(C. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, June 12, 2012)
“Right now there are only 4 women in the Michigan Senate, and 27 female representatives in the Michigan House. Yet in this legislative session alone, over 140 bills have been introduced that directly affect women’s rights in Michigan,” said Kate Morgan of Ferndale. “We believe that in order to make positive change for women, we need more women’s voices in Michigan’s political sphere.”
That’s why Morgan and six of her friends have put together a first-of-its-kind Michigan Women’s Power Assembly, taking place at Wayne State University on Saturday, June 16, 2012 from 8am to 5pm. The day-long conference provides breakfast, lunch, training and materials for women who want to get involved and make sure their voice is heard in Lansing. The cost is just $20.
“The idea for this event came about last fall when a group of 7 friends, all involved with different organizations and issues, decided they wanted to see a change in the state of Michigan women,” Morgan said. “They were fed up with all the anti-woman legislation coming out of our state and knew that there were many other women who felt the same way. They decided to create this event in order to cultivate power among Michigan women and give them the tools to collaborate across issues for a more comprehensive women’s policy agenda.
“The main issues we’ll be dealing with at this event include: economic security, environmental justice, gender-based violence, education, reproductive rights and healthcare. What we most hope to bring awareness to, however, is that the key to creating lasting change is working together and collaborating across these issues.”
According to their website, “The Michigan Women’s Power Assembly is for activists, volunteers, community leaders, and anyone else who wants to get involved in making Michigan a better place for women to live. From healthcare to economic opportunity; from environmental justice to reproductive rights; from gender-based violence to education – there is plenty to work on, but working together, we can transform dreams of equality and opportunity into reality.”
Morgan is a 24 year old intern for the organization State Voices. She graduated from Michigan State last year and hopes to continue working in the nonprofit sector on progressive issues.
The plan for the day looks like this:
Michigan Women: The Issues Affecting Us & Our Power to Make Change
9:45 am-11:00 am The View – Perspectives from Michigan Women: Using Our Power To Make Change
11:00 am-11:10 am Break
11:10 am-12:25 pm Got an Issue?
Open Dialogues on Healthcare, the Economy, Reproductive Justice, Education, Violence Against Women, the Environment
12:30 pm-1:30 pm Lunch
Raising Our Voices: Develop Your Skills to Impact the Issues Most Important to You
You’ll have the opportunity to select and attend two trainings that will equip you with the skills you need to make change on those issues you care most about. Trainings are divided into four categories, but you should attend trainings in any category that will help you make the most impact.
Working Within the System:
Success at the Ballot Box: How to Run a Campaign for Office & Get Elected
Influencing the System:
Beyond the Handshake: Getting to Know Your Elected Officials
From Marching to Bill Signing: Winning Advocacy Campaigns
Building Community Power:
What Works vs. What Doesn’t: Sharing Tips & Challenges with Fellow Organizers
Communicating for Change:
Telling Your Story
Tweet Tweet: The Power of Social Media
1:30 pm-2:45 pm Raising Our Voices Skills Training 1
2:45 pm-3:00 pm Break
3:00 pm-4:15 pm Raising Our Voices Skills Training 2
4:15 pm-4:45 pm Creating Your Action Plan
4:45 pm-5:00 pm Conference Closing
To find out more and to register, visit www.miwomenspowerassembly.com.