Network of Enlightened Women’s University of Florida Co-President Ophelie Jacobson Talks About Her Recent Op-Ed and Being a Conservative on College Campus

Network of Enlightened Women’s University of Florida Co-President Ophelie Jacobson Talks About Her Recent Op-Ed and Being a Conservative on College Campus


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the Co-President of the (NeW) Network of Enlightened Women at the University of Florida, Ophelie Jacobson to the newsmakers line to discuss her recent op-ed on cancel culture and being a conservative student in college today.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by Ophelie Jacobson. She’s a University of Florida sophomore studying journalism and political science. She’s co-president of the Network of Enlightened Women chapter at the University of Florida.

She penned an op-ed that was first published at the Sarasota Herald Tribune. That’s a Gateway-Gannett publication in Sarasota on March 7. The title is, Can We Just Cancel the Cancel Culture? Good morning over Ophelie.

Jacobson: Good morning. Thank you so much for having me on.

Leahy: Are you in Gainesville today or are you at home?

Jacobson: I’m currently at home in Orlando, Florida.

Leahy: Do you go back to classes in the fall and will they be regular? Will you have to wear masks and will you be in dorms?

Jacobson: So I attend the University of Florida. I’ll be back in person. I was in person for the past year, actually staying in a dorm for my sophomore year. A lot of my classes were online over Zoom, but just recently, actually, on Monday, the university sent out an email saying that masks will not be required on campus for those who are vaccinated, and they’ll be strongly suggested for those who are not vaccinated yet. I’m really excited to see a return to normal on campus in the fall.

Leahy: How weird is it to go to college and do most stuff online and have to wear these dopey masks? What was that year like for you?

Jacobson: It’s definitely different. It definitely has its ups and downs. But with online classes you can wake up 10 minutes before your class, roll out of bed and hop on Zoom. But with in person classes you have to get up, get ready.

But I’m really looking forward to going back to in-person classes because you really get that connection with your professors, with your fellow peers, and students. And you’re also able to concentrate more when you’re in a classroom setting rather than just staring at your computer for hours on end.

Leahy: Let me read the first few lines of your op-ed. It was excellent by the way.

Jacobson: Thank you.

Leahy: Florida State University removed a statue of Francis Epps VII, the former Mayor of Tallahassee and grandson of Thomas Jefferson. Protesters in Chicago tried to tear down a statue of Christopher Columbus. A statue of President George Washington was vandalized and knocked down by seven people in Los Angeles. All of this during the year 2020 alone. What was their sin?

Jacobson: I think their sin was definitely the cancellation of America. Cancel culture, as we’ve seen in the past year, it ceased to destroy a person or a company’s image based solely on personal disagreement. So I would argue in the year 2020 alone, we saw a direct attack on America and American history.

And so the canceling of America is very concerning in our country because if we’re not able to have statues that just simply represent our past as a nation, that yes maybe it has negative parts in American history, but it’s our history nonetheless.

And we should be upholding those basic principles of our history in order to teach our future generations. If you just think about what we’re going to teach the next generation of leaders, they’re not going to have anything to base their history off of if they walk down the street and all the statues are torn down.

Leahy: I learned something from your piece about this fellow, Francis Epps VII. He was a grandson of Thomas Jefferson, born in Monticello and moved down to Tallahassee when he was, I don’t know, 27, 28. A young man when there wasn’t much there in Tallahassee.

Turns out he was a slave owner. But also he donated the buildings and land upon which Florida State University was built. Did they have a list of his sins when they removed his statue? What was the controversy in Tallahassee surrounding that?

Jacobson: The main controversy was that he was a slave owner. And that, for them, that was enough. They said, “We have a long history of addressing difficult racism and inclusion issues on this campus and we know there is so much work to do as the nation faces great unrest and an urgent call for change. We as a University will continue to listen, learn, and evolve.”

And that was said by President John Thrasher of FSU. So that was one of their ways, I guess, of evolving in the wake of everything that was happening in 2020 was to remove this statue, which is unfortunate because like you said, he donated a lot to the University.

I think the students at the University owe him a lot as well for studying there and for using the buildings that he donated. It’s unfortunate to see that just because he was a slave owner in the past, that’s enough for him to get canceled and for a statue to be torn down.

And we saw that again, as I mentioned with Christopher Columbus, President George Washington. It’s super sad to see the cancellation of tangible reminders of those aspects of American history, which, according to these people, are deemed offensive and derogatory.

