Women, Action & the Media:
A Conference for Activists, Journalists & Everyone
MIT’s Stata Center, Cambridge, MA
March 28 – March 30, 2008
At Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) 2008, we’ll share facts and ideas, develop skills, build collaborations, and create action plans to amplify progressive women’s public voices in society. We’re bringing together more than 400 participants to exchange observations, ideas, experiences, opinions, and tools for change—and plan together for action.
[WAM!] was absolutely essential for me to continue to expand my resources and skill sets. It was an amazing weekend, finding myself in the middle of hundreds of a community of women who shared experiences similar to mine, yet whose voices were so distinct and diverse.
—Deanna Zandt, media technologist and consultant
What questions, issues, and concerns do you want to hear debated? What thinking, strategizing, planning or skill-sharing work should happen at WAM! as a step forward in building the movement? What should we know, what should we be doing, and what should we be preparing for?
Not only was (WAM!) a fabulous networking event—I was able to forge incredibly valuable connections for my organization—but I found it personally invigorating. The conference has the feel of a real cutting-edge gathering of leading thinkers and activists concerned about women and media. I returned from the conference connected, inspired, activated!
—Deborah Siegel, author of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild
We invite you to submit a proposal for a workshop, panel, strategy meeting, digital multimedia presentation, or other conference session. We want to hear your ideas whether you’re a media producer or a PR strategist, a journalist, an activist, an academic, a community organizer, a funder or philanthropist, a “citizen” media watchdog, a media policy advocate, an alternative-network-builder, a blogger, writer, teacher, artist, technology trainer, cartoonist, deejay, (etc!) — we especially encourage proposals from women of color, women under 25 and over 65, low-income women, professionals/producers working in broadcast and online media, and students.
Please send us your session proposals. We encourage you to be creative not only with your proposed topic and content, but in your means of presentation—we’re seeking interactive, provocative, dialogue-rich sessions that might as easily involve multimedia, collaborative projects, skills training or live performance as a panel or standard speaker.
I have gotten a great deal of contacts at WAM! for both professional and personal purposes. I’ve met wonderful women journalists that I wouldn’t normally have access to. CNW attracts women from all different backgrounds, no matter what race, color, sexual orientation, disability or class. It’s great to be around such terrific, smart women.
—Talia Whyte, freelance journalist
To get you started, we’ve listed some titles of past WAM! sessions. Please don’t be limited by this list. What do you want to talk about, work on together—or hear others discuss?
PAST CONFERENCE SESSIONS HAVE INCLUDED:
Media Critique sessions such as:
-The Balance Myth: Why Journalism’s Ethos Distorts the News
– More Than Shadows and Whispers: Hip Hop Feminists Battle Sexism, Harassment, and Violence
-No Comment: Exploring the Women’s Byline Gap
-On the front-lines of Media Justice: Transitions in Policy and Movement Building
-Housewives, Bitches & Swans: Where’s the Feminism in Pop Culture?
Skill-Building Sessions such as:
-Do You Know Who You’re Talking To?: Effective Messaging for Young Women of Color
-In Tandem: An Overdue Discussion about the Freelance-Editor Relationship
-How to Write a Book Proposal That Sells Without Selling Out
-Getting Started Podcasting
-Rethinking Fundraising: All you have to do is Ask
Action Planning sessions* such as:
-Building a Better Noise Machine: Amplifying Women’s Voices in the Emerging Progressive Media Infrastructure
-An Action Board to Challenge Gender-Stereotypic News in Science
-Building a Women’s Media Fund
-Covering Poor and Low-Income Women in Corporate Media Era
-Taking Back Community Radio for the Community
*At our Sunday Action Brunch Sessions, attendees are invited to come together to take concrete action for your ongoing or new project.
