Ready, Aim, Fire: LI Graduate Speaks Out at CPAC 2017

You may recognize Antonia Okafor from her many guest appearances on the Blaze, NRA TV, and Fox News.  She is also a Campus News Correspondent for Independent Journal Review where she works to expose liberal bias and abuse on Texas college campuses.

Antonia OkaforHer official website has the following blazed across the top: Black, Armed, and Conservative.  Antonia knows she doesn’t fit the “normal” stereotype of a conservative gun activist but she’s getting her message across to the media regardless.

“There’s definitely a lot of shock factor as I’m not the ‘typical conservative’.  It’s opened a lot of doors with being able to have people listen.  Whether it’s plain curiosity or genuine interest, I think being someone who is contrary to the typical conservative helps people want to listen.”

Antonia is currently a student at the University of Texas at Dallas but aims to bring new female perspective to gun rights and regularly advocates for campus carry policies.  Her own passion for campus carry often brings her into the cross-hairs of feminism and right to self-defense.

“For me it’s an empowerment issue.  Being a feminist came first and the gun rights issue came after.  I became so passionate above advocating for campus carry and the right to self defense because I strongly believe every woman should have the choice to decide which form of defense is right for them.  That includes guns."

Most recently, Antonia co-headlined the Armed and Fabulous panel at CPAC 2017 with fellow female gun rights activists Kimberly Corban, Ashlee Lundvall, and Kristi McMains, moderated by Townhall’s Katie Pavlich.Antonia on the main stage at CPAC 2017

Before her rising success and spotlight in the media, starting in 2015, Antonia attended twelve different Leadership Institute trainings including the Youth Leadership School, Future Candidate School, Comprehensive Fundraising Training, Digital Communications Workshop, Television Workshop and more.

“The Leadership Institute is what inspired and equipped me to be a successful advocate and voice for the campus carry movement.  I knew how to relay my message effectively because of their generous Campus Reform student journalism program and their media training.”Antonia Okafor Campus Correspondent

Antonia was later inspired to start a Network for Enlightened Women chapter in Texas because she attended LI’s Women's Leadership Workshop where she met Karin Agness, founder of NeW.

“Before then, I had no idea that the conservative values I hold dear could be an effective way to empower women who are turned off to the radical leftist feminism movement of today. Because of LI, I can 100% say that I am effective today because of them. I will forever be grateful.”

When asked what advice she would give to young people in the conservative movement, Antonia paused for a second to think.  Her answer that followed was resolute.

“Network. Get to know people. Go to conferences and meet people. You never know where you will be a year from now, and a lot of times, it’s people you meet that will give you that opportunity you want so much.”

The Leadership Institute thanks Antonia for her dedication to conservative principles and congratulates her for her nomination for LI’s Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at

The Leadership Institute offers more than 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,887 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers.  Since the Institute’s 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 182,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders.  Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders.  For more information, please visit