By Kim Rescate and Ana Pines
Af3rm held its National Summit and 25th anniversary celebration Oct. 11-12 at the Social Justice High School in Los Angeles. Over 400 women-identified participants attended the two-day summit to examine the issues that impact transnational, im/migrant and women of color and to transform, build and lead the next wave of feminism. The summit was unique in that it placed special emphasis on the need for each individual to participate fully and also collectively in the movement for women’s liberation by envisioning and manifesting a new and just world.
We heard amazing women during the three plenaries Saturday, Oct. 11. During plenary 1, “Five-Continents Feminism: Examining Transnational, Women of Color Feminisms and the Need to Theory-Build in the Era of Imperialism”, we listened to Grace Chang, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, Rosa Clemente and Ninotchka Rosca talk about what we have done thus far as women in different movements and our constant growth in creating new theories and imagining new ways of resisting. Rosa Clemente also spoke about how she wanted to go to the “Weekend of Resistance” in Ferguson, Mo. Her 9-year old daughter told her that she needs to go because “women of color get killed too.” Women show up as expected in support of many movements but when it’s a protest about women’s rights, our brothers are not usually there for us, our issues are often overlooked. Even in LGBTQ organizations, it’s very patriarchal and white. On top of dealing with the issues, we also have to deal with being disregarded and not having our voices heard when we’re fighting for the same thing.
During the “The New Wave of Feminist Leadership” we listened to four young women, Zeena Aljawad, Ashley Hernandez, Asmara Shan and Alkrizzia Villapando. They spoke about the importance of youth activism beyond changing individual behavior and into systemic change through specific strategies within their respective communities. We were happy and proud to see that more and more young women are identifying themselves as feminists.
The panel on “Transnational Feminism: Our Activism in Action – Insight into the Practical Application of Ideology in Praxis” included Olivia Canlas, Myra Duran, Catherine Mendonca, Ivy Quicho and facilitated by Kristen Jackson. Whereas the previous panels talked about theories, this panel talked about activism in action. Cathy has been active in the San Diego community for over four years and is co-founder of United Against Police Terror which will be holding a “National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality Rally and Light Brigade” Oct. 22 at the City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex starting at 6 p.m.
AF3IRM is comprised of women from varying walks of life with an extremely wide range of experiences, interests and talents. It is a transnational feminist, anti-imperialist organization of women dedicated to the struggle of women’s liberation and fight against oppression in all its forms. To join the movement, visit www.af3irm.org.
Kim Rescate – Twitter: @krescate
Ana Pines – Twitter: @AnaPines1