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We are proud to introduce the Secular Women Work conference, a conference by and for activists, coming to Minneapolis in August 2015.
We are proud to introduce the Secular Women Work conference, a conference by and for activists, coming to Minneapolis in August 2015.
172 backers pledged $13,743 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$13,743

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Introducing Secular Women Work

We are proud to introduce the Secular Women Work conference, a conference by and for activists. Do you want to build strong non-religious communities? Do you want to change our laws and our culture to be more accepting and accommodating of non-believers? Join us in Minneapolis in August 2015.

We live in a society in which unpaid work disproportionately falls to women. Unfortunately, this means that volunteer work, including activist work, is too often undervalued. We're here to change that.

The Secular Women Work conference is a celebration of the work of female activists who create and run projects and communities in the secular movement. And there is no better way to honor their work than by using their expertise to help us all become better activists.

At Secular Women Work, you will find workshops: both hands-on exercises to develop your skills and facilitated group discussions where you can share challenges and solutions with other activists. You will find panels on specialist topics, with panelists who can help you broaden the horizons of your activism. And when you’re ready for a rest, you’ll find speakers who will entertain and inspire you with stories and lessons from their own work. In between it all, you’ll find a conference full of other activists who want to make a difference in the world.

All workshop leaders, all panelists, and all speakers will be experienced female or genderqueer activists with demonstrated accomplishments and skills to share. We are excited to announce that Lauren Lane, co-founder of Skepticon; Mandisa Thomas, president and founder of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., and Desiree Schell, labor activist and host of Science for the People will be appearing at Secular Women Work. We are working now to add more speakers, so keep your eye on this space for announcements.

The conference will be held in the historic Humphrey Conference Center on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank. The center is ADA compliant and situated on light rail.

So, come join us this August 21st through the 23rd for the Secular Women Work conference, and help support the women who work to make these communities happen! Make your pledge now to secure your ticket to the conference, or pledge to build a better movement by helping us make more, and more effective, activists.

See you there!

The Secular Women Work conference is a joint project of Minnesota Atheists; Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists; and Secular Woman.

About Our Fundraising Goals

Base Goal: $13,000

Reaching this goal would cover costs for our venue for a conference running Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, including equipment rental and basic refreshments like water and coffee. It would allow us to bring in six to seven speakers from outside the Twin Cities to share their expertise and draw on local activists for the rest, with major sessions recorded to be shared on YouTube after the conference. It would also cover the costs of raising conference funding through Kickstarter.

First Stretch Goal: $16,000

In addition to the above, this amount would allow us to bring in another three expert speakers from outside the Twin Cities.

Second Stretch Goal: $21,000

Reaching this goal would allow us to add a box lunch on Saturday or, if we secure the outside funding we're pursuing to cover lunch, a continental breakfast both Saturday and Sunday of the conference.

Risks and challenges

Our venue could become unavailable.

We chose the West Bank of the U of M in part because it gives us flexibility. There are two other suitable venues on the same side of campus and others nearby off campus. We’ve budgeted some room for such contingencies, so that if our first-choice plans do bear fruit we will be in a position to provide additional amenities and travel grants.

Our speakers could become unavailable.

We don’t anticipate losing any of our confirmed speakers—we love these activists and would hate to see anyone go—but of course unexpected conflicts can arise. We have already had to make hard choices in deciding who to invite first. That said, one of the very best things about the atheist and secular movements is the large number of experienced, effective female and genderqueer activists. The same is true of the Minneapolis activist scene. We are confident we will present you with a great slate of speakers and workshop leaders no matter what.

Costs could require us to cut programming or amenities.

We are building this conference from the ground up, and our top priority is providing activists with great opportunities to learn. As we raise more money, we can add more programming and amenities. This approach helps keep us from overreaching in our excitement. On top of that, we’re seasoned conference organizers, with four conferences under our belts and experience organizing other kinds of events. We know where surprises could come from, and we’ve done everything possible to keep from being surprised.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    For the Love
    Can’t come to the conference but want to help make it happen? This is for you. Receive our gratitude and our thanks (if wanted) both online and onstage.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Making It Work
    Celebrate the work of secular women activists with our logo sticker.

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    17 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Wear It Proud
    Celebrate the work of secular women activists with our logo t-shirt. See our FAQ for t-shirt options and sizing.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Wear It Shiny
    Celebrate the work of secular women activists with a custom conference-themed necklace from SurlyRamics.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Swag It Up
    Get the sticker, the Surly, and the t-shirt.

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    7 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Attend the Conference
    Come participate in workshops and learn from successful activists! Includes opportunity to suggest and vote on workshop topics. Includes Saturday and Sunday lunch and breakfasts and Saturday evening reception (to the extent those stretch goals met), same for reception. Conference tickets are transferrable.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Advertise with Us
    Take out a 1/3 page ad in our program book. Appear alongside the schedule, speaker bios, and space for taking notes on workshops.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Attend with Swag
    In addition to your conference ticket, pick up either a t-shirt or a SurlyRamic at the conference.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Package Deal
    In addition to your conference ticket, pick up the t-shirt, a SurlyRamic, and a sticker at the conference.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Dinner with Organizers
    Includes conference attendance, t-shirt and sticker, and dinner Thursday or Sunday evening with conference organizers. Group meal. Locations to be set based on interest. Cost of meal included.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Dinner with a Speaker
    Includes conference attendance, t-shirt and sticker, and dinner at a Seven Corners restaurant Friday or Saturday evening (subject to availability) with at least one speaker of your choice. Speakers have right of refusal, which would result in refund over Package Deal price. Cost of meal included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)