The Los Angeles African Women’s Public Policy Institute’s (LAAAWPPI) fifth class began on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008 on the campus of University of Southern California. The Class of 2008 is comprised of 19 dynamic women who represent a diverse cross-section of careers in the legal, nonprofit, corporate, education, public service, social service and public policy sectors to name a few. The Institute’s unique approach to leadership development is done by applying the methods and principles of public policy and their relationship to all aspects of life.

Presentations and guest speakers at the first session of the Institute included Carolyn Webb de Macias, vice president of External Relations at the University of Southern California; Barbara Perkins, author and motivational speaker; Angela Reddock, Esq. president of the LAAAWPPI Board of Directors; Kimberly Freeman of Sempra Energy, and Dr. Melina Abdullah of California State University, Los Angeles.

Dr. Barbara Young, an author, life coach and leadership development specialist, facilitated a workshop on defining leadership styles that was well-received by the students. Additionally, the Class of 2008 will have the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the most influential people responsible for shaping the Public Policy Agenda for the City of Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to participate in LAAAWPPI. I look forward to learning more about public policy in Los Angeles as well as acquiring skills and knowledge that will assist me in taking my career to the next level,” said Class of 2008 member Deborah Jones.

LAAAWPPI is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare minority women for leadership in public policy, government and public affairs through its intensive women’s leadership course.

Hosted on the campus of the University of Southern California, LAAAWPPI offers a 10-week educational institute for women interested in pursuing careers and opportunities as corporate leaders, elected officials, campaign consultants, public affairs consultants, fund-raisers, community activists, legislative staff members and members of boards and commissions. The instructors for the classes include individuals who have distinguished themselves in the public policy governmental affairs, and political arenas. LAAAWPPI has graduated over 50 women since its first class in 2004.

Additional information on the Institute may be obtained by contacting Joy Atkinson, Program Administrator at (323) 954-3777 or via email at joypatkinson@aol.com. The Institute’s website is www.laaawppi.com.

For additional information, please contact Patrice Marshall at (626) 353-9500.