Guest post from Marysa Falk, member of FMF’s affiliate group at the University of Nevada, Reno.
It wasn’t until I made it to college where my social and political beliefs changed drastically. I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat when I realized there was a lot more to the American story than what I saw in my small hometown fueled by the mining industry. The more education I received, the more I realized the injustice that exists in America today.
A few weeks into my Women and Politics course in spring 2010, everything finally clicked. It was at that exact moment I realized I’ve always been a feminist; I just needed to accept the word and say it proudly. My passion for women’s rights extends beyond what words can say but I find myself particularly drawn to the lack of female representation in our government and the gender wage gap.
Today, my feminism is a quality I proudly let define me in every way. My friendships with women have grown stronger and more dedicated. My relationships with men have become more equal; I figured out how to be independent and compassionate.
I stumbled upon a link for the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference several months back. I promptly posted a link to my Facebook page calling it a “pipe dream” to attend. I live in Reno, Nevada and the conference is in Washington D.C., an expensive venture for a soon to be college graduate. Two other women, Jazzmine and Misha, with whom I share classes in the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada and a feminist connection, also felt the desire to attend. Ashley, a local Planned Parenthood volunteer and pre-school teacher also signed up.
We know we have to attend the conference and to make it a reality we have to fundraise. We have planned events on campus, requested money from the student government and solicited funding from local politicians and businesses that share our vision. We also formed this website, to spread our message to our family, friends and network of strangers across the world. We want to tell everyone that attending this conference is an educational, networking, career-inspiring dream come true.
As a group, we define feminism as the belief that women deserve social, political and economic equality. We fight for equal pay, more representation in government and business, reproductive rights, medically accurate and age appropriate sex education in our public schools, gay and lesbian rights, affordable, accessible health care and birth control and much more.
This conference will continue to educate us on how to be effective leaders in our careers and community and give us the necessary tools to progress this movement.
Should you feel the desire to assist in our cause we sincerely appreciate your generous support and donation. Thank you.