On Monday, the organizers behind the Women’s March announced the Women’s Convention, which will take place on October 27-29 in Detroit, Michigan in preparation for the 2018 midterm elections.
The event’s website describes an intersectional gathering aimed at promoting candidates, connecting activists, and educating and motivating future progressive leaders:
The Women’s Convention will bring thousands of women, femmes and our allies of all backgrounds to Detroit from October 27 - 29, 2017, for a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections.
Tapping into the power of women in leadership as the fundamental, grassroots force for change, the Women’s Convention will bring together first time activists and movement leaders, rising political stars that reflect our nation’s changing demographics, and thousands of women who’ve organized sister marches, huddles, rallies and resistance actions, large and small, since January 2017.
The convention will be held at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, with an attendance fee of $295 per person. According to the website, information about scholarships, discounted admission, and group registration is forthcoming. Meanwhile, Detroit appears to have been carefully chosen as a location for reasons that organizers have taken care to spell out:
Detroit is a beautiful city, full of historical and political significance, and a multitude of lived experiences — a perfect setting for women, femmes and our allies seeking to strengthen our growing, intersectional movement. Many of the issues that led us to march in January 2017 are starkly visible in Detroit and its surrounding areas: economic inequality, environmental injustice, de facto segregation, ICE raids, violent policing, and overall unequal access and opportunity. At the same time, Detroit is home to a rich musical history, a vibrant art scene and a long and radical history of grassroots activism — something that continues today.
Just like our movement, Detroit cannot be compartmentalized. It is important and valuable to learn from and alongside local organizations, advocates and citizens within this city while we build and nurture our movement on a national and local level.
“People have always asked us how we are going to change from a march into a movement. It’s not just enough for us to mobilize in the streets,” Women’s March co-president Bob Bland told USA Today. “Bringing us all back together, I think, will truly be a historic turning point for the women’s movement and all of the most marginalized groups in this country who, as you saw from Charlottesville, are under attack.”
The Convention was organized before the events in Charlottesville took place, USA Today reports, but Bland invoked the memory of Heather Heyer, the progressive activist killed on Saturday, to underline the importance of taking next steps to combat not just the policies of the current administration but white supremacist ideology on a broader scale.
“Heather is exactly the type of woman, the type of activist, the type of human being that I see every day in our Women’s March organizing. Heather is us,” Bland told USA Today. “She is exactly the kind of person the Women’s March attempted to pull in. We need to answer her mother’s call through continuing to fight, to not allow this violence or weak condemnation to send a signal to white supremacists.”