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Youth Leaders Shine Bright for the Future of Feminism at AF3IRM Summit

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For Immediate Release
Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
[email protected] | (323) 813-4272
NATIONAL — Young women leaders will take center stage at AF3IRM’s “Women on the Wave” National Summit during the second plenary session on Saturday, October 11th at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex.  The session entitled “The New Wave of Feminist Leadership – The Youth!” will feature Zeena Aljawad, from AF3IRM and the Arab Youth Collective; Asmara Shan of Monsoon Women of Iowa & People of Color Queer Asexual/Allies Trans; Alkrizzia Villapando, a Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB Pro-People Youth) organizer; and Ashley Hernandez, who is a part of Mujeres Unidas and Communities for a Better Environment. These young women represent a new generation of theory-builders and feminist leaders that have already dedicated themselves to the fight against all forms of oppression.

Each of these young leaders have demonstrated the need to organize within their communities and this plenary will give a platform for them to emphasize the need and importance of youth activism to move beyond simply changing individual behavior. Their work pushes for actual systemic change through specific strategies within their respective communities.

The youngest featured panelist at the Summit, Asmara Shan is a volunteer intern with Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa and was a participant in the joint Summer School of Youth Activism they hosted with AF3IRM this year.  Self-described as a “queer in the headlights,” Shan is a part of People of Color Queer Asexual/Allies Trans* (POCQAT) and looks forward to smashing oppression in all its forms.

Zeena Aljawad is the one of the passionate co-coordinators of the Orange County chapter of AF3IRM. A recent graduate of Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies from California State University, Fullerton, she currently works as a Youth Coordinator for the Arab Youth Collective at Access California Services and pushes to attain justice through community building and organizing.

Alkrizzia Villapando is also a recent graduate, receiving her B.S. in Psychobiology at UCLA. She was an active member of Samahang PIlipino and last year became a member of Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB) Pro-People Youth and helped facilitate a Pilipino club at Carson High School. She believes in advocating for her community and helping them share their stories and voices.

Latina feminist Ashley Hernandez is a part of Mujeres Unidas, which is a Chicana-Latina collective that works towards creating and building both safe and sacred spaces and womyn’s dialogue. She currently serves as the the Youth Organizer in Wilmington working for Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). Hernandez campaigns for environmental justice in low-income communities of color and also works to educate youth on the negative impacts of the toxic pollution from the highly-industrialized areas surrounding their communities.

“The New Wave of Feminist Leadership” will provide the opportunity for those in attendance to witness the brilliance and strength of the next generation and to grapple with the task of not only involving youth in the movement, but entrusting them with envisioning and leading its future. As National Chair Jollene Levid states “Our movements will never evolve if we do not have youth in leadership, providing fresh insight, challenging our set ways.”

AF3IRM proudly brings together these young leaders along with the other amazing women-identified activists and theorists at “Women on the Wave.” AF3IRM’s National Summit and 25th Anniversary takes place on October 11-12th, 2014 in Los Angeles at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex. “Women on the Wave” aims to bring together women from all over North America and beyond to build the next wave of feminism. The summit also celebrates AF3IRM and its history of over 25 years of women’s organizing, including their current work as a transnational feminist women’s organization and former work as a women’s solidarity organization. AF3IRM welcomes all woman-identified individuals to join in the dialogue, celebration, and resistance.

To learn more about the summit and to register, please visit http://af3irm.org/summit2014. The event is wheelchair accessible and childcare is provided. Space is limited!

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WHAT: AF3IRM 25th Anniversary and Women’s Summit
WHEN: Saturday through Sunday, October 11-12, 2014
WHERE: Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
ADDRESS: 322 S Lucas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017
REGISTRATION: http://af3irm.org/summit2014/
MORE ABOUT AF3IRM: http://af3irm.org

AF3IRM “WOMEN ON THE WAVE” SUMMIT PROGRAM UNVEILED

For Immediate Release
Barbra Ramos, National Communications Director
[email protected] | (323) 813-4272

NATIONAL — Deliberations on Five-Continent Feminism, featuring boots-on-the-ground political analysts, will open the AF3IRM National Summit and 25th anniversary celebrations on October 11-12, in Los Angeles.   Some 300 women-identified participants are expected to attend the summit, entitled “Women on the Wave,” and wrestle with major aspects of constructing the next wave of the struggle for women’s liberation.  This historic event will encompass the theoretical basis, current practices, and revolutionary vision necessary for the future of feminism and the survival of womankind.