And by doing that, we actually cancel the opportunity for like I mentioned, future generations to learn about our country and to learn from our past. People always say history repeats itself. How are we supposed to learn from our past if we cancel all tangible reminders of it? And we can’t really learn from our past in order to prevent history from repeating itself in the future.

Leahy: Did you go to attend public schools in Orlando before you went to the University of Florida?

Jacobson: I was actually born in Boston. I attended some public schools there. I lived in San Diego, California, for nine years. I attended some public schools there. And in my last two years of high school, were in Melbourne, Florida.

Leahy: How was American history taught in these public schools that you attended?

Jacobson: For the most part, American history was pretty basic. We learned a wide variety of topics. Everything from the Civil War up until the late 20th century. I think it was pretty basic. But now what we’re seeing with critical race theory, the 1619 Project is a direct attack on our American history.

And again, every single country has its flaws but that doesn’t mean we should exclude that from the history that is taught in classrooms.

Leahy: You’re finishing your second year at the University of Florida. A beautiful campus, by the way, I’ve been down there. I like the University of Florida. When you get to be there I’m sure you’re enjoying the campus there, I would imagine.

Jacobson: Yes, it’s beautiful.

Leahy: What’s it like being a traditional American who likes to study American history? What’s it like at the University of Florida with your peers and the professors there over the past? What has your experience been?

Jacobson: It’s definitely a challenge that has its ups and downs. Being a journalism student as well definitely has its personal challenges. Just last year, I was in a reporting class, and I had a Professor and one of the first assignments that we had to do was to write a profile story about ourselves, our goals and aspirations, and what we wanted to do in the future.

And in that profile story, I’d mentioned that I want to work at a conservative media organization such as One American News or Newsmax. And two days after I submitted the assignment, I got a lengthy email from the professor criticizing my career goals and saying that OANN was fake news. I shouldn’t aspire to work there.

And it was really disheartening to see. Normally, you see professors attack students for their political beliefs. But for a professor to attack my career goals, that was something that I’d never really experienced. I found myself I wasn’t defending my political belief at that moment, I was just defending again my career goals.

But because those goals happened to relate to conservative media outlets, I was automatically targeted. So what I did was I compiled a list of lawsuits that CNN and MSNBC have faced. And I sent that back to him. And I said, if we want to talk about fake news, let’s talk about CNN. Let’s talk about MSNBC.

And so he sent me an email back saying that oh actually, you’re a great journalist now, and I’m looking forward to seeing your work. (Leahy chuckles) And the rest of the semester, I worked really hard to prove him wrong. I gave 100 percent of my all my assignments, so he didn’t have anything to dock me for simply for being a conservative.

This is just one of the many examples. I know I’m not alone. A lot of the girls in our organization have shared similar experiences. So it’s just really unfortunate to see that Conservatives are being targeted on our campuses.

Leahy: What grade you get in that class?

Jacobson: I got over 100 percent. (Chuckles)

Leahy: Well, very good. He was biased, to begin with, but at least you showed him through fact and hard work, and they couldn’t give you a bad grade.

Jacobson: Exactly.

Leahy: I like that. When we come back, I want to talk a little bit more about what’s going on on campuses. Critical race theory and what it’s like to be a conservative in college today.

Listen to the full first hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Ophelie Jacobson” by Ophelie Jacobson. Background Photo “Florida Campus” by WillMcC. CC BY-SA 3.0.












Host of Fox Nation’s ‘No Interruption’ Tomi Lahren on Adversity at Clemson, Arizona Border, and Woke Corporate Culture

Host of Fox Nation’s ‘No Interruption’ Tomi Lahren on Adversity at Clemson, Arizona Border, and Woke Corporate Culture



Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Fox Nation contributor and host of No Interruption, Tomi Lahren to the newsmakers line to talk about facing adversity from BLM and college socialists in her recent visit to Clemson University, Arizona Border, and how the joke is on the woke corporations.

Leahy: We are joined on the newsmaker line by our good friend Tomi Lahren, Fox Nation host. And Tomi you went to Clemson and they didn’t want you to speak. Why are you so dangerous, Tomi?

