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Showing posts with label conferences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conferences. Show all posts

27 November 2013

Guest Post: Where do we go from here? The ERA in the 21st Century

The question of where the ERA fits into the feminist movement is one that I wrestle with a lot. I got word that there was a conference on the ERA coming up, but since I couldn't attend I was all, "BOO!" Thankfully an attendee sent me this to share with y'all: 

by Colleen Giles
Last weekend I attended a conference at Roger Williams University titled "The ERA in the 21st Century." The conference brought together accomplished scholars, national activists, and twenty-something feminists like myself that are still learning to navigate their own paths to equal rights.  The conference aimed to open a dialogue about the place of the Equal Rights Amendment in American culture and politics.  The ERA galvanized the Second Wave feminist movement, though it failed ratification in enough states to become an amendment in 1982.  The ERA has also been a part of Third Wave feminism, with Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards naming it as an essential component of a feminist future in Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (2000). However, most people of my generation do not know anything about the ERA, its history, or its relevance to their lives.
The truth is, there are myriad reasons why the ERA is important today. The most basic of these reasons is that the 19th Amendment is the only Constitutional protection that guarantees women’s rights in the United States. The 14th Amendment—which so many people believe protects against sex discrimination—is subject to judicial interpretation.  In 2010, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued that sex discrimination was not protected by the Constitution. All of the current legislation (including Title IX and the Civil Rights Act) are vulnerable to roll back—something that is painfully evident in the current climate in which campus sexual assault is an epidemic, pay equity is stalled, and abortion rights are becoming more restricted making it nearly impossible for some women to access a federally“protected” right.
I was at the conference to hear about how we could move forward. I was blown away by the feminist star power of the women in the room— within a span of eight hours I got to talk about abortion rights with Jennifer Baumgardner—one of my feminist idols—and was able to eavesdrop on a conversation between two of the strongest feminist voices in the country, Ellie Smeal and Terry O’Neil.  It seemed likely that given the guest list, some decisive game plan was going to be presented. But by the end of the second day of the conference, I was left more confused than empowered.
Despite rhetoric to the contrary, there is a divide between feminist generations. The Keynote Speakers, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, who are recognized as leading voices of the Third Wave, encouraged young women to find their way into feminism from whatever vantage point inspired them.   The ERA was one of those potential entry points, but they acknowledged that young feminists might be more inspired by more tangible goals: marriage equality, trans issues, abortion rights, campus safety. During the audience Q&A, conference goers nearly completely ignored what had been said during the Keynote Address, an Address that spoke to me loudly and clearly, and instead used the time to assert themselves in telling us why the ERA was of paramount and central importance: period.  Perhaps the audience expected a concrete pro-ERA message. But the ERA’s heavy hitters alienated their young audience by failing to bridge their agenda with ours,which was something that could have been accomplished via the messages presented by Baumgardner and Richards. They missed out on a great opportunity to gain insight into what the important issues for today’s young feminists, like me, look like.
During an “ERA Roundtable,” Baumgardner’s suggestions about how to galvanize young women were overwhelmed by another panelist’s insistence that they need to be told that they inherited a poor deal. Educating the younger generations is important, but telling them what issues they should care about is not; there is power in offering them the tools to seek out the issues that speak to them the most.  That is what will engage them in grassroots efforts for feminist change and, ultimately, equal rights. I felt worn down and discouraged by this disconnect, that really seemed to coalesce around age, and I remained silent during the discussions because fear of being targeted by movement elders who are not open to criticism.
Young feminists are the future of the movement and we have ideas and opinions that have value and deserve respect. While I truly appreciate and understand all of the tireless efforts put in to advance women to where we are now, I also see that the climate of feminism is changing and we have a lot of work to do if we want to mobilize toward any kind of real feminist activism in our future.  We need to start over, because the tactics that have been used for the past forty years aren't going to work for today's young women.
I have three takeaways from this conference.  First, there is a divide between feminists and it is being perpetuated from within the movement by a lack of respect and understanding for each other.  Second the ERA is an important piece of legislation that would write equality for women into the Constitution in a way that cannot be subjected to judicial interpretation or legislative rollbacks.  And third, young feminists need a toolkit for future action, not a lecture about the failed actions of the past.
About Colleen Giles
Colleen is founder of Bahjingo.com, a blog and collection of activists who work within their community to engage young people in gender inequality issues. She has worked with the Women's Center of Rhode Island, a domestic violence resource center and women's shelter for over a year. She has also fundraised for several other domestic violence awareness initiatives within Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Colleen is particularly interested in the role law and policy plays in achieving justice for survivors of domestic violence. She graduated from Roger Williams University in 2012 and plans to pursue graduate education in Women’s and Gender Studies.

24 November 2013

Call for Abstracts: Roundtable on Latina Feminism


April 25-26, 2014, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH

Abstract Deadline JANUARY 20, 2014

Invited Speakers: Edwina Barvosa, University of California, Santa Barbara
KarenMary Davalos, Loyola Marymount University

You are invited to participate in the 2014 meeting of the Roundtable on Latina Feminism, a forum for discussion of Latina feminist theory and practice. Suggested themes include but are not limited to the following:

*Latina Aesthetics
*Visual Representations of Latinas
*Latina Political Thought
*Latina Identity
*Latina Embodiment
*Latina Activism
*History of Latinas in the U.S.
*Mestizaje and Mulataje
*Latina Sexualities
*Queer Latinidad
*Latina Pedagogy
*Latina Ways of Knowing
*Latina Spirituality
*Coalitions across difference
*Works on individual Latina or Latin American feminist writers and theorists

Guidelines for Submission:

1. Abstracts should be approximately 1500 words and are due on JANUARY 20, 2014
2. Abstracts should be suitable for anonymous review. In a separate document, please include your name, affiliation, contact information, brief bio, and the title of your presentation.
3. Please submit all proposals electronically to Terry Bradley at latina.feminism.roundtable@gmail.com
Please write “LATINA FEMINISM ABSTRACT ” in the subject line.
4. For more information on past roundtables go to http://sites.jcu.edu/lfr/ or contact Mariana Ortega at mortega@jcu.edu

Please Note: Participants are expected to attend ALL sessions of the Roundtable

29 July 2013

Stuff I've written that's been posted elsewhere...

Just a quick note to point out two pieces that I wrote for other sites that perhaps you missed...

1) I interviewed US Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius while she was in town for Blogher '13:
This week a little boy was born in London. One day he will grow up to be the King of England. This week a little boy was born in Chicago. Who knows what he will grow up to be. One thing we do know is that the future king’s birth most likely cost half as much as baby boy Chicago. 
The state and cost of health care in the USA is why the Affordable Care Act is an important piece of legislation. I am unsure if the cost of health care will go down under Obamacare (I hear it won’t), but we do know that everyone will be mandated to have insurance. This, hopefully, should put health care in the affordable category for most of us. But will it help minimize health disparities in the US? This is what I asked Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

 To read the rest, visit The Broad Side.

2) Latina Lista asked me to write a short summary of the MALCS 2013 Summer Institute that I attended and presented at:
Columbus, Ohio is not the first place you would guess for an academic gathering focused on Chicana/Latina and Native American women studies with a feminist heart. But last week it was!

The MALCS 2013 Summer Institute is an annual gathering of Chicana and Native American scholars. This was my first time attending. I have failed to attend in the past mostly because I have not felt that my academic work had focused on Latinas enough. But after learning that MALCS also had a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) track, I knew I needed to go to present my work and hopefully learn from other attendees.

Within the STEM track, there were presentations on the low number of Chicanas/Latinas in STEM at all levels, from undergraduate students to faculty members.

Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valedz, PhD, used Gloria Anzalduan’s writing to frame her solution of the decolonizing science education. “Why are the advances that the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans made not discussed in the same manner as European civilizations?” I could not help but hear Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante saying, “You burros have math in your blood!” 
Read the rest at Latina Lista

06 November 2011

Viva la Feminista is headed to Atlanta

Friday morning I'll be on a panel with my Girl w/Pen sisters at the 2011 National Women's Studies Association conference.Our panel title is "Gone Virtual: Opportunities & Challenges for Feminist Scholar-Bloggers" is on Friday at 9:45 AM. Which will be a bit of a challenge for me since I'll be getting into Atlanta around midnight because I have class on Thursday nights. Thus I apologize to the 8 am panels that I'll be eating breakfast through.

If you will be there, please leave me a comment or @ me on twitter so we can meet up!

Internet access is not going to be strong at the conference, so I can't say that I'll be live-blogging/tweeting anything. I will have my phone in order to tweet things when I can. I also have draft 2 of a paper due the Monday I return, so I will have my laptop in order to write. Wish me luck in balancing an awesome conference with homework!

12 October 2010

Viva la Feminista at Netroots Nation 2010

This post is so way late, but better late than never!

This year was the first time I attended Netroots Nation. My absence was due to my long time feelings towards Kos himself. But enough friends convinced me that I should at least consider attending one of these years. And when Deanna Zandt invited me to be on a panel proposal and we were selected, I figured this was my chance to check it out.

And you know what? It was pretty cool.