And other sessions such as:
-Girls on Film: Female Videobloggers of the Future
-Represent!: The Web as a Site for Black Girls’ Resistance
-Empowering Communities Through Online Tools
-Transgender Activist Radio, Social Change, and the Continuing Gender Revolution
-Life in the Toxic Triangle: Money, Time, & Isolation
(And many more! For the complete list of last year’s presenters, visit WAM!2007.com)
PAST CONFERENCE SPEAKERS HAVE INCLUDED:
o Farai Chideya: multimedia journalist, host of NPR’s News & Notes
o Amy Goodman: host of DemocracyNow!
o Ellen Goodman: Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist
o Daisy Hernandez: managing editor of ColorLines magazine
o Maria Hinojosa: host of NPR’s Latino USA
o Lisa Jervis: co-founder, publisher, of Bitch Magazine
o Julianne Malveaux: Economist, columnist, and President of Bennett College for Women
o Katha Pollitt, author, commentator and columnist for The Nation
o Caryl Rivers: journalism professor at Boston University; author
o Loretta Ross: founder of SisterSong; co-director, 2004 March for Women’s Lives
o Thenmozhi Soundarajan: executive director of Third World Majority
o Rebecca Traister: Salon journalist
o Jessica Valenti; editor, Feministing.com
(And many more! For the complete list of last year’s presenters, visit WAM!2007.com)
To Submit a Proposal
Please submit a proposal (not more than 500 words) including:
o Presenters’ first and last names (please only propose presenters whose availability to attend has been confirmed)
o Relevant biographical information for each presenter (please be sure to include any information which will help us ensure equitable representation of speakers on the basis of race/ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, degree of physical ability, and age)
o Goal of the session: What are the presenter/organizers goals for producing this session and what do you hope will happen?
o Format of presentation, plus unique features, e.g., equipment needs
o What type of audience your presentation is geared toward. Please be specific as to what you assume people attending your session will already know, what skills or experience they should have, etc.
o Email address
o Mailing address
o Telephone number(s)
o Title of the presentation
Incomplete proposals may not be considered.
Length: 250 to 500 words
Preference will be given to sessions that:
o involve at least 50 percent women of color as presenters or session leaders
o involve low-income women as presenters or session leaders
o involve women under 25 and/or women over 65 as presenters or session leaders
o have a goal of fostering post-conference action or activism by the participants
Formats for presentations may include:
o multimedia/performance – e.g., video, guerrilla theater, etc.
o lecture (must include significant time for q&a)
o workshop (hands-on skill-building)
o strategic planning, collaboration or action/organizing meeting
o panel discussion with moderator (must include significant time for q&a)
o media action brunch (planning for post-conference action)
o combinations of these formats, or other formats entirely!
All sessions should run for 90 minutes.
Timeline and Important Dates:
Proposal submission deadline: 10/12/2007
Notification of acceptance or rejection: 11/9/2007
Please feel free to call us with questions as you prepare your proposals: 617-876-5310. Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by the steering committee. Please send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line WAM!2008 Session Proposal, or mail it to Center for New Words/7 Temple Street/Cambridge, MA 02139/Attn: WAM!2008 Session Proposals. You will receive a confirmation of our receiving your submission within 3 working days.
o In order to keep conference registration fees at the lowest possible rate, we ask presenters to volunteer your time, expertise, and services at the conference.
o In consideration of your service as a presenter, you (and up to three co-presenters) will receive free registration to the entire conference.
o If you need assistance funding travel and accommodations, you’ll be invited to request those funds once your proposal is accepted. While we regret that we cannot guarantee that everyone who needs travel assistance will receive it, we are making every effort to ensure that we can fund as many requests as possible.
o If you submit a proposal, you will become the “session contact.” Session contacts are expected to serve as the communication link between the conference organizing staff and the other presenters on your session. Session contacts must provide complete contact information for each presenter and advise conference staff of any changes in presenter line-up.
o The Center for New Words expects that all scheduled sessions will be presented as described in your proposal and listed in the program book.