I took a leap and showed up at a three-day Agile Open Northwest tech conference and decided to fully participate. My intention in participation was to learn about Open Space conference format with an eye toward introducing this format of information exchange into the lawyer community. I'm now convinced that the open conference format has the potential to disrupt the white supremacist patriarchal structures that plague the lawyer learning environment.
While at the conference, I gave a presentation on Intersectionality on the second day. The result was amazing. I am deeply moved by the warm and welcoming response I got from folks both during and after the session. The reception of my presentation far exceeded my expectation. In fact, I had folks ask for me to present again because of the positive feedback rolling through the conference. My presentation got called out to the larger group as noteworthy. I connected with some wonderful folks who are very engaged and imaginative about process and movement. Frankly, I'm a bit blown away by this. #AONW 2018
I'm including a copy of my presentation slides for folks who may find it helpful.
Women of color regularly find themselves in a sphere outside of those labeled and designated for Women. Take for example the #MeToo campaign. You may be familiar with the way Tarana Burke was excluded from the movement until women of color pushed back and centered Ms. Burke and her contributions. You may not be aware of the people #MeToo leaves behind, such as immigrant women working on hotel night crews and those working in the fields. The open letter from Latina Farmworkers to Hollywood on sexual assault is an eyeopening example of how easy it is to prioritize white moneyed women when we engage in the work of social justice. The video below provides a wonderful overview of how feminism has historically centered the experiences of moneyed white women and left women of color behind.
On Tuesday, I had the wonderful good fortune of sitting through Emily Evans' presentation on Oregon Women's Foundation's report on Eight That Can't Wait, important issues facing women and girls in Oregon.
Emily's reporting on the economic fragility of our women head of house shook me to the core. Three points stuck with me.
I'm so excited to be speaking about an issue that is close to my heart with Oregon NOW (National Organization for Women) on April 9, 2017, at the Annual Meeting.
My presentation will be a focused discussion centered on a marginalized voice on issues of intersectionality within the legal community. What can we learn about the struggles of those individuals tasked with waging legal battles on behalf of others when the warriors themselves are kept at the margins of the community? An examination of the burden of working towards equity while being subject to systems of oppression.
This year I have the privilege of being one of five presenters at the OAAP's The Tenth Annual Women’s Wellness Retreat for Lawyers: Mind-Body Connection for Relaxing at Home and Work. I will focus my discussion on the need for safe spaces, especially for those us warriors who hail from the margins and regularly find ourselves on the battlefield.
Update: Read about this event in OWLS AdvanceSheet on page 24.
I find that too often inclusion is sabotaged by the discomforts of dominant cultures. If we are truly interested in being inclusive and intersectional then we must push ourselves beyond our own comfort zone. This presentation focuses on the use of the ADA as a minimum compliance tool to maintain the comforts of the dominant culture. Making compliance an active form of exclusion. For this presentation, I'm joined by two wonderful and thoughtful folks, Carol Rozumalski and Matthew Denney.
Employers must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when hiring employees, from job descriptions to interviewing to accommodations. But the ADA sets a floor, not a ceiling. This conversation will review core ADA requirements and the multitudes of easy and affordable things employers can do to make hiring both more discerning and more inclusive for people with disabilities.
This event will feature group discussion and hands-on exercises reviewing job postings, policies, other materials. The presenters will also discuss redefining accommodations through Universal Design.
Update: Read the article about this event in OWLS AdvanceSheet, Summary 2017.