Women Connect -- Netroots Nation Strategy Day

On June 6, 2012, Women Donors Network and Netroots Foundation convened about 70 women bloggers, organizational leaders and activists together across issues and sectors to meet one another, support one another, and begin discussing what offense looks like when it comes to women in America.

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  1. We began by creating the hashtag #nn12women, which stayed in use throughout the conference...
  2. The participants were invited by Netroots Foundation and Women Donors Network, and were deliberately representative of a variety of issues of importance to women, from economic justice to criminal justice to immigration to reproductive rights. Several Netroots veterans commented they were amazed to see so many women they had never met!
  3. The goals of the day, which all participants agreed on, were these: 1) Strengthen relationships among diverse women working on a diverse set of progressive issues across sectors, and better understand what connects us. 2) Begin a conversation about what it looks like for us to play offense, both politically and culturally, and both in the short term and the long term. 3) Leave Netroots Nation with a few clear next steps, resources and commitments that will help us move both of the above goals forward.
  4. We started with "speed dating"-style networking, with each participant introducing themselves in 1 minute before switching and moving onto the next. This was a great way to meet people quickly, and to practice your elevator speech for the remaining days of conferencing.
  5. Next, we broke up into small groups and built collaborative timelines in response to this question: "What is the first time you can think of that women worked together for progressive change?" Starting from that moment in 9 small groups, we built timelines with different colored sticky notes -- people, events and trends -- up until today. 
  6. We then merged together into three larger groups, with each group choosing their top 15 moments throughout history, and explaining why. We created three large timelines that visualized our history of action. It was amazing to see how little the different groups overlapped, and the particular moments where they did. Some key takeaways were of the contributions of women of color, which are critical but less well-known. The group was unanimous that this exercise was important -- to create a shared understanding for where we've come from, in order to better understand where we're going.
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