The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade delivered a devastating blow to a large swath of the country. After 50 years of bodily autonomy for birthing people, the opinions of six justices upended the right to choose.
Since that far-reaching ruling came down, many have lifted their voice from social media to the streets to let it be known that women’s rights and reproductive justice are not up for debate. In the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections, Roe v. Wade has ignited the electoral power of women in ways we’ve seldom seen before.
With unyielding fervor, gender justice advocates and allies from across the United States are joining forces in Houston, Texas at the 2022 Women’s Convention. From August 12th through the 14th, attendees will work to plot a way forward, prepare for an uncertain future, and build power to help combat the obstacles that will aim to slow progress.
“We are uniting women and allies around shared values, experience, and culture so we can heal the wounds from the pandemic, the economic depression, and a history of racism to build a nation that works for all of us,” say organizers of the event. “The 2022 Women’s Convention is not just about building a community, it is about building a community with a purpose.”
Women’s March, Black Feminist Futures, the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, UltraViolet, and the United States of Women are behind the rousing weekend of events.
With over 200 delegations from 43 States, the 2022 Women’s Convention is expected to be the largest gathering of organizers and feminist advocates before the 2022 midterm elections. Those leading the discussions are encouraging veteran activists and novice social agents alike to engage in a space that has been designed to gain the tools needed for the fight and get a glimpse of the feminist future that they are hoping to create.
“Forty-five years ago, feminists gathered in Houston for another major convention,” says Rachel Carmona, executive director of Women’s March. The 1977 National Women's Conference made important steps toward the inclusive feminism we lift up today, placing racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights at the center of the feminist agenda.”
Though the four-day event that took place from November 18–21, 1977 marked a turning point for the political history of feminist activity, Carmona says organizers and attendees “made a grievous error” by underestimating just how determined the extremist right was in imposing its deeply unpopular agenda on the country. “Even as feminists celebrated their historic coming together, the religious right was mobilizing across town, laying the groundwork for a decades-long march to seize institutional power,” Carmona explains. “Now, this August, we will gather in Houston with clear eyes and open hearts, using culture and art to connect and heal even as we share skills and strategies to win big and take back our rights in the 2022 midterm elections.”
The Women’s Convention will be organized into six training tracks for activists and include featured sessions. Black Feminist Future, a nonprofit working to build Black feminist power will present “The Black Feminist Future Blue Print Series.” Political Action Committee, Emily’s List will be on hand to deliver a workshop on the “Fundamentals of Running for Office.” Other sessions will tackle disinformation on and offline, using wage increases as a tool for voter mobilization, and lessons and learnings from the #MeToo movement.
The convention comes months after the leaked Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ignited what Carmona called a “Summer of Rage.” In speaking to the Associated Press in May, the community builder stated, “We will be ungovernable until this government starts working for us, until the attacks on our bodies let up, until the right to an abortion is codified into law."