The goal of the Gender Justice Working Group (GJWG) is to ensure that gender, transgender justice and LGBTQ issues are well-integrated into the planning, implementation and program of the USSF.
We invite you to join the gender justice working group to help move the work forward. We have a monthly conference call, 9:00 pm Eastern, Wednesdays. The next call is Wednesday, November 20. Call in number: 619-326-2772 Access Code 630-8167.
Note: To have a gender analysis is to identify and understand the ways in which gender interacts and intersects with various forms of oppression, including race, class, sexual orientation, migration status, etc. and that people’s experiences are defined by the intersection of these oppressions.
- We honor our own experiences and perspectives and equally honor the experiences and perspectives of those who are not here
- We seek to bring those absent from the conversation to the conversation
- We strive to be the change we want to see
- We challenge existing power structures through our processes and organizing
- We value and celebrate the range of gender expression and identity
- We value women's voices and women's work
- We stand in solidarity with the global women's and gender justice movements, and our strategies are informed by the work of our allies around the world.
- We value people not profit; people are valuable regardless of what resources they bring with them
- Focus outreach efforts on grassroots organizations, individual activists, and members of our communities
- In all our efforts, be conscious of the digital divide and prioritize making information accessible to all
- Integrate healing and conflict resolution into our organizing processes
- Advocate for the inclusion of a gender analysis in all USSF processes and events
- Maintain transparency in our decision making processes and publish our notes to the extent possible
The GJWG has three main areas of focus
1. GENDER JUSTICE STRATEGY TEAM- This group of people is committed to participating in the working groups of the USSF to develop and infuse gender analysis into the USSF
Working gender analysis: Gender analysis means understanding and identifying the ways in which gender interacts and intersects with various forms of oppression, including race, class, sexual orientation, and migration status, etc. and that people’s experiences are defined and by these oppressions and often need explicit thinking in order to remedy the problems.
Each of the Working Groups will have two representatives (or more!) from the GJWG who are responsible for finding ways or assuring that gender analysis is brought to the activities of the Working Group.
Each interim contact (in parenthesis) is responsible for writing a short description of possible ways to promote gender justice within each working group. As more people join this team, GJWG Strategy Team members will work collectively to develop the agenda of our goals for each group.
The members of the Gender Justice Strategy Team will participate in the working groups as representatives of the GJWG and report back to the GJWG about their activities.
- Communications and Technology
- Outreach /People's Movement Assembly
- Fundraising/Resource Mobilization
- International Solidarity
- Arts and Culture
2. ORGANIZING AND EVENTS TEAM– The group of people engaged with the Organizing and Events team will work together to coordinate events and programs at the US Social Forum. Members of the organizing and events team will organize regionally or around specific issues or events at the USSF. Some potential events at the USSF that the Organizing and Events Team might organize include:
Programs and Workshops, A Health and Healing Tent, a Gender Justice Tent, a Court/Tribunal, People's Assembly
The role of the organizing and events team will be to support fundraising, coordinate communication, and promote grassroots organizing for the USSF in 2010. This team will have specific leadership roles mapped onto the working groups, and additional leadership roles specific to the GJWG.
For example, right now Rose, Alison and Mayowa are representing the GJWG on the Program and Culture Working Group. They are also responsible for coordinating the Program and Culture work of the GJWG. If someone was interested in finding out how to apply to do a workshop at the USSF related to gender justice or women’s issues, they would contact one of those three people. Eventually, the people filling the leadership roles on the Gender Justice Strategy Team and the Organizing Events team might be different *(for example, Rose, Mayowa and Alison coordinate just the GJWG representation on the Program and Culture Working Group and someone else takes over the Program/Culture coordination of the Organizing and Events team)
The Organizing and Events Team will have regular conference calls to update information and coordinate efforts. Regional organizing will be coordinated through this team.
Leadership Roles on the Organizing and Events Team include:
- Communications/Media (Alison)
- Documentation/Evaluation (Jacqui)
- Movement Building/People's Movement Assembly (Rona)
- Program/Culture (Rose, Alison, Mayowa)
- Fundraising/Resource Mobilization (Kierra, Tamara)
- **Technology NEED (Nora - interim)
- Outreach [GJWG (Alison)]
- International Solidarity (Shaya)
- **Logistics - NEED (Amrita - interim)
These volunteers will provide resources and serve as bottom liners for each area. As regional organizing and event-specific organizing gets up and running, representatives from those efforts will also be an important part of the organizing and events team.
