Discount house of fraser mulberry Outlet Convention energizes new wave of activists
DETROIT Part pep rally, part revival meeting, the Women’s Convention started Friday morning with raised fists and deafening cheers as more than 4,000 women from across the country showed their solidarity and devotion to the fight for women’s rights.
Among them, Dawn Banks: “My world was shattered when Donald Trump was elected president,” said the 63 year old from St. Charles, Mo. “Women’s rights were suddenly in the cross hairs. I thought, ‘My God, I have to come out of the democratic closet.’ I started with the Women’s March on Washington (in January) and I haven’t quit since then.”
Her front row seat in the opening event at Detroit Cobo Center gave her a great view of Tamika Mallory’s opening comments. Mallory, one of the founders of the Women’s March which organized the Women’s Convention rallied the troops, taking a swipe at Trump, referring to him as the orange man in the White House and calling him out for the divisiveness he creates and urging women to stand up for each other.
“When we hear that our Muslim brothers and sisters are under attack, we need to stand up,” Mallory told the cheering crowd. “When we hear that our Mexican brothers and sisters are under attack, we must stand up. . When we hear that women are under attack, we must stand up.”
Tamika Mallory speaks during The Women Convention at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, Friday, October 27, 2017.
Mallory promoted basic tenets: “Your feminism does not represent me if it is only about our right to get an abortion. If you do not care about the fact that I can’t even have children because I’m too poor, then your feminism does not represent me,” she said.
“If men are not a part of this movement, your feminism does not represent me . because I have an 18 year old son that I cannot leave behind. If your feminism does not include how gun violence (impacts) . our communities, it does not represent me.”
And then, alluding to the argument that erupted when the Women’s Convention named Sen. Bernie Sanders, I Vt., as one of its speakers many women found Sanders a poor choice for the convention because he is a man and, in the end, he withdrew from the convention Mallory said: your feminism is the difference between Bernie and Hillary (Clinton), it does not represent me. . I want to know what you are doing on the ground in your community. Who have you saved? Who have you lifted?”
With that, the women were energized.
The first day of programming led the weekend event with more than 50 sessions on a variety of topics from water quality to immigration to reproductive rights and grassroots advocacy.
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The sessions on environmental issues and sexual assault had Jamie Whitley, 37, a science teacher in Petoskey planning her next activist steps.
makes me want to go back and hug some of my female students and make sure they know what their rights are, Whitley said. I think females in science can bring some light to issues facing the environment. Celinda Lake said women have to get together to have their voices heard, and they can do that by voting and running for office themselves.
level race you interested in, we got to get some new people, preferably women, in office, she said. work to get out the vote because 29 million progressives who voted in 2016 plan to not vote in 2018. learned about everything from getting a woman face on the $20 bill to tutorials on how to lobby Congress and state legislatures on issues of importance, and how white women can help end white supremacy and violence against black men.
have to face the fact that we complicit in a lot of anti black violence whether it is violence done in our name, whether it violence that done to protect our honor or violence that we physically enact, said Sophie Ellman Golan.
“When white women say we feel unsafe because of scary black men, really bad things happen to those black men,” Ellman Golan said.
Attendees raise their fists as they hear the opening prayers song offered by five indigenous women during the Women Convention at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, Friday, October 27, 2017.
Nancy Underwood, 34, of Prospect, Ky., brought her 11 year old daughter, Lorelai Lichtsteiner, to the convention. They sat in on a session called on 20s: Change the Face of Money about the campaign to get abolitionist Harriet Tubman face on the $20 bill.
came to show my daughter how important it is to speak up for what important to you, and for minorities and (to) be a strong leader in your community, Underwood said.
The mother daughter pair listened as Women on 20s founder Barbara Ortiz Howard spoke about how too many women don acknowledge that they can be leaders and agents for change, and that having the face of a woman on money can be empowering.
does it mean when boys are on the money and girls aren Ortiz Howard said. are important, too.
The women and their supporters also healed Friday by sharing visceral and emotional stories of sexual assault and harassment.
From actress Rose McGowan, who said she was assaulted by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, cajoling women to speak up and name their abusers, to a woman who said she had just quit her job because of rampant misogyny. Women spoke out in several sessions Friday, finding relief in their shared revelations.
Others, like Qiana Monroe of Chicago, were hoping to find a way forward following the activism she saw at the Women March on Washington.
“I just want to find an outlet and not drive myself crazy with this administration, and all the horrific things that go on on a daily basis,” said Monroe, 39. “It everything, but also specifically what happens with women rights, and just constantly having to fight for reproductive rights.