We’ve had all of our hamsters working hard behind the scenes to bring you this HUGE UPDATE!
First, our Schedule is live and ready for your perusal! Check out all the fabulous programming we have for you this weekend.
Second, we have been updating our Presenters page a little bit at a time. Don’t forget to peak at the bios of some of the folks who will be helping us all this weekend.
Third, we’re sorry to announce that Greta Christina won’t be able to make the conference due to an unanticipated personal obligation. We wish all the best to her and hers.
Instead, Amanda Knief will be joining us for Friday night’s keynote speech. We’re tickled. Amanda was one of the first people we reached out to when planning Secular Women Work, and we’re very happy that her recent move makes it possible for her to be here!
Just a few more days, folks, and we’ll see you all in person!
Secular Women Work is committed to making the conference an accessible space, particularly for those from resource-limited settings. Grants include paid conference registration and a travel stipend, where available. Despite being a small conference, we have a selection of grants available. Members of underrepresented groups within the secular movement are encouraged to apply.With the goal of creating future community organizers and activists, grant candidates will be selected based on the following criteria:
The conference’s potential impact on the growth of the candidate.
Membership in an underrepresented group or groups within the secular movement.
Our ability to make sure you can attend and make use of the grant.
We recognize that conferences are often the gateway into organizing, and that experience levels vary widely among those starting out. For us, a commitment and passion for activism are paramount. Everybody starts somewhere! If you’ve blogged but never done “meatspace” organizing, that’s fine. If you just want to increase your civil activism and don’t know where to begin, that’s great too—Secular Women Work will encompass a variety of approaches and starting points. The most important thing is that you apply!
The initial deadline for applications is end of day July 6. After that date, we will award the grants we have available then. If you’ve missed the July 6 deadline but still want a grants, please fill out the form. We can’t promise we will have more garnts available, but we may. Candidates will be admitted on a rolling basis.
In order to apply, fill out the following form with your full name, email address, whether or not you require travel assistance, and what you hope to take away from the conference.
When we think of activist, we tend to picture some hardcore, kick ass people at protests, on picket lines, sitting at lunch counters, risking arrest or worse, to fight for their civil rights.
It’s an intimidating and daunting enough image to make some of us feel we could never fit such a title. Yeah, those people are activists doing activism. But, so are you.
An activist is someone working for change.
And creating change needs bunches of different pieces to make it happen, not all of which require facing down the police.
Basically, activism is a whole mess of different parts and actions.
It is writing letters.
It is standing by your principles.
It is phone calls.
It is taking a stand.
It is signing petitions.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as making a declaration.
Chances are, you have engaged in activism before today. Well, done!
All of these are pieces of activism which fit together into a movement. And that’s what we are building, a movement to make the world a better place for as many people as possible. For that, we need all the activists to do their parts, no matter how big or small, how physical, mental and/or emotional.
So, what is an activist? In short, you are.
Help us make our conference happen. Donate to our kickstarter.
Minneapolis, MN – Secular Woman and Minnesota Atheists are bringing back their activist training conference, and they’re using Kickstarter to make it possible. The Secular Women Work conference will be held in Minneapolis this August 24–26 and features accomplished activists Jessica Xiao, former program assistant at the American Humanist Association and current Prison Book Club Coordinator, and Greta Christina, writer and cofounder of Godless Perverts. Mandisa Thomas will be returning as well after another successful three years for Black Nonbelievers.
Come August, the conference will feature a full slate of exclusively women and genderqueer speakers. The original conference in 2015 highlighted the importance of “women’s work” in the secular movement. Secular Woman president Monette Richards explains, “The recent revelations that atheist figureheads and organizations knew and did nothing about Lawrence Krauss long before his recent #metoo reckoning demonstrate how far we still have to go as a movement in valuing the contributions of women. There’s no better time than now for another Secular Women Work.”
The conference has returned to Kickstarter to sell conference tickets and raise additional funding. The first Secular Women Work was the first atheist or skeptic conference to successfully crowdfund. “There’s a perception of waning interest in secular conferences. We think people are just looking for the right conference to take them to the next level in their activism. The Kickstarter lets us test our theory before committing resources”, said Minnesota Atheists incoming associate president Stephanie Zvan. The campaign launches today, and tickets will only be available through Kickstarter until it fully funds.
In addition to conference tickets, which will be transferable, the Kickstarter offers backer rewards such as t-shirts, custom SurlyRamics jewelry, and advertising space. Those who can’t attend but want to support the conference can buy and donate a scholarship to another activist. The campaign will end March 29.
The Secular Women Work conference will be heavy on skill-building and problem-solving workshops, with panels and speakers covering specialist topics. All workshop leaders, panelists, and speakers will be seasoned activists themselves. Additional speakers are expected to be announced during the Kickstarter campaign.
The conference will be held in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank campus. Conference organizer Chelsea du Fresne explained that the venue was an important factor in making the first conference special. “Not only is the space wonderful for getting to know other activists, but being surrounded by so much political accomplishment is inspiring. Today, more than ever, those reminders that we can make a difference really matter.”
The conference is a joint project of the Minnesota Atheists and Secular Woman.