What better way to start a new century than to attend the Feminist Expo 2000 (March 31-April 2 in Baltimore). From Afghanistan's Taliban to the U.S.'s religious right, there were plenty of challenges for the 7,000 attendees to confront and even more causes to champion.
The Feminist Majority Foundation, organizers of the Expo, sought to gather a diverse band of feminists. Participants came from 45 countries and hundreds of organizations—from Central American women's artisan groups to local abortion rights coalitions. The presence of more than 2,000 college students upped the energy.
In addition to general sessions exploring the current state of feminism, winning women's economic empowerment and political equality, and envisioning the future, there were more than 200 exhibition booths and 106 symposia, roundtables, and training sessions. You could talk funding strategies for women's initiatives, learn about "Global Perspectives on Fighting Poverty" and "The True Costs of Free Trade," discuss the "Grrl Thing" with teen activists, or take part in training sessions geared to campus activism. There were indigenous women's crafts, book signings by a slew of famous and lesser known writers, a career center, and a surprising number of law enforcement officers looking to bring more women in to their ranks.
From letter-writing campaigns to forming global alliances, the mission was to get women together and work for change. The thrust of the gathering seemed to be by-the-book activism, empowering women to work within the system—not every femme's shtick. But for others the Expo was a great place to jump-start their activism.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .