Nearly seven months after the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, the organizers of the Women’s March announced the Women’s Convention, a three-day event in Detroit, Michigan, which aims to bring together progressive leaders and activists in preparation for the 2018 midterm elections.
The convention will be held the weekend of October 27-29, 2017, at the Cobo Center in Downtown Detroit. While the convention’s agenda has yet to be finalized, organizers have outlined their vision for the event:
The Women’s Convention is a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building. Tapping into the power of women in leadership as the fundamental, grassroots force for change, participants will leave inspired and motivated, with new connections, skills and strategies for working towards collective liberation for women of all races, ethnicities, ages, abilities, sexual identities, gender expressions, immigration statuses, religious faiths, and economic statuses.
Organizers also made a point to explain that they chose Detroit as a host city because it is wrestling with so many of the very issues the convention hopes to address:
Detroit is a beautiful city, full of historical and political significance, and a multitude of lived experiences – a perfect setting for women, femmes and our allies seeking to strengthen our growing, intersectional movement. Many of the issues that led us to march in January 2017 are starkly visible in Detroit and its surrounding areas: economic inequality, environmental injustice, de facto segregation, ICE raids, violent policing, and overall unequal access and opportunity. At the same time, Detroit is home to a rich musical history, a vibrant art scene and a long and radical history of grassroots activism – something that continues today.
Currently, the attendance fee for the convention is $295, though organizers are in the process of raising funds and putting together more affordable options for discounted admission, group registration, and scholarships.
This is not the first action the Women’s March organizers have undertaken since January. In March they put together a “Day Without Women” and in July, they coordinated a march from the National Rifle Association headquarters in Virginia to the Department of Justice. It is however, one of their first actions specifically targeted at identifying and training prospective progressive candidates for elected office.
As one of the Women’s March co-chairs, Bob Bland, told USA TODAY: “People have always asked us how we are going to change from a march into a movement. It’s not just enough for us to mobilize in the streets.”
Although the event was planned before the attacks in Charlottesville, Bland believes the events at alt-right protest will galvanize the movement.
“Bringing us all back together, I think, will truly be a historic turning point for the women’s movement and all of the most marginalized groups in this country who, as you saw from Charlottesville, are under attack.”