Lahren: (Laughs) You know, sometimes the truth is a dangerous thing, especially on college campuses nowadays, which is really unfortunate, because historically, college campuses are the places that used to really foster free speech and it was a marketplace of ideas. But now college kids have become so conditioned to only hear the things that they want to hear and anytime that that’s threatened or anytime that they’re challenged to expand outside of that echo chamber of the liberal indoctrination, it’s scary to them. It’s like a hole in their safe space and I think I was a threat to that safe space. But the show went on anyway.

Leahy: Well, set the scene for us in Clemson. When did it take place? Who invited you? How many people were there? How many were protesting? Again, why are you so dangerous? I still don’t get that. (Laughs)

Lahren: We’ve been working on this event for a couple of months and it took place this past Thursday night at Clemson. But we’ve been working on it for a couple of months. I was invited by the Clemson Turning Point USA chapter. They have a huge Turning Point chapter. And for those who aren’t familiar with Turning Point, it’s a conservative college campus organization on most campuses across the country.

Thank goodness they really provide that safe space for Conservatives that Conservatives don’t really have on college campuses. But they invited me. And originally we knew that doing an event Backing the Blue was the steam of the event and we knew that was going to probably be controversial just because, unfortunately, in the times in which we live supporting law enforcement and Backing the Blue is not a popular concept, especially amongst young people.

But we planned the event and of course, there was an outcry, the college Democrats, the young college socialists, the BLM-affiliated groups on campus tried to cancel the event. They tried to petition the University. They had a petition on that was about 4,000 signatures. And they really wanted the University to be pressured to just cancel the event altogether. Well, that didn’t work.

The University held strong, but when that didn’t work, just all-out canceling the event, they turned to tactics that these groups use not only on college campuses but elsewhere when they have Conservative events. They tried to sign up with fake ticket sales to try to really take up all the tickets from kids that wanted to be there. And then take up those tickets themselves and then not show up.

That’s a popular tactic that the left is used with Trump rallies and other events. And when that didn’t work because Turning Point found a way around that one, too then they thought by making threats or running up the security costs that they would make the event too expensive for Turning Point to afford or for the University to afford.

(Scoffs) And then when that didn’t work, we decided, hey, listen, let’s have the event in a smaller room. We were going to have it in more of like a student union room, ballroom type area but we felt that that couldn’t be secured. And with the number of people that were coming, we needed a bigger venue. So we moved the event over to the Littlejohn Coliseum which is the basketball arena and they were unable to cancel it. And it just gave us a larger capacity and the show went on.

Leahy: You put a tweet out with a picture. It looks like there are, like, I don’t know a couple of hundred lefties with BLM masks with their hands raised. How big was the opposition to you there?

Lahren: It was hard because they were scattered, but there was 300, 400 protesters out there. Black Lives Matter Group,  BLM showed up, college Democrats, the New Black Panthers showed up, but I wasn’t outside thank goodness. We were escorted in through the back. But the funny thing is that my Fox Nation team was there and they captured the whole thing.

And it will be debuting later this month on Fox Nation. And my producers were actually there interviewing the protesters and asking questions. But we found out that these protesters didn’t really have consistent messaging. They didn’t want me to be there. They said I’m a white supremacist. They didn’t want the University to hold an event for a white supremacist, and they didn’t want to Back to Blue.

But they also would deny that when you asked them a second time. So their message was very inconsistent. But because their messaging was inconsistent, they turned to then heckling and harassing those that were coming in. It was rather disgusting. They were yelling things at the ladies that were going in, telling them that they were ugly and telling that their clothes were ugly and telling them that they were racist, this and that, and screaming at the top of their lungs. And it was quite disgusting. From what I saw, just things that you would never say to anybody, but especially to your fellow peers and classmates.

Leahy: Who knew Tomi that a kid from Rapid City, South Dakota, was so dangerous. (Laughter)

Lahren: I have to remind myself of that often.

(Commercial break)

Leahy: Tomi, a question for you. When you go to Clemson and all of the snowflakes decide that you’re just too dangerous to talk and want to keep you from talking, what do your parents out in Rapid City, South Dakota, who are average, hard-working, middle-class Americans, what do they think?

Lahren: My parents have been around this for quite some time now, so I think that the strangeness has worn off a little bit. And they’ve been with me when I’ve had the protesters. Unfortunately, they’ve been there with me when I’ve had water thrown on me and they were right next to me and had water thrown on them as well.