The roles outlined below are specific to the Gender Justice Working Group.
- Outreach (Nora, Alison)
- Information Guru - someone who is in charge of keeping wiki updated, tracking the notes, sending out information to people who need it - Rona + Nora
- Listserv/contact management - Jacqui and Amrita
- New member orientation (engage new people) - (NEED SOMEONE)
- Liaison with NPC - Jacqui
- International organizing (Marina)
3. Sustainability and Movement Building Team
The US Social Forum is not an end to itself but a node along a process of movement building. Our efforts at assuring gender justice at the forum will extend to building a grassroots gender justice movement in the US that is linked internationally with similar groups. Through regional meetings, learning of each other causes and struggles, and by working together to plan events and identifying practices of gender injustice in society we see our efforts as part of a long term struggle for gender rights.
One strategy of this team would be to facilitate opportunities for people at the USSF to plan for a renewed and inclusive women’s movement.
Leadership of the GJWG
We talked some about changing the name of this group, but never came to consensus. Some suggestions might be ‘coordinating core’ or ‘coordinating team’
The “Leadership Circle” will be made up of the members of the Strategy Team, and the bottom liners from the Organizing and Events Team. It will also include regional representatives and other people who are designated representatives of organizing efforts.
The leadership circle’s purpose is to coordinate the strategies of the GJWG to maximize success, communicate information, and provide resources and support to the members.
Leadership circle members will be responsible for communicating updates about projects they’re working on, bringing information from the leadership circle back to the region, team, or group they’re working with, and staying up to date on all GJWG activities.
- ORGANIZING and OUTREACH
The Gender Justice Working Group is recommending a series of regional meetings in cities and/or small towns around the country to facilitate regional organizing for the USSF. The regional meetings will be modeled after the October Planning Retreat in DC.
Outreach plans for the regional meetings:
An Outreach letter with points of entry and opportunities to engage. Individuals and organizations come to the meeting and decide if they want to engage in local organizing and also elect someone to represent the regional organization in the leadership circle.
Proposed Action: Develop facilitator's guide for regional meetings that includes encouraging regional teams - based on template from this retreat, and includes a history of USSF
The goals of the regional organizing meetings will be to:
- identify what kind of regional organizing people want to do
- recruit more people to coordinate the GJWG and to be part of the Strategy Team
- create fundraising and outreach strategies
- identify what kind of support they need from national organizing efforts.
Expectations: reading, communicating your work, distilling it back to your region
Supporting fundraising, coordination of communication with regions and NPC
Timeline (Tasks and Deadlines)
October 14, 2009 - Nora and Alison will distill goals and send to planning committee (retreat participants) and leadership for review
October 19, 2009 - Present name change and new goals to 140 listserv. Here is what we did. Do you have any immediate concerns or questions?
This email will include:
§ Proposed goals and structure for the Gender Justice Working Group
§ Feedback instructions – please send concerns/comments/ changes to Marina via email or snail mail (Marina to provide contact info)
§ Doodle conference call poll for a call at the beginning of November
October 23-25, 2009 - National Planning Committee discussion re: organizing committee, working groups, constituency group when Jacqui (and Mayowa?) will present on GJWG
October 30, 2009 – Deadline to provide feedback re. proposal to Marina (reminder on Monday October 26) - through separate account (Note: Nora and Alison set up mailing address and printable form so folks can give to their folks??)
October 30th - All WG Strategy Teams bottom liners get description of work to send to the list (this is described above) - everyone who is bottom lining something will write out what that means (function and tasks) and one person will be the point person. also something about how we're planning to infuse gender analysis into that working group.
November 6, 2009 - Marina will analyze responses and present to retreat/planning committee and leadership circle
November 6-11th 2009 - planning committee conference call - Nora and Alison will send out doodle poll with the initial draft of directives.
November 11, 2009 – Email explaining the new structure of the GJWG and opportunities for engagement sent out. Includes:
- Explanation of the GJWG structure with specific areas to engage/ levels of engagement for organizations/individuals, i.e. if they do a workshop, agree to distribute gender survey etc., actually organize a workshop, volunteer with GJWG during the USSF
- Opt-in/opt-out of email listserves (2 different – one organizing, one just updates)
- Regional convening proposal
- Info about conference call - week of November 30-December 4, 2009 (Doodle)
OUTREACH STRATEGY: have this sent to as many groups and people as possible organizing around all issues (housing immigration, CJ, labor, indigenous rights, environment, media justice, etc.). Include conference call information for week of Nov 30th