As with any blogger conference it's awesome to meet people I've only interacted with thru a computer screen.

I spoke on a panel with Deanna.... Here is a clip from my part of the panel:

I also had the chance to chat with National Education Association VP Lily Eskelsen. We bonded over our kids. I also think she really loved chatting with someone from Chicago whose child is in the Chicago Public School system. We've been Arnie Duncan's guinea pigs longer than the rest of the country.

I was interviewed by Amy Goodman which is still WOW!

I participated in a meet & greet with Elaine Marshall, Candidate (D) for U.S. Senate. Photos from Lisa McIntire's Flickr Set.

Elaine Marshall
I'm making PunditMom think

Sarah Granger making a point

Me and Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY's List

I really enjoyed listening to Elaine. She was such the Southern lady...Tough as nails and yet classy as hell. I really hope she wins.

The only thing that could really use some work were the caucuses. I felt like I got more out of the Latino caucus than the parents caucus. I think it was because us Latinos had immediate issues to discuss (Arizona, immigration reform) and the parents caucus got off to a slow start with a trivia contest. Damn I wish I had written this in August! I had ideas to suggest. Oh well.

Overall it was a good conference. This year I've been struggling with the fact that while the kid understands that Mommy has to travel for work, she is voicing her strong opposition to this fact of life. Thus, I've been cutting short my travels when possible. This meant that I was in Vegas for just two nights and barely two days of actual conference.

I'm not sure if I will make it to Minnesota or not, but it is close to Chicago and would make for a good family vacation spot.

09 September 2010

Where to find me in the next 30 days....


What is the Goddess trying to tell me by having my professional calendar explode just as I start my PhD program? Or is it a test? One that I'm failing? We'll see. While we wait, why don't you come on out and see me in action:

September 17

8 pm at

20 people get to interpret one question, "Who Knew?" I'm pretty nervous about this one. 

September 23

Celebrate Chicago Abortion Fund's 25th Anniversary.
Honoring Heather Booth and the Abortion Seven, of the Jane movement.
6pm until 8pm

111 N. State Street, Seventh Floor
Narcissus Room

Join us for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and celebration of twenty five years of the important work of the Chicago Abortion Fund.

Tickets: $75 until September 15 or $100 after

I'm not speaking or anything, I just really want to see you there. :)

September 25
Facing Race
Media Plenary

Covering Race / Uncovering Racism: New Media Innovations for Revealing Realities.

While the mainstream media continues to ignore and dismiss the persistence of racism, the rapidly changing media landscape poses new challenges and opportunities for reshaping public awareness. How can we leverage the power of alternative media, social media and new media technologies to reveal not only the realities of racial inequality but also the routes to racial justice? Moderator: Latoya Peterson, Racialicious. Presenters: Kai Wright, Colorlines.com, Tracy Van Slyke, The Media Consortium, and ME!

Use my friends & family code 510 to save 50% on registration

September 28
Jeff Biggers is starting a monologue series, , at the No Exit Cafe and he asked me to help launch it.We'll get started around 7:30 pm. Our theme is "Crime and Punishment: Alcatraz and Motherhood."

Upcoming Monologue Performers

October 9
Blogalicious Weekend - Miami, Florida

10:45 AM: General Session B with Kety Esquivel, Maura Hernandez, DeAnne Cuellar and Aurelia Flores

Oy...writing that all out makes me wonder how the hell I'm going to get all my work done. So if this blog gathers cobwebs, you know why!

22 August 2010

How many panels can a SXSWi'er pick?

It's that time again! SXSWi Panel Picker time! UPDATED on Monday, August 23, 2010

And once again, I have the honor of being part of one panel that is in contention:

Social Media: The Pink Collar Ghetto of Tech?

When Keidra approached me for this panel, I knew it was an awesome idea because I struggle with this question a lot. I'm jazzed at the idea of sharing space with Jason Falls (the story of how we met very much relates to this panel!) and Shireen Mitchell (we once had dinner & talked forever about this topic!). If you have a moment, click on over and vote. If you have 5 moments, please post a comment. Apparently the SXSWi gods like comments.

I'm also voting &commenting for others. Here is my list of panels that I've voted (and possibly commented on) for SXSWi:

First is Cinnamon's panel: Self Doubt: Kill It With a Skillet. If you missed her panel this year, it was a smashing success. 

Why these? Some are organized by friends and some I just found interesting, thought provoking and I could see myself highlighting them in my conference packet to attend. Did I miss yours? Your favorite? Leave me a comment and I'll check it out. If I do like it, I'll add it to the list.

Hopefully I'll see ya in Austin.


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