So, unfortunately, they’ve had to deal with a lot more than a lot of parents have to deal with. But for me, it’s always just the safety that they’re concerned about. And luckily, we had a lot of great security at Clemson. It’s kind of interesting that we’re doing a back to Blue event and we had to have so many cops there to protect me and also to protect all the protesters and all the people that wanted to be there. So it’s one of those things. We always just got to be safe, but it’s become a natural part of my life at this point.

Leahy: Where do you intend to speak next so that there will be some sort of conflagration from the crazies on the left against you for some unknown reason?

Lahren: There are actually a lot of Turning Point chapters now. They’ve been very inspired by the event, and I want to take it on. We’re actually talking to one of the Turning Point chapters that’s closer down to the border because I just got home from the border. And I did a two-part episode there. They want me to come on back down and speak to their college campus about some border issues and maybe more in that kind of a theme. So we’ll see.

I love to get out and speak to college kids. It’s really difficult right now because of all those COVID protocols and the social distancing and just how interesting our college system has become now. But every chance I get, I think we really need to take our message and bring it to the college campuses. That’s how we start fighting in the culture war that Conservatives have largely been out of way too long.

Leahy: Tomi, when you went down to the border, what did you discover?

Lahren: Oh, boy. So there’s been a lot of emphasis placed on these processing centers and these detention centers. That’s what you’re going to see on the news. And that’s what’s causing the outrage really on both sides, which is understandable. But the American people are just seeing that and they are not really seeing the real issue that’s going on, which is all the people that are getting across the border, not just the unaccompanied kids that are coming across, but the adults that are coming across while the border patrol agents are so occupied taking care of these unaccompanied minors, that’s when the worst of the worst is really coming through.

You’ve got a border wall that’s been halted. You’ve got agents that are being taken away and having to be taken to the processing centers to essentially babysit. And that’s when you’ve got these gaps and you’ve got these issues coming through that are worse than people can imagine. That’s when the drugs are coming through, that’s when human trafficking is coming through, that’s when the individuals that are coming into this country, not to make it great again, but to fulfill their own needs.

They work for a criminal organization. That’s what’s coming through. In Arizona, where I was but there’s a lot of emphasis placed on Texas right now, but Arizona year to date, they’ve had an estimated 50,000 ‘got aways’, which is exactly what it sounds like. People that have never been fingerprinted, process, detained, arrested nothing, people that are simply getting through. And that’s just an estimate. And that’s just Arizona alone.

Leahy: Which was more dangerous for you? Your speech at Clemson on Thursday or your time at the border in Arizona?

Lahren: (Chuckles) They’re very different. Every border trip I’ve gone and this is my border trip. I’ve been with Border Patrol. So during the Trump administration, it was very secure and safe because we were with Border Patrol themselves, shadowing them. And of course, there’s always danger there because we shadowed them in their real-life responding to calls as they would.

But it’s always been a safety element because we were with Border Patrol. Well, this time, Border Patrol there is that implied and not so much implied, but it is a gag order on Border Patrol. So I had to go out and spend time with landowners, with the Sheriff’s Department, with people that are just out there to share their stories. So it’s always a little dangerous anytime you go to the border. But it’s one of those things that you just don’t even think about. You just go out there and do it.

Leahy: Last question for you, Tomi. So this is interesting. There’s a report, on Saturday, 100 corporate executives met in a virtual meeting organized by a Yale Business School Professor to determine what they could do to stop election reform bills, bills designed to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. Apparently, Fortune 500 executives don’t like that.

The attendees there were Arthur Blank, owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, James Murdoch and his wife, the son of Rupert Murdoch, the head of AMC Theaters that have a big law firm. They had the CEO of Walmart, the CEO of United are Airlines, American Airlines, Chip Bergh from Levi Strauss, and of course, Reid Hoffman a far lefty if ever was one, the CEO of LinkedIn. And the President of and CEO of Viacom CBS. What do you make of this effort by Fortune 500 company executives to overturn the legal processes of state legislatures in America today.

Lahren: We’ve been conditioned to have to deal with this. We know what happened in November 2020, and we know when our President Donald Trump spoke about voter fraud and election integrity, we know that that was very much a sit-down and shut up message. And then they really used the events of January sixth and the insurrection to really quiet people and to keep people from talking about voter fraud.

And then when you’ve got states like Georgia that’s taken it into their own hands and say, hey, listen, whatever squirrely business happen, we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen again. As you mentioned, we’re going to make it hard to cheat, easy to vote. Now you see corporations stepping up and saying, how can we add to the conversation? How can we be a part of cancel culture?

