to women and girls and how they can get more involved.
  • Engagement in breakout sessions to gain tools and tactics for how they can use their own time, talent, treasure, and testimony to make a difference in the lives of Indiana women. From tools and tactics for how to get connected to and consider serving on not-for-profit boards from the local experts at the United Way of Central Indiana, to creating a personal giving portfolio for female philanthropy from CEO of the Women’s Fund, to running for public office or using their voice in every place from social media platforms to testifying in the state house from current elected officials.
  • Multiple moments for introspection and inspiration, with speakers like Alex Perry on conquering imposter syndrome, Allison Barber, president of the Indiana Fever, on what it means when she says, “there is an advocate in all of us,” Karrah Herring, chief diversity and people officer for Governor Holcomb’s administration, on using your voice when you’re “the only one in the room,” and Linda Calvin, who is tirelessly forging paths for women and girls in tech.

Attendees will also hear from Indiana business leaders who have taken a passion for women’s empowerment and created a world-changing company—including Boss Babe Founder and CEO Mariah Oliver and Leslie Bailey, curator of the powerhouse space for women at Indy Maven. Anne Marie Tiernon of WTHR will lead a compelling conversation with our lunch panel, featuring well-known public figures like Marianne Glick, Deborah Hearn Smith, and Carolene Mays—women who have dedicated their lives, professionally and personally, to giving back and being unapologetically passionate in their pursuits.

And there is so much more, including one of 23 women billionaires, Jenny Just, founder of Poker Power, to an end of day engagement activity where each guest will create a visible reminder to wear as a promise to each other. Attendees will leave this summit energized to go make a change, with new contacts and resources to leverage in their missions. I am confident Women’s History Month 2025 we will gather again to celebrate all the progress sparked by the inspiration, knowledge, tools, tactics, friends made on this day 2024! And we certainly hope you can join us.

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