Highlights from WDN Connect: Shine On
WDN Connect: Shine On crackled with energy. Over the span of three days, we heard from leaders who are shaping a new vision for action, rebuilding our democracy, and continuing to push philanthropy to respond to the moment. Take a look at highlights from our conference!
Opening Keynote With Kat Vellos: We Should Get Together
“There are millions of people who are living their lives with chronic dissatisfaction with the level of connection that they have.” – Kat Vellos, author, We Should Get Together
Shifting the Demographics of Power
“If we understand that exclusion by race and gender is fundamental to US politics, we understand that American democracy is at most 55 years old. What’s happening now may be the pain and beauty of building a true democracy which has literally never existed before.” – Brenda Choresi Carter, Reflective Democracy Campaign
The Stars Align: When Movement Meets Politics
“We must lean towards hope. We also must remember, we are constantly sowing seeds for the world we want to see now – right now in this moment – in what we do, in what we build, and in how we create community.” – Katrina Gamble, Sojourn Strategies & WDN Action Advisor
Women Leaders Shine On
“I was tired of being told that I needed to serve men. Of being told to cross my legs, that I should try but probably wasn’t going to make it. I was tired of being told that whiteness was freedom. I wanted to be free.” – Alicia Garza, Black Futures Lab
Alicia Garza of Black Futures Lab, Claudia Yoli Ferla of MOVE Texas, Colette Pichon Battle of Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, and Monica Atkins of Climate Justice Alliance shined a spotlight on their work as women leaders creating radical change. It was particularly powerful to witness the agile leadership of women leaders within the movements we are supporting. In that spirit, we played a video, also entitled Women Leaders Shine On before the talk began. Watch it below.
“We have been called to this moment to do big things. You can do it. You can resource it, you can plan it, you can collaborate with others to build it. I see the capes on you and this is the time to use them in every way possible, with love and humility.” – Farai Chideya, Our Body Politic
Moments of Poetry and Music
The Resistance Revival Chorus and poets Franny Choi and Aja Monet brought moments of joy, reflection, and imagination throughout the conference and reminded us that movement organizing means healing collectives, free art spaces, community gardens, and poetry books just as much as it means sit-ins and legislative campaigns. Here is some of what they shared with us.
“All I wanted was for poetry to be useful, to fly into the hearts of legislators, to move crowds, to slash the tires of ICE vans and form a protective wall around everyone I loved.” – Franny Choi
“She who unruins us, who fears her own tongue… She who risks riots and braves, eyes on a frontline, who heals earthquakes and conjures tsunamis… Anywhere she smiles is a revival.” – an excerpt from Aja Monet’s poem Her
Listen to “Everybody Deserves to Be Free” by the Resistance Revival Chorus:
Shooting Stars: Other Powerful Sessions
- The Future of Abortion Access: In this dynamic panel, Makayla Montoya Frazier of Buckle Bunnies Fund, Mashayla Hays of The Lawyering Project, Quita Tinsley Peterson of ARC Southeast, Renee Bracey Sherman of We Testify, and Odile Schalit of the Brigid Alliance discussed building towards reproductive justice in the midst of increased attacks on abortion across the country.
- Power Hour With the Boards: Maggie Kulyk, WDN Board Chair, and Michelle Mercer, WDN Action Board Treasurer, celebrated our 2021 highlights and discussed our 2022 strategic priorities.
Keep Shining On!
Keep the conference energy going with our themed Shine On Spotify Playlist!