How can we be a part of the mob that can go and silence this and change this to give power to Democrats for generations to come? It’s really quite disgusting. But the only way we as average citizens who care about election integrity the only way we can stop any of this is to let these corporations know that it won’t be tolerated. As Conservatives, we don’t like the term boycott. We don’t want to boycott Major League Baseball. We don’t want to boycott the airlines.

We don’t want to boycott any of these companies that are participating in this. But at some point, we are going to have to make our voices heard because they don’t know how strong our numbers are. They don’t know the silent majority is a real thing because we are far too silent. So now is the time that we need to stand up and say, hey, listen, you companies want to be woke? You want to participate in this cancel culture? You want to mess with our elections? Well, hey, guess what? Money talks. and the silent majority, we have a lot of it.

Leahy: You mentioned Major League Baseball. They made a very stupid and controversial decision to move the Major League All-Star Game scheduled for July in Atlanta in Cobb County with the new stadium up there which is 50 percent black, by the way, because they didn’t like the election reform law passed by the Georgia state Legislature. Rob Manfred, who think has played baseball a day in his life. He’s a Harvard Law School grad with no common sense.

The Commissioner decided on his own to move it to nine percent Black Denver, Colorado, which apparently has it’s a better place for Major League Baseball these guys think. This conference call was attended by the head of CBS Viacom. They broadcast The Masters from Georgia. That was okay, apparently. What do you make of all this? Hypocrisy, Tomi

Lahren: Yeah. I think that this is a classic example of them getting in way over their head trying to be woke and it backfiring in a major way. But we saw this a few years ago with the NFL and then cow-towing to the protesters and kneelers, and we saw where their fans went. So I think it’s going to be, unfortunately, much the same for Major League Baseball or golf or any sport that decides to go the woke route.

But again, I think it’s interesting because they look so ridiculous because they didn’t really think it out because they didn’t think that they would be questioned. They thought that they were going to be able to do this. They were going to move the All-Star Game, and everyone was going to applaud them for how woke they are and how wonderful they are, and what social justice warriors they are with their almighty virtue signal.

And it backfired in a major way. And it’s actually kind of funny. I think that this is going to happen more and more to companies when people start poking holes in their stupid decisions that they have not thought through. And it’s up to us to keep applying the pressure and pointing it out every chance we can.

Leahy: Tomi, I saw a very funny tweet from Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas. He said, have any of these executives actually read the Georgia law? I’ve read it. It’s common sense. It makes it easier to vote, harder to cheat.

Lahren: Oh, absolutely. And that’s the thing people need to understand, having to show an ID to vote to prove you are who you say you are. That is in no way racist. In fact, the more racist element of that is those that are criticizing it, thinking that somehow minority and Black communities are unable to show and obtain a valid driver’s license or a form of identification.

Just assuming that is somehow voter suppression to me is the most racist, condescending element of this whole argument. And that’s why we need to keep pointing that out. You should vote and be able to vote easily. But you have to be who you say you are, and you can’t vote illegally. You can’t vote twice, and you can’t vote dead. Not too much to ask.

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.






Network of Enlightened Women Founder and President Karin Lips Discusses Her Motivation and Helping Conservative Women Find Their Voice on College Campuses

Network of Enlightened Women Founder and President Karin Lips Discusses Her Motivation and Helping Conservative Women Find Their Voice on College Campuses


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the founder of the (NeW) Network of Enlightened Women, Karen Lips to the newsmakers line to discuss what motivated her to start NeW and how she intends to help conservative women find their voice in college communities.

Leahy: We are joined now by Karin Lips who’s the founder of the Network of Enlightened Women. A very brave person. Karin, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report this morning.

Lips: Good morning. Thank you for having me on and thank you for your kind words.

Leahy: So 2004 you are a student at the University of Virginia. I’ve been there, by the way, Charlottesville. Nice town.

Lips: It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Leahy: It’s very beautiful of course. went to Monticello and went up and looked at to all around to the great historic facilities there. And of course, the campus is beautiful as well. But the intellectual freedom atmosphere not quite so beautiful. Tell us about your experience there in 2004 when you came back and told the officials at the women’s center that you wanted to start a conservative women’s group there?

