The Women, Action & the Media conference is fast approaching, and it's time to consider registering. This is a great chance to see some totally ass kicking presentations by a variety of feminists on a ton of interesting topics. This is a rare opportunity to get a chance to see sessions by, meet, and network with some really amazing people, on a variety of really important subjects. But, you have to register.
But, before you do, I know you've got a question, right?
"Who is going to be there?"
I'm glad you asked! This year's keynote speakers are none other than Helen Thomas and Haifa Zangana.
Helen Thomas, the first woman officer of the National Press club and first woman member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, is a noted author and presidential correspondent. She's been covering presidents since JFK, and has been raising conservative ire with her criticisms about the current administration, and the War in Iraq. Helen Thomas is, as Jill's post suggests, awesome.
Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi artist and author, and a former prisoner of Saddam Hussein's Baath regime. She escaped execution, and eventually ended up working with the PLO in Damascus, Syria, before moving to London in 1975. She's also a cofounder of Act Together: Women Action for Iraq, one of the founding members of the International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, and is the chair of the Iraqi Patriots in Media and Culture. She's a contributor to such publications as The Guardian and Red Pepper.
As if getting a chance to see these two amazing women speak wasn't enough, there's a fantastic bunch of feminists putting together some really interesting sessions. Feminists like Brownfemipower, Ann Friedman, Lisa Jervis, Audacia Ray, Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte, and and dozens more.
And they'll be giving sessions on topics like "Battling Backlash: Strategies for Fighting Back, Rising Above, and Making Progress", and "Dying for Your Entertainment: Gender Bias in News Coverage of Britney, Lindsay, Courtney & Owen". Or "Gender, Justice and the Future of Media - Building Our Long-Range Plan" and "Immigration in the U.S.: The Women's Rights Crisis Feminists Aren't Talking About". And more!
And, as a dubious bonus*: I'm going to be there! I have the extreme pleasure of being able to present with Naomi Clark. Our session is on video games and gaming culture, and is called "Feminism and Video Games: Expanding the Discussion of Sexism in Gaming Culture".
In order to attend, though, you're going to need to get registered, -OR- volunteer!
The regular registration fee is $145 for the entire event. That includes access to both keynote speakers, all of the workshops and panels, as well as breakfast and lunch on Saturday, the Saturday evening party, and a Sunday brunch. To put it mildly, it's a hell of a deal. But, I know that a lot of you are students, right? Well, WAM! has you covered- if you're a student of any kind, you pay only $45. For the whole event. Food, panels, party- the whole nine yars. That's a hundred dollar savings. And, if you volunteer as little as six hours of your time to the event, you get all of the above for free.
Of course, you'll need to get to the conference, and you'll need a place to stay, right? WAM! has you covered, there, too. The amazing women at CNW have put up a discussion board to facilitate car-pooling, and another board for finding room arrangements. The Cambridge Marriott is offering a special rate at $199 a night, and the HI-Boston Hostel offers dorm-style accomidations for as little as $40, which includes breakfast and WiFi, and is located right by the subway system.
Some of you have already been looking, I know, and, in fact, I've been told that the very first person to register mentioned my blog as being how he found out about the conference! A hearty thanks to Derek! Hooray!
The point is, it's going to be an amazing conference, and I'm hoping to see as many of you there as possible. It's not just a chance to net-work with and meet some of the amazing feminists that you read about all the time, it's also a chance to actually make a difference- it's a chance to find out what other people are doing to make a difference, and to learn what you can do to help. I really do hope to see you there.
* Bonus only available if you actually like me and want to say hello. In which case the bonus constitutes "will be glad to see you and say hello".