Feminism2.0 (Fem2.0) Category: Coalition Management, Issue Advocacy, New Media, Strategic Communications
Requirement: In 2008, women’s advocacy groups still struggled with online media. Though their offline advocacy efforts remained effective, the groups were still geared toward and relied heavily on a dwindling population of older activists who were used to traditional modes of communication. Meanwhile, millions of women were migrating onto the Internet and using social media to speak out on issues of concern to them. But they lacked an effective mechanism to gather grassroots power into a groundswell for change because their voices were isolated from the offline women’s communities. The various segments of the women’s movement were separated from each other. Those with the power to amplify their voices were separated from the established feminist groups closest to the policy-making process.
Solution: Suzanne Turner, President of Turner Strategies and former Turner staffer Gloria Pan — both with deep experience working on women’s issues and early adapters of the Internet — organized a little get-together, which turned into a huge conference in order to bring together the leading women bloggers with the leaders of women’s advocacy organizations. They pooled their networks, started making phone calls, and Feminism2.0 (or Fem2.0) was born.
Results: The Feminism2.0 Conference took place January 9, 2009, at the Betts Theater at George Washington University in Washington, DC. was convened by a founding group of online and real world women’s networks including Kim Gandy, Shireen Mitchell, Heather Holderidge, Liza Sabater, Katie Stanton, Julie Germany and Marcia Yerman were part of the initial group that helped organizing the event. Over 300 people attended the event and hundreds more participated via live stream and Twitter.
The Twitter conversation on #Fem2 (hashtag that was created for the purpose of the conference) that day trended only second to the Superbowl. Turner continues to operate this community in gratitude to Gloria Pan, who conceptualized the event and subsequent community, and to our team of volunteer advisors.
Today, the #Fem2 hashtag continues to aggregate discussion of the entire gamut of feminist issues on Twitter in the United States. Many of our writers have gone on to great distinction and feminist leaders sometimes choose to break news in the Fem2 community. The community is organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit and managed under the able leadership of editor Violet Tsagkas.