Lips: Well, like many young people I had the experience of interning in Washington D.C. for my home state senator, Senator Lugar. I really appreciated the chance to be surrounded by smart and ambitious women who wanted to talk about the issues of the day and wanted to include conservative voices. I went back to UVA for my third year of college and sought out that environment. And unfortunately, as you hinted, the women’s groups weren’t open to more conservative voices.

I even went to our women’s center which is in a building right near the center of campus and had a tour with a faculty member there at the end. She had been recruiting me for all kinds of programs there. And I asked if they would be interested in co-sponsoring a group for conservative women. She looked at me like I was crazy, chuckled, and said not here. That was my experience.

Leahy: Yeah that’s the way it works isn’t it?

Lips: Yes, at a major public university. The woman’s institutions just weren’t open to more conservative voices. And as a result, I ended up starting the Network of Enlightened Women known as NeW and as a book club so that women could read the stories and hear conservative policies from conservative women.

I started that 16 years ago and it is continuing to grow one chapter at a time. And I’m excited to share that. We are on campuses across the country. We’ve got an active presence in Nashville with some awesome women from Belmont. A very active group. And we are going to be hosting our leadership retreat for our top leaders around the country in August in Chattanooga. I’ve never been and I’m really looking forward to it.

Leahy: Chattanooga is a wonderful place. And by the way, send all of your Belmont University chapter members here to The Tennessee Star Report. We’ll have them in the studio on the program. And I noticed you have media fellowship opportunities. We are always looking for great writers at the Star News Network. We have six conservative news sites in states around the country like Tennessee and Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota. And so right now here on the air, I will tell you any intern you send our way, we’ll work with them.

Lips: Well, I appreciate that kind offer. And you mentioned our student media fellows program. That’s a program we started because we truly believe that women are the future of freedom. and for women to be great advocates we’ve got to help train them. So this is a program where we help college students learn to write their first op-ed and do their first radio interview with the goal of getting them trained so they can become advocates of freedom and America’s founding principles and speak out for those.

Not just while they are students on campus but in the years to come and their communities. We think that’s just so important to get them trained because it seems like women on the left are pulling us further left like AOC and her Democratic socialism. They’re pulling us further left. And we need strong advocates on the right. And so that’s why we’ve got programs like our student media fellows training college women to write and be great messengers.

Leahy: Well, the other thing that I noticed is the huge peer pressure to be a brain-dead leftist on campuses today is I think unimaginable compared to what it was like years ago. How do conservative young women survive with that kind of intellectual onslaught against them?

Lips: It’s tough out there. We should not minimize that It’s just tough on college campuses. And that’s why I knew one of the things we needed to do is to create a community. We find college women that want that community and that want that intellectual home. Many of them feel very alone. One of the things in my job I get to see is we find these amazing women on these college campuses and a common theme is they just feel very alone.

So we create that community to bring them in. And then we are also working to make it socially acceptable might be a way to phrase it for women to self-identify as conservative and speak out. This year 2021 we deemed it the year of the conservative woman. And so as part of this program, we’re celebrating conservative women and really creating that national community. Each month we’re doing an online Facebook live discussion with a conservative woman leader.

In March Kay Coles James president of the Heritage Foundation on for a lively conversation. So we are highlighting and celebrating and promoting conservative women across our platforms. We are on Instagram where a lot of college students are trying to give them the chance to see that there are a lot of strong conservative women out there that they can aspire to be like.

Leahy: We are talking with Karen Lips the founder and president of the Network of Enlightened Women. My impression Karin is that the left on campuses today is bullying, intolerant, and mean-spirited towards anyone who says something other than what’s out there. We got about a minute left. Am I right? Am I wrong? What’s the outlook for the future?

Lips: Well in 2018, we published our first book. She’s Conservative: Stories of Trials and Triumphs on America’s College Campuses. And a theme that emerged is that conservative women were making a decision before they even stepped foot on campus to keep their views quiet. Not just because they worry about their grades but because they are worried about making friends. That social pressure and the atmosphere on campus needs to be fixed. And it’s a real problem if conservatives are deciding to self-censor before they even step foot on campus.

Leahy: Well, that’s a great story and a great effort. We wish you the best of luck Karin. Will you come into Nashville sometime and visit with us in studio?

Lips: I’d love to get to Nashville. What a great place. I’d be happy to stop in.

Listen to the full first hour:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Karin Lips” by Network of enlightened Women.