The Return of Secular Women Work
We're happy to announce the return of the Secular Women Work conference, a conference by and for activists. Do you want to build strong, active communities? Do you want to change our laws and our culture? Join us in Minneapolis in August 2018.
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. They're frequently volunteers and often undervalued. We think there's 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 need a break, you’ll find speakers who will entertain and inspire you with stories and lessons from their own work. In between it all, there's a conference full of other activists who want to make a difference in the world.
All workshop leaders, all panelists, and all speakers at Secular Women Work will be experienced female or genderqueer activists with demonstrated accomplishments and skills to share. We are excited to announce that Jessica Xiao, former program assistant at the American Humanist Association and current Prison Book Club Coordinator, and Greta Christina, writer and cofounder of Godless Perverts will be appearing at Secular Women Work. Mandisa Thomas will be returning as well after another successful three years for Black Nonbelievers. We're in talks with more speakers as well, so keep your eye on this space for announcements.
In the coming month, we'll bring you stories of how the first Secular Women Work inspired the activists who attended, built friendships, and made the secular movement a better place. We're also working on a couple of additional, appropriately irreverent reward options.
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 24th through the 26th 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 in August!
The Secular Women Work conference is a joint project of Secular Woman and Minnesota Atheists.
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
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.
Second Stretch Goal: $19,000
Reaching this goal would allow us to offer travel grants to talented and dedicated activists outside the Twin Cities who otherwise couldn't afford to attend even with scholarships.
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. (Assuming we get our first choice of venue, we'll use those funds to provide additional amenities and travel grants instead.)
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.
We could run into personal challenges.
A downturn in my health had a significant impact on the time to fulfill my last Kickstarter. These things aren't entirely predictable. It could happen again, but working with two established organizations, we have a much larger labor pool to draw from if the unforeseen happens.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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