HAVEN and NOMAS (The National Organization of Men Against Sexism) are pleased to announce Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, a three day (August 8, 9 and 10) conference in Detroit exploring gender-based violence through a social justice lens.
Centering the lives of folks who are marginalized is key to creating social justice. The keynote speaker will be Lauren Chief Elk, of the Save Wįyąbi Project, who will be offering guidance on centering the lives of women of color, specifically North American Indigenous Women, in our cultural narratives.
There will also be a plenary panel on recognizing how intersecting identities impact gender-based violence our response to it. The panel will be Jessica Luther, Emi Koyama, and two speakers to be named later. The third plenary panel will be on feminism and new media, and how we create the world we want through technology and media. Speakers on this panel will be Alexandria Goddard, crime blogger who made Steubenville more than a small town in Ohio; Ashon Crawley of the Crunk Feminist Collective, Heather Corinna, doyenne of the amazing sex ed site for teens Scarleteen, and the inimitable tour de force Melissa McEwan, founder and editor-in-chief of Shakesville.
There will be other great things as well, like the 38th Annual Men’s Studies Association Meeting, spoken word performances, a workshop sponsored by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence on the connections between intimate partner violence and HIV infection and much more. We’re also really excited to offer a dedicated space for Healing Justice, with yoga, meditation, art and other self-care workshops. We are committed to creating a space that is accessible, trans* inclusive, and strongly rooted in consent-based interaction.
This conference matters because for 40 years, we’ve focused a lot of energy in the movement to end gender-based violence on fortifying the criminal justice response to intimate partner violence and sexual assault. While that has worked in some regard, calling the police should not be our only option. We need to address toxic masculinity, institutionalized and systemic violence, and center the lived experiences of marginalized folks, especially women. Until we do that, all we’re doing is putting on bandages. I choose, every day, to work to end gender-based violence. Will you join me?
If you want to join us in Detroit, or just find out more information, you can do that here. You can also donate to the Forging Justice Scholarship Fund (making the conference financially accessible) by contacting me at prevention (at) haven-oakland (dot) org. No amount is too small. You can also find the event on Facebook.