I am ashamed to admit that this year will be my first National Young Feminist Leadership conference. I went through 4 years of college without attending the largest feminist conference in the country, and I totally regret it.
Now that I am on the other side of the process, planning the panels and recruiting speakers, I can see how tremendously helpful and inspiring this conference would’ve been for me as a student. It’s a whole weekend focused on giving you specific organizing tools and resources that you can take back to your campus. You will learn from trailblazers who have been in the movement for 50 years and students who are making big changes in their communities.
While a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I was a active in our Campus Women’s Center. Along with other students, we put on events, held campaigns and hosted speakers. We did a lot of amazing work – but we also faced barriers. I often struggled to figure out how to transition my work at the Campus Women’s Center to more activist direct actions. I loved hosting Take Back the Night – but I also wanted to influence our campus sexual assault policies. We had great conversations about access to reproductive health services – but we never engaged in community action to support or protect clinics. I think that NYFLC is the perfect opportunity to hone your activist skills.
Everyone who comes to the conference this year will return to their campuses with creative ideas for campaigns, a better understanding of some of the issues we’re facing today and new friends and allies to work with.