“In America, you don’t get what you don’t fight for. So let the fight begin.”– Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. (July 11, 2016)
The beginning of it all…
In July 2016, the Platform team hosted what was intended to be a one-time Convention. The goal was to bring young women from across the country together ahead of the 2016 Election in order to create an agenda that would inform elected officials that if they want our votes, they have a duty to protect our rights. From July 11 to July 13, we were joined by over 35 women from 13 different states. We participated in 8 expert-led workshops designed to expand the conversation around “women’s issues.” Workshops included the intersection of gender and Disability Rights led by the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability and Employment Policy as well as College Affordability led by the Managing Director of Generation Progress. We heard from women paving the way: Senator Mazie Hirono, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and “Top 40 Under 40 Lobbyist” Dee Martin. On the last day we took our agenda, the “Declaration of 21st Century Feminism,” and met with 29 Congressional offices.
Highlight Moment: When our Declaration was finished, it was time to choose a title. One woman stood up and said that she did not always feel like the feminist movement represented her, but because of Platform she is proud to be a feminist and proud to be a part of a movement she helped create. That is how the delegates arrived at the title, “Declaration of 21st Century Feminism.”
Platform belongs to each of us and we will build it together.
Testimonials from Convention 2016
“I am and was honored to be a member of Platform this year as it was one of the most significant points of my life. Surrounding myself and meeting tier 1 individuals, I wholeheartedly believe that I was surrounded by the best of the best. Together a group of young women stood drafting the first Declaration of 21st Century Feminism. Not only acting as a symbol of unity but overall change. I can only say that our actions today and of the past few days are the seeds to something more powerful and only the beginning. A special thank you to our leader, Jennifer Mandelblatt, there hasn’t been enough words and/terms to describe the power of one woman let alone multiple women standing together. Starting with now, there is more to come and we couldn’t have chosen a better time to get in formation”- Imaghe Paul, MA
“Last year, I attended the first annual Platform Convention in DC which I can whole-heartedly say changed my life. I feel more educated, enlightened, empowered, and prepared to affect change in this country. While society has routinely tried to show me that I might say this “even though” I’m a woman, I’m going to push further and say that I say this because I am a woman (and as I learned at the convention, the most underused power in the United States is a woman’s power). Everyone’s feminism is different, and in order to obtain true equality, we must be allies to those whose version of feminism is different than our own. All people are created equal and I know now more than ever that we cannot wait any longer to embody that. To the women I met at Platform: thank you. Thank you for teaching me so much more than I even realized existed in the world and also in myself. You taught me to not only surround myself with strong women, but to be a strong woman so that I can do my best to support you as well. “In America, you don’t get what you don’t fight for. So let the fight begin”- Dominique, FL
*Dominique was a delegate at our inaugural Convention. The experience inspired her to become more involved and now she serves on the Director Team
“I attended Platform during the summer of my first-year of college, and I can fully attest that it has made a huge impact on my academic and professional career. As a Political Science major, it was really beneficial for me to apply my lobbying experience gained at Platform to the classroom. Most importantly, I have made strong friendships with girls from all different corners of the country!”- Kimberly, MI