Since planning January's worldwide Women's March — the largest one-day protest in American history — event organizers Tamika D. Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour have been busy. The group arranged the "Day Without a Woman" in March and a July march from the National Rifle Association's Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Next on the agenda: a "Women's Convention," which will take place this fall and prepare progressive politicians for next year's midterm elections.
According to the event's website, the Women's Convention will be held at Detroit's Cobo Center from October 27 to 29, and will feature "workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections." The description continues, "Tapping into the power of women in leadership as the fundamental, grassroots force for change, the Women's Convention will bring together first time activists and movement leaders, rising political stars that reflect our nation's changing demographics, and thousands of women who've organized sister marches, huddles, rallies and resistance actions, large and small, since January 2017. Participants will leave inspired and motivated, with new connections, skills and strategies for working towards collective liberation for women of all races, ethnicities, ages, disabilities, sexual identities, gender expressions, immigration statuses, religious faiths, and economic statuses."
The event page also notes that the organizers chose Detroit as the setting for the convention because the city is currently struggling with many of the issues the Women's March and Convention specifically challenge. According to organizers, "Detroit is a beautiful city, full of historical and political significance, and a multitude of lived experiences — a perfect setting for women, femmes and our allies seeking to strengthen our growing, intersectional movement. Many of the issues that led us to march in January 2017 are starkly visible in Detroit and its surrounding areas: economic inequality, environmental injustice, de facto segregation, ICE raids, violent policing, and overall unequal access and opportunity. At the same time, Detroit is home to a rich musical history, a vibrant art scene and a long and radical history of grassroots activism — something that continues today."
Registration is now open for the event, with tickets ranging in price from $125 for attendees under the age of 25 to $295 for general admission. There's also an option on the ticketing site to donate to a scholarship fund that will make the convention more accessible for more women and allies. Additionally, according to the organizers, the Women's Convention "will release more options for discounted admission, group registration, and scholarships in the coming weeks."
The Women's Convention is part of organizers's efforts to transition from a one-day protest to a fully fledged sociopolitical movement. "People have always asked us how we are going to change from a march into a movement. It's not just enough for us to mobilize in the streets," Bob Bland, co-president of the Women's March, told USA Today. "Bringing us all back together, I think, will truly be a historic turning point for the women's movement and all of the most marginalized groups in this country who, as you saw from Charlottesville, are under attack." The NYC-based fashion designer added, "We continue to welcome women across the country to look past partisan politics and look into their futures and their children's futures. We must come together to confront white supremacy and hatred in all our communities and it begins with us."
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