Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's almost here!

We're so excited that the conference is coming up tomorrow! It will be so amazing to see you all at this event that has been in the works for the past six months.
Programming notes from the first brainstorming sessions

Please bring your ideas, your passion, and your voice.
Some of us (and Gloria Anzaldua!) at the Feminist Coming Out Day event

We can't wait to meet you!

In solidarity, 
the Feminist Action Project Committee

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quick hit: Last day for full registration

Register today to guarantee your meals and Vagina Monologues ticket for this weekend's conference! Check out registration in the link on the left frame, and e-mail us at with any questions.

See you soon!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Panel Profile: Sex Work

Is sex work a feminist issue? Is it an empowering form of sexual expression? The workshop and discussion on sex work seeks to delve into an often misunderstood aspect of society from a sex-positive position. The workshop will introduce elements of sex work ranging from erotic dancing, pornography and prostitution. Topics such as the different types of sex work, the difficulties embedded in the industry and the resources available for workers and advocates will be discussed. Come engage in the discussion on sex work on April 2 - an issue that has been poorly understood and left feminists divided!

Panel schedule

All of the panels will be held in the School of Social Work Building (SSW) at the University of Texas at Austin. This building is located at 1925 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX.

We look forward to seeing you there! Keep checking back for more panel profile posts as the week goes on.

Texas voices
101 track
Workshop and Discussion of Sex Work Beyond Waves of Controversy: Feminist Art Making & Queer Political Forms Feminist Intersectionality
We’ve Got the Power:  Redefining Artistic and Cultural Representations of Women’s Bodies The "Feminist" Politician: A Discussion Advertising: What Are We Really Being Sold?
Women of Color in the Media: Deconstructing a Lens of Inequality From Cuts to Curry: Budget Cuts, Sweet Potato Curry and Feminism in Action at UT-Austin Organizing: Building Activist Skills
Airport Security, Our Bodies, and Rape Survivors Speak Exploring Body Diversity

Beyond Waves of Controversy: Feminist Art Making & Queer Political Forms

What makes art controversial? Who decides what is controversial in the art world? Sometimes the simple presence of the female body, or the gender of the artist’s body, signifies a work as “inappropriate” or aesthetically compartmentalized within a community. By discussing the artwork and curatorial efforts of female artists and activists, this presentation will explore the significance, consequence, and language of social spaces that accompany art making and art exhibitions in the predominantly Christian conservative community of Lubbock, Texas.

We will discuss the waves of controversy we have encountered, diffused, or created, within our academic and artistic practices. We will contemplate the queer representations of women’s bodies for social and political gain in our community and will share our collaborative attempts to push the envelope of stereotypical definitions and visualizations of the female body through our art, our organizing activisms.

While we intend to empower through our feminist artworks, we also recognize how we are often influenced by a culture that exploits the female body and the beauty ideal, leaving us to negotiate our own chauvinistic participation in the controversy of the female body.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Panel on Budget Cuts and Feminist Action on Saturday, Feb. 2nd, 2011!

Recent organizing efforts through The Students Speak (TSS) (an anti-budget cuts organization for students and community members) aims to explore the relationship between feminist action and how organizing against budget cuts performs this work? As a concerned community member and student, I am looking forward to attending this panel and learning about how and what I can do to make change for the better.

Panel Profile: Airport Security, Our Bodies, and Rape Survivors: A Roundtable Discussion

As citizens and human beings, what should we value more: protection from terrorism or protection of civil liberties? How do the policies and procedures of the Transport Security Administration (TSA) affect rape survivors? Is this a feminist issue? These are just a few questions to be considered during this discussion on airport security and rape survivors. The discussion will discuss the arrest of a local Austin woman and rape survivor after she refused the TSA pat-down at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. How is this particular incident indicative of the larger issues of violation and safety, and should we have to choose? This seems like it will be a lively and enlightening discussion on a very relevant topic.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Panel profile: Exploring Body Diversity

[Over the next week, we will be posting information on each of the conference panels, workshops, and presentations in anticipation of the panel sessions on Saturday, April 2. Check it out!]

Interested in size acceptance, fat activism, sizeism, or food politics? This presentation is for you:

Join us for an interactive discussion with a special focus on providing a brief overview and exploration of several body diversity concepts, including the Health At Every Size movement (HAES), fat activism, and body acceptance. The presenter will report on prejudice associated with body types in medical and professional fields as well as a history of ideal body shapes in America, and a discussion will follow with audience participation and sharing experiences.

