COMMUNITY CAUCUS '18

At the start of ever year, we host Community Caucus, an annual gathering for activists, nonprofits and thought leaders to present issues, share ideas and discuss plans for effective change. In 2018, we'll host Community Caucus at the Austin Central Public Library on Feb. 15 from 6 to 9 PM! See ya there.

 
 

Behind the Caucus:
At our first-ever Community Caucus in February 2017, we produced 12 panels, reflecting submissions we gathered from Nov. '16 to Jan. '17. More than 300 people attended to hear directly from members of their community; ticket costs were kept at $5, and all proceeds covered event production costs. Hosted within Spiderhouse, the event was a particularly raw, intellectual moment for our community. For some, it was their first jump into activism (a chance to see where they fit in our intersectional ecosystem); for our panelists, it was a chance to finally share, an opportunity to curate discussion in their friend circles and respective industries. From this event, many long-term collaborations, coalitions and commitments to volunteerism and community engagement were formed. Click here for a recap of 2017's Caucus.


2018 CAUCUS SCHEDULE:
 

— FEATURED DISCUSSIONS —

6:15 TO 7:30 PM
What Does Inclusivity Look Like?*
This panel will discuss representation versus decoration and how governments, cultures and organizations can better include a variety of communities. Speakers include Executive Director of Counter Balance: ATX Fatima Mann, Austin Police Department Senior Police Officer Erica Danielle, Annie's List Texas Program Manager Kimberly Caldwell and Executive Director of #bbatx Jane Hervey.
 

*This panel previously featured Erica Danielle, a Senior Police Officer at APD and advocate for anti-brutality and anti-discrimination reform with law enforcement. To ensure the safety of all participants at #communitycaucus18, Erica is no longer speaking on this panel. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.

7:45 to 8:30 PM
On Self-Care and Social Justice
This panel will explore wellness, approaches to activism and tips to effectively (and healthily) organize—no matter what your revolution looks like. Speakers include LMFT-Associate, LPC-Intern Ilyse Kennedy, #bbatx Projects and Ops Lead / founder of Camp Story, Intl. Maureen Nicol, Circle of Health International Advocacy Coordinator Jennifer Camacho and Counter Balance: ATX Co-founder Kristina Brown.

 

— FEATURED STORIES —
In these 15-minute storytelling sessions, speakers will share their own stories of activism, coalition-building and personal/community growth with us.

6:20 PM
Impacting Fashion: Austin’s Role in Changing the Industry for Good
In this session, founders of Fashion Revolution ATX (Kasi Martin, Jen Lewis and Meghan Williams) will share stories of sustainability in Austin, Texas and the ways businesses are challenging consumerism waste.

6:40 PM
Protecting Civil Liberties in the Age of Trump
In this talk, Maira Sheikh will discuss what it is like to work for a Muslim civil liberties organization during the Trump Presidency, what it means to be a member of a community in the crosshairs of the current administration and what it may actually take to make America great.

7:00 PM
On Passing and Passing Privilege
We’ll define “passing," for the purpose of this talk, as the phenomenon of being accepted or perceived as something or someone other than how you identify—passing as more educated, more affluent, more influential, more privileged. If you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of passing privilege, and it’s left you feeling uncomfortable and confused about what to do or how to handle it, you’re not alone. Although Seth List's experience transitioning from female to male may be unique, the experience of being perceived to have privilege is not. In this talk, List will share personal stories about passing privilege and the challenges he faces daily in a world that, despite a queer, feminist identity, perceives him to be a straight, white, cisgender man.

7:30 PM
Depression and Anxiety: Combating the Super Woman Syndrome
In this session, Texas Collegiate Moms founder Jasmine Robinson will explore the Superwoman Syndrome, as it is related to black women and concepts of a “strong black woman." Experiencing the syndrome herself, Robinson will share her personal story in the hopes that attendees gain a deeper knowledge of depression/anxiety, the signs that they or someone they know is going through it and what they can do either at home or professionally to combat feelings of inadequacy and pressures to be perfect.

7:50 PM
Survivor Justice Project: Risk and Reward of Radical Community Transparency
In this talk, SJP founders (Amanda Michelle Lewis and Kristen Lenau) will explore the hopes and challenges of building community leadership and accountability for and with survivors of sexual assault. They'll specifically explore this through the lens of the Survivor Justice Project, the coalition which helped secure funding to clear the City of Austin's rape kit backlog.

8:10 PM
The Ripple Effect of Social Media Activism
In this talk, data analyst Justine Braun will speak about the disconnect between people’s public and private lives and how the implications of that difference can be deconstructed through social media research. She is particularly interested in the creation of online personas and how those curated personas can be detrimental, particularly to women, because they perpetuate the societal pressure for women to hide important parts of their daily lives. Braun argues that online movements like #MeToo are successful in part because they encourage women to share what was previously hidden—the staggering number of women who have experienced sexual harassment or assault. She argues that we need to use social media as a resource to break societal norms and talk about what we’ve been hiding, from our mental and reproductive health to our experiences with harassment and abuse.

8:30 PM
On Representation in the Media
In this talk, Sylvia Butanda of Latinitas will explore the reality of representation of women of color and women in power in media, specifically in the film industry, as she engages Latina director Carmen Marron in a Q&A to discuss her experience and insight surrounding empowering, positive images of female characters and the challenges within the industry for female filmmakers.

Curious about sponsorship/have press inquiries? Shoot us an email. Would you like to volunteer at Community Caucus '18? Click here.