“Few (wo)men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”

(Robert F. Kennedy, Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966)

Dear Fellow Laurentian,
I used to be a resident at Gilson Hall now known as Commons College. My military training taught me to get to the point quickly. BLUF (bottom line up front) I am developing an interdisciplinary course that explores the concerns of an organization called Common Good (http://commongood.org).

I will award $1000 on May 1, 2016 to the three upperclass women who contribute the most to the development of this course. Even if you are not interested I hope you will help spread the word about my offer to your friends and fellow classmates.

Todd W McCune MD MPH (Class of 1975)

Women appear to have significantly less interest in politics, or it would appear so if you used the amount of money women donate to political campaigns as an indication of interest. A man once said that war is the continuation of politics by other means. It is safe to say that most women have had no military experience. Many women would not seriously consider any career, or any cause, that puts them in harm’s way. To volunteer for a profession or a cause where you risk serious injury, disfigurement or even death is not a viable option for most of us, regardless of our gender. While many people admire courageous individuals, they are reluctant to follow in their footsteps.

The Women’s Leadership Challenge tries to make a case for women to risk political involvement. Our goal is to encourage the women of St Lawrence University to actively support those handful of women who courageously go into harm’s way and oppose violence against other women. We hope this website will help you to understand why people would voluntarily join a close knit community of unrelated men and women willing to put their lives on the line for you. The goal of the St Lawrence  Women’s Leadership Challenge is simple: To help women fight, peacefully, for each other.


St Lawrence University is a vibrant, collaborative community of learners who value thought and action. Students tap their full potential as they embrace the natural environment, engage with global challenges, and experience the relevance and adventure of a liberal arts education in a complex and changing world.

The Moral Courage Project

Housed at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Moral Courage Project (MCP) is growing into a global leadership program to help students engage in difficult dialogues about culture, power, justice, responsibility, citizenship and other contentious issues.

But the MCP reaches beyond the academy. It hosts this interactive website, which serves as a hub for students around the world. There, you can learn and engage about how to defy dogma. Surf the site. Download podcasts with the celebrated novelist Salman Rushdie and renowned journalist Christiane Amanpour. Above all, join the conversation.

Women’s Leadership Challenge encourages you to visit the Moral Courage Project website. Join their international network of students sharing ideas and working together to bring about real change for the betterment of humanity. Educate yourself. Become involved.

“You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.”

(Eldridge Cleaver)


Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the Heroic Imagination Project was founded by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University. At HIP, we translate the extensive research findings of social psychology and related fields into meaningful insights and tools that individuals can use in their everyday lives to transform negative situations and create positive change.

Dr. Zimbardo’s work has studied the psychological foundations of negative forms of social influence (such as conformity, obedience, and the bystander effect) and is now refocused on understanding the nature of everyday heroism and the psychology of personal and social growth.

HIP is a research-based organization, which provides knowledge, tools, strategies, and exercises to individuals and groups to help them to overcome the social and psychological forces that can keep people from taking effective action at crucial moments in their lives.