PPSAT's West Virginia Field Organizer Emily Thompson got the chance to go to the Women's Convention last week and shared her experience with us.
Last weekend the spearheads of the Women’s March brought together national organizations and thought leaders for a weekend of storytelling, learning, and sharing resources. I attended the Women’s Convention with hundreds of other field organizers from across the country to hear from legislators and community leaders about how to be a better reproductive rights organizer, and to further fuel the resistance we have led the past 11 months since the historic Women’s March.
The convention featured hundreds of incredible workshops that provided organizers with a diverse set of tools to better mobilize, and galvanize, women’s rights supporters. We learned about how to more effectively organize folks around reproductive health and relay the most effective messaging to our supporters. We learned how to be better public speakers. We learned tactics to increase voter turnout. We talked about safety and how our idea of safety might compromise the safety of others. We learned to pay attention to the women of color who have valuable organizing experience and to be inclusive in the work that we do.
Emily’s List taught us how to inspire our fiercest pro-women’s health peers into running for office, and how we can help them get elected. The NRDC Action Fund hosted several sessions on how environmental issues impact all forms of justice. I not only came away with a bigger toolbox, but the inspiration and hope that all of the work we do to guarantee our basic rights is creating change.
The Women’s Convention was a reminder that reproductive rights and women’s health organizers across the country are in this fight for the foreseeable future. It provided a space for thousands of people to share tools and tactics with one another, strategize about the unpredictable future, but also relish our accomplishments from the past few months. Listening to inspiring Congresswomen such as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar and Maxine Waters maintained the idea that electing women from diverse backgrounds into office is achievable, but that we must remain vigilant in our fight for representation for all people.
The Women’s March in January created a movement of marching orders, and this convention was the next step in solidifying the diverse goals we hope to achieve in the fight ahead.