Although New York City may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a thriving, conservative-leaning group of independent-minded women getting together to delve into ideas, the city is home to a highly-effective IWN chapter, 97-strong; it is led by Aundrea Amine, who looks like she just stepped out of the pages of a glossy society magazine but is in fact caught up in the world of ideas.

“In New York, we have access to many interesting speakers, and we partner with other local organizations with connections to speakers as well, and, of course, IW is a tremendous resource. IW Senior Policy Analyst Inez Stepman is a member and brings a great depth of policy knowledge and context to our discussion. 

“So, we’ve been able to cover many important topics at our meetings. To name just a few: we discussed “San Fransicko, Why Progressives Ruin Cities,” by Michael Shellenberger; we’ve addressed CRT in schools; Covid lockdowns; we’ve evaluated the importance of local and school board elections with Ryan Girdusky; Batya Ungar Sargon discussed her book, “Bad News, How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy;” from the Manhattan Institute we’ve had Rafael Mangual discuss his book, “Criminal (In)Justice,” about the push for de-carceration and de-policing, and Nicole Gelinas spoke about the rise in crime in NYC; IW’s Meaghan Mobbs met with us recently to discuss national and international security and the inherent dangers of this administration’s open borders policy; Carrie Sheffield discussed her autobiography, “Motorhome Prophecies,” which relates to the mental health crisis in this country; former NY Congresswoman Nan Hayworth talked about running for office as a Republican in deep-blue NY; and Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of Do No Harm met with us for a discussion on the harmful impacts of DEI in medicine. That is just a sampling but it gives you an idea of the eye-opening information we’ve been able to share with our members.” 

Aundrea’s Independent Women’s Network chapter isn’t just social or discussing critical issues of the day. They are also working to have an impact: They have launched engagement campaigns to help New Yorkers voice their concerns directly with their elected representatives about the rise in violence in the city, the legislature’s plans to house male inmates in female prisons, and the importance of protecting women’s and girls’ sports.

“Our objective is to inform, and, hopefully, inspire some to speak out and take action.”

Aundrea found her way to IWN the way so many independent-minded women do. She wanted to exchange ideas with other independent women to assure herself she wasn’t alone. Educated at Boston University and Northeastern, she had a career in marketing before moving to London where she lived for nearly 12 years. 

Upon returning to the U.S., Aundrea delved into working with charitable organizations: as a reading tutor at local schools and doing advocacy work for victims of domestic violence, among other things. “Fast forward to 2016 and I watched the collective hysteria build and cancel culture and censorship take hold—scary stuff that needed to be paid attention to! Finding Independent Women’s Forum, a great resource for sound and balanced analysis of issues relevant to women, provided a forum to proactively stay informed, and make a difference, which was enormously helpful to me. Then, we moved to New York, and I was craving opportunities for open and honest discussions on politics and culture. IWN was just launching, so starting a NYC chapter made a lot of sense.  But, I only knew two women there at the time who were open about their center-right values. Luckily, they loved the idea of a NYC IWN Chapter and invited their network of interested friends and the chapter grew from there. 

“Our objective is to inform, and, hopefully, inspire some to speak out and take action.” Aundrea grew up in southern California. “My family were small business owners who built a successful business from the ground up. I saw first-hand how policies impact people’s livelihoods, and the opportunities available through hard work, sacrifice, and personal responsibility.”  

“I only knew two women [in New York] at the time who were open about their center-right values. Luckily, they loved the idea of a NYC IWN Chapter, and invited their network of interested friends and the chapter grew from there”

As a result of conversations with Maud Maron, an iconoclastic (now former) Democrat and defender of academic standards, who ran for Congress in New York City against an entrenched Democrat, and a member of the IWN chapter, Aundrea joined Maud and fellow founder, Linda Quarles, as COO of a new project: a new company called Third Rail, which aims to help corporations and other organizations that have embraced DEI, de-program, so to speak. “We believe in the richness of diversity and know there is power in unity and valuing knowledge diversity, rather than embracing divisions. As a strategy consulting firm, we help organizations and teams navigate out of the failings of current orthodoxies and group-think, to unleash the best ideas.”  

If Aundrea succeeds with Third Rail—and we bet she will—we’ll soon see a resurgence of real diversity in major corporations. Meanwhile, 97 independent-minded women in New York know where to find exciting discussions of ideas and realize that they are not alone.