Come learn more about body diversity and how it intersects with feminism and other social justice movements!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Schedule announced

Check out the conference schedule!  Later this week we will announce the details of each panel, presentation, or workshop and where they fit into the schedule of breakout sessions.  You'll see that each session is 1 hour and 15 minutes long, with a 15 minute break in between.  This will give everyone time to have a good discussion and then decompress and breathe between each activity:

Friday, April 1

3:00pm Registration/check-in
4:00 Icebreakers and power shuffle
4:45 Discussion
5:30 Walk/transport to and eat at SAC
6:30 Seating for Vagina Monologues
9:00-TBA               Discussion


    Saturday, April 2

    8:30am Check-in/breakfast
    9:00 Opening plenary
    9:45-11:00 Session A
    11:15-12:30pm Session B
    12:45-1:45 Lunch and Marianne Kirby
    2:00-3:15 Keynote: Loretta Ross
    3:30-4:45 Session C
    5:00-6:15 Session D
    6:30-7:00 Closing plenary

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Quick hit: FCOD representation

    Remember our event on March 8, International Women's Day and Feminist Coming Out Day? Check out the results at the official Feminist Coming Out Day website where we are an official affiliated campus:

    Photograph of the UT-Austin tower framed by an L-shaped poster which says "This is what a feminist looks like/March 08 2011/" in the style of the official logo.
    The rest of the site has information on the national movement, other campus affiliates, merchandise (for a donation), and ways to get involved. Look around and submit your own feminist portrait or 'click' moment to add to the archive.
    Photographs are still being posted from the event, so keep an eye out for your portrait if you were one of our participants on the 8th. Thank you to everyone who came out and represented feminism at UT!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Feminist Coming Out Day

    What does a feminist look like? Come join the discussion at the Feminist Action Project table at the International Women's Day collective event:

    Place: West Mall, UT-Austin campus
    Date: Tuesday, March 8
    Time: 11am-2pm

    Pose with our picture frame for inclusion in the online archive of feminists on campuses across the U.S., or submit your own statement or image on their website with UT-Austin in the text. Get all the details and the submission form at The more different faces and voices we can get to represent UT and Feminist Action Project, the better! Go to the site and read through the feminist coming out and 'click' moments of students across the country.
    Template for Facebook profile pictures:
    "This is what a feminist looks like" down the
    right side, "March 08 2011/" across
    the bottom in red and black text.

    At Tuesday's event, also check out our statue project- which feminists would you like to see as statues at UT? Who is recognized on campus and who is left out? We'll have posters of Gloria Anzaldua, Betty Dodson, and Dolores Huerta along with information on these powerful women. What would campus look like if one of them had a statue instead of Jefferson Davis (for example)? Come on over and join the conversation.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Thank you: Center for Mexican American Studies

    We are very pleased to announce the generous support of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. They are invested in supporting feminist and social justice inquiry, and we are very excited to work with them as the conference draws near.
    The following is part of their mission statement, which describes the importance of their work:
    Center for Mexican
    American Studies logo:
    CMAS in yellow text
    in a maroon circle
    The mission of CMAS is to serve Texas and the nation as a leader in the intellectual development of Mexican American Studies. The establishment of CMAS represents an institutional recognition of the importance of the Mexican American people in the history, culture, and society of the United States.
    Faculty and students affiliated with CMAS have worked to enhance our understanding of the Mexican and Mexican American experience, as well as the broader Latino experience, and to strengthen the presence of Mexican Americans and other Latinos in the intellectual terrain, both within and beyond US borders.
    Please check out their website to find out more about their academic programs, publications, and extensive public programming calendar. Especially with budgeting so tight across cultural and identity studies departments this year, we appreciate the support of related programs and departments like CMAS. Don't forget to see all of our sponsors on the Sponsors and special thanks page!

    Keynote: Loretta Ross

    We are honored to welcome Loretta Ross to Feminist Action Project this year as our featured keynote speaker. Her work has been very influential across activist movements and aligns with our priorities of intersectionality and bodily experience. We will feature more from her on this blog before the conference, but in the meantime learn more about her and her work below (with permission from Soapbox Inc.):
    Black-and-white portrait photograph
    of Loretta Ross
    Loretta Ross is the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, a network founded in 1997 of 80 women of color and allied organizations that work on reproductive justice issues. In 2004, Ms. Ross was National Co-Director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants. Between 1996-2004, she was the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia. She lectures frequently on human rights, women’s rights and hate groups and right wing organizations.

    Ms. Ross was one of the first African American women to direct the first rape crisis center in the United States in the 1970s.  From 1985 to 1989, she served as the Director of Women of Color Programs for the National Organization for Women, organizing the first national conference on Women of Color and Reproductive Rights in 1987.  Prior to developing NCHRE in 1996, she served as the national program research director for the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR) (formerly the National Anti-Klan Network) from 1990 to 1995 and program director of the National Black Women’s Health Project from 1989-1990. She is a political commentator for Pacifica News Service, and has appeared as a political commentator on Good Morning America, The Donahue Show, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, and BET. Ross has also been a keynote speaker at numerous statewide and national conferences focusing on sexual and domestic violence.

    Publications include “African American Women and Abortion After Roe,” in Abortion Wars: A Half Century of Struggle: 1950-2000 (Beacon Press) edited by Rickie Solinger and Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice (South End Press), co-authored with Jael Silliman, Marlene Fried, and Elena Gutierrez, published in 2004 (awarded the Myers Outstanding Book Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights), She is also the author of “The Color of Choice” chapter in The Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology, published in 2006. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University. Ms. Ross is presently writing a book on reproductive rights entitled Black Abortion.
    If you are interested in the organizations and events mentioned above, please check out these links: