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Secular Women Work, a conference by and for activists, returns to Minneapolis in August 2018.
Secular Women Work, a conference by and for activists, returns to Minneapolis in August 2018.
192 backers pledged $13,477 to help bring this project to life.

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$13,477

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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.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 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

    Make It Work

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

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    40 backers
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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Rev It Up

    Get out there and get active with our logo keychain.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Wear It Proud

    Celebrate the work of secular women activists with one of our t-shirts. See our FAQ for t-shirt designs, options, and sizing.

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    25 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Wear It Shiny

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

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Swag It Up

    Get the sticker, the Surly, and a t-shirt.

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    12 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Attend the Conference

    Come participate in workshops and learn from successful activists! Includes opportunity to suggest workshop topics. Includes Saturday and Sunday lunch and breakfasts if stretch goal is met. Conference tickets are transferrable.

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    18 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Endow a Scholarship

    Can't attend the conference? You can buy a ticket for someone who wouldn't be able to afford one.

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    20 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 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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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    Attend with Swag

    In addition to your conference ticket, have either a t-shirt or a SurlyRamic waiting for you at the conference.

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    5 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Package deal

    In addition to your conference ticket, have a t-shirt, a SurlyRamic, and a sticker waiting for you at the conference.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Dinner with Organizers

    Includes Package Deal 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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    1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Dinner with Speaker(s)

    Includes Package Deal 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)