The “Five-Continent Feminism” panel is expected to underscore the common bedrock of the women’s liberation struggle the world over, its historical antecedents in women-centered societies supplanted by patriarchy and class, by racism and sexism, and by colonialism and imperialism.  It will set the thematic framework for the two-day discourse, as participants search for the unifying threads of women’s struggles at this time when Capital roosts in and exacerbates every possible division of humanity, toward profitable conflict and war for the Corporatocracy.

This panel will be followed by one on “The New Wave of Feminist Leadership.”  The panel will feature the already mighty young women/women-identified leaders and their work in various communities and movements.  It will examine the commonality of the struggle between US national politics and young people of color and propose strategies to enable a horizontal cooperation between youth and adults to bring down the hierarchical structures of oppression.

“Transnational Feminism” will be the subject of the third panel, which will define a “decolonized, post-identity politics” to create a truly transformational next wave of feminism.  The goal is to codify current feminist activism by women of color and transnational women so as to ensure that a focus-shift in terms of both constituency and targets takes place with the next cresting of the women’s movement in the US.

Day Two of the Summit is designed to focus on actual practice by transnational women in various fields and around different issues to advance our collective movement. It will take up certain principles that sum up how women and the women-identified hammered out from lessons learned on the ground.  This spans such issues as the resurgence of aboriginal activism, violence against women including rape culture, prostitution and sex positivism, wage inequalities and unpaid women’s labor, re-focusing the struggle against Capital and imperialism to its home base and tackling the issue of the US government’s enslavement by Capital.

Because women invented literature and art, the National Summit will feature art, music, poetry, and other forms of cultural resistance from all over the country and the world. Grammy-nominated Chilean emcee Ana Tijoux will present a special keynote and performance during the Summit. Zapoteca emcee Mare will also grace the Summit with a special lunchtime performance.  All people are invited to the “Women on the Wave” Solidarity Night on Saturday, October 11th after the end of Day One in a celebration of women’s creativity, existence, and resistance with an art exhibit and performances. The event will be headlined by Australian musician and hip hop artist Maya Jupiter. Throughout the Summit, a visual exhibit of AF3IRM’s 25 years will also be on view, in the tradition of revolutionary feminist art.

The two days are meant to be discourse and journey, in quest and celebration of women’s humanity, of the women’s paradigm and vision.  Considering the common neglect by visions for the future by various political factions of the gestalt of women’s knowledge and capabilities, this Summit is urgently needed. All attendees will be active participants and will be pushed to challenge and be challenged.

As AF3IRM chairperson Jollene Levid said, “we reject invisibility; we are not going to be invisible women  — whether in the women’s movement or any social transformation movement.  We are fully capable of leading and pushing the struggle for liberation way beyond what it has reached thus far.  We only need to be aware of our historical and current experience and have confidence in our capability.”

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summit2AF3IRM’s 25th Anniversary and National Summit: “Women on the Wave” takes place October 11-12th, 2014 in Los Angeles at the Social Justice Academy at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex. The summit celebrates AF3IRM and its history of over 25 years of women’s organizing, including their current work as a transnational feminist women’s organization and former work as a women’s solidarity organization. AF3IRM welcomes all woman-identified individuals to join in the dialogue, celebration, and resistance. The event is wheelchair-accessible and childcare can be provided. Space is limited!

WHAT: AF3IRM 25th Anniversary and Women’s Summit “Women on the Wave”
WHEN: Saturday through Sunday, October 11-12, 2014
WHERE: Social Justice Academy at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex
ADDRESS: 322 S Lucas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

REGISTRATION: http://af3irmsummit.eventbrite.com
SUMMIT INFORMATION: http://af3irm.org/summit2014/
MORE ABOUT AF3IRM: http://af3irm.org