February 7, 2011

#FemLA Panel Speaks Out (VIDEO)

Young Feminists Speak Out; Los Angeles at Livity Outernational in Santa Monica, CA., January 20, 2011.

Related articles:

January 25, 2011

Youth, Waves, and Twitter: An “Age-Old” Debate About Age, and the Beginning of a Los Angeles Feminist Network

Guest post by co-organizer and co-moderator of Young Feminists Speak Out: LA, Miranda Petersen.

From left to right: 1. Myra Duran, Tani Ikeda, Jollene Levid, Brie Widaman, Miranda Petersen 2. Tani Ikeda, Jollene Levid, Brie Widaman

Last Thursday I served as Co-Moderator, along with Melanie Klein of Feminist Fatale, for the “Young Feminists Speak Out: Los Angeles” panel/mixer, which I helped organize along with Morgane Richardson, founder of Refuse The Silence, and Myra Duran.

The event was inspired in part by a recent piece in More Magazine that featured Morgane, along with other familiar feminist leaders such as Shelby Knox and Lena Chen. Our goal was to continue the conversation on what young feminism looks like today, while also calling attention to the often-overlooked work of feminists on the west coast, and providing a platform for young feminist activists to speak out in a forum where they would be shown respect and be taken seriously.

When considering potential speakers we aimed to capture the diverse, intersectional nature of LA-based feminist culture. The panelists included Myra Duran, Grassroots Community Organizer, Tani Ikeda, Founder and Co-director of ImMEDIAte Justice, Jollene Levid, National Chairperson for AF3IRM, and Brianne Widaman, Founder and President of Revolution of Real Women. Together, the panelists were able to speak to a broad range of issues—many of which are often left out of the mainstream feminist dialogue—including access to education/the DREAM Act, citizenship status and reproductive justice, anti-imperialism and anti-militarism, the fight against trafficking of women and girls, queer sexuality and sex education, body image and the media.

Our effort to include such a wide range of issues and individual styles led to an intense and empowering discussion on the need to address the underlying capitalist, patriarchal structure of our society, and the importance of re-framing the discussion in a way that is inclusive to everyone, especially those outside academia and the feminist blogoshpere. At the same time, having such a diverse group of panelists proved how challenging it can be to try and neatly encompass so many different approaches and ideologies within a traditional framework, such as a panel discussion. It is possible that trying to include so many different and unique experiences may have led to a less-cohesive dialogue than we anticipated, and it brings up the need to re-think our organizing methods and recognize our own assumptions of the “best” way to initiate a dialogue.

(more…)

January 13, 2011

Young Feminists Speak Out: Los Angeles

Miranda Petersen and I will be moderating a kick-a$$ panel that continues the conversation More Magazine began last November with their article, What the New Feminists Look Like. Join us for music by the Sun Warshippers, a panel discussion + Q& A with LA-area feminists followed by fun feminist mixing.

CREATED BY:

Morgane Richardson, Myra Duran, Alexandra Garcia and Miranda Petersen

TIME:

Thursday, January 20, 2011 @ 6:30PM

LOCATION:

Livity Outernational @ 2401 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica CA

FEATURED PANELISTS:

Myra Duran – Young Feminist Organizer, graduated from the UCLA with a B.A. in Women’s Studies with a concentration in  women of color feminism and a minor in Labor and Workplace Studies. She  began her journey fighting for women’s rights as an intern for AF3IRM.  She continued to pursue women’s issues and empowerment when she became a campus team intern for the Feminist Majority Foundation. The beginning  seed for activism had been planted there and later developed into a  heavy love for exposing the truth where she spearheaded FMF’s Campaign  to Expose Fake Clinics at UCLA with Bruin Feminists for Equality.  Serving on the Bruin Feminists’ executive board helped her increase  campus and student awareness on women’s rights, women’s issues, and  women’s empowerment. Most recently, Myra worked as a research organizer for the UCLA Labor Center’s California  Construction Academy and served on the Young Women’s Leadership Council  for the Pro-choice Public Education Project. She currently works as a  National Campus Organizer for the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Tani Ikeda – Director and Filmmaker with  ImMEDIATE Justice , is an award winning director who creates narratives, documentaries, music videos, and commercial projects. She is the Co-founder and director of  imMEDIAte Justice, a program that trains young women in media literacy  and sexuality education, and was named one of the 25 visionaries of 2010 by the Utne Reader.

Jollene Levid – is the National Chairperson of  Af3irm the Association of Filipinas, Feminists, Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization, and Marginalization. AF3IRM a transnational feminist, anti-imperialist women’s organization with chapters in NY, NJ, Boston, the Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, and LA. AF3IRM, formerly known as Gabriela Network, has been active for 21 years and its 3 campaign areas include Immigrant Rights, the fight against US imperialist wars, and the Purple Rose Campaign against the trafficking of women and children.

Morgane Richardson – Professional feminist,social media firm and Founder of Refuse The Silence: Women of Color Speak Out. Her reflections on women, race  and education have been published in numerous blogs and magazines
including, Bitch, Feministing, University of Venus and More Magazine. Aside from earning a degree with an all-too lengthy title Morgane spent her time at Middlebury College shaking up the status quo and demanding respect for her peers’ rights.  After graduation Morgane put her experience as a campus organizer, Posse Scholar, and her innate awesomeness, to use toward a career as a professional Feminist.  In 2008 she founded Refuse The Silence, an initiative that encourages women of color who are currently enrolled in or have attended elite liberal arts colleges in the United States to share their stories. In 2009 she co-founded a successful social media  firm, Mixtape Media, which works on pro-social campaigns for clients like Russell Simmons  and the United Nations.  And in 2010 she has taken on a new role as  Workshop Genius, traveling the country working with students and  administrators to reconcile the existing hegemony within elite academia  with the desire for diverse campuses.

Morgane is fourth wave antiracist feminist – approaching her generation’s  inherited economic, environmental, and social issues with an innovative  flair, a progressive mindset, and a practical implementation.

Brianne ‘Brie’ Widaman (a.k.a. ‘Brie’) – President and Founder, Revolution of Real Women™, a global movement advocating the empowerment of females in reclaiming their freedom of individuality, self-esteem and unique beauty. RRW™ was created out of Brianne’s diverse background in a broad range of areas from politics and broadcast journalism to her experiences in acting, modeling and working in the music industry. Since graduating from the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston with her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business and Management, her work has taken her to Nashville, Las Vegas and finally back to LA where she grew up. As a survivor of her battle with anorexia and bulimia, she now serves as a leading public advocate for those who suffer from eating disorders, self-esteem and body-image related issues. Today, REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN™ has grown to over 20,000 members across the web and serves as a sound voice of reason within the image-making machine that is ‘Hollywood.’ RRW™has truly come to embody its slogan – ‘Be the MEDIA you wish to see in the world.™’