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Conference Special Events

As the NWSA Annual Conference grows in the number of participants, sessions, and scholarship,  NWSA will be striving to highlight the diferent ways our constituents celebrate and honor the spaces in which they exist.

Below is a list of events that will happen throughout the conference outside of the regularly scheduled sessions. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

  • A Living Chance – Multimedia Storytelling to End Life Without Parole
  • NWSA Presidential Address
  • Opening Plenary: Centering Resistance, Animating Movements 
  • Welcome Reception with DJ Emancipation

Friday, November 15, 2019
  • Plenary: Laboring and the Politics of Re/Production
  • Poster Presentation and Art Reception
  • Shabbat sponsored by the Jewish Caucus
  • Keynote Conversation with Arundhati Roy and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Saturday, November 16, 2019
  • Comfort Women Memorial Walking Tour - register here!
  • Membership Assembly
  • MA/PhD Reception
  • Graduate Student Reception
  • Awards Toast
  • Closing Plenary: Writing New Worlds

Sunday, November 17, 2019
  • Closing Reception: Movements in Time: Anti-Imperialist Feminism, a Bay Area Legacy


Event Descriptions

Thursday, November 14, 2019
A Living Chance – Multimedia Storytelling to End Life Without Parole
A Living Chance is a multimedia installation that reaches across the bars of California’s women’s prisons to share the stories of people serving Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences, build public awareness, and ignite activism to end this barbaric sentencing policy. The installation uses audio storytelling hosted on smart phone technology and takeaway postcards featuring portraits and excerpts of letters from people with LWOP sentences. By bringing prisoner words and faces into the space, the installation breaks through carceral boundaries to oppose extreme sentencing policies which are being exported by the U.S. as a global means of social control.
Location: The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics

NWSA Presidential Address
NWSA President Premilla Nadasen will give an address on issues and concerns relevant to NWSA and our constituencies.

Opening Plenary: Centering Resistance, Animating Movements
Feminist, queer, trans, economic, disability and racial justice warriors have been at the forefront of movements for social change: organizing, mobilizing, protesting, boycotting, agitating, sustaining, guiding, collectivizing, re/producing, and challenging. This panel will address how feminist engagements have animated and informed movements for transformation in local and transnational spaces. Speaking on the panel are Michelle Téllez, Lateefah Simon, and Noura Erakat. Moya Bailey is moderating.

Welcome Reception with artistic performances
All conference attendees are welcome at the NWSA sponsored welcome reception immediately after the keynote. There will be a performance by a local artist as well!

Friday, November 15, 2019
Plenary: Laboring and the Politics of Re/Production
Reproduction has often been associated with childbearing, biology, and reproduction of the human species. But how does re/production re-envision reproduction? What are the multiple ways that society/social organization are produced? How can we incorporate multifaceted stories of how human bodies and humans as social beings are produced and reproduced? What kind of labor is required for that re/production? Crossing temporal, spatial, racial, and national boundaries, panelists will engage with the connections between labor and re/production. Speaking on the panel are Dana-Ain Davis, Aren Aizura, Valerie Francisco-Menchavez, Lynn Roberts, and Siri Suh. Laura Briggs is moderating.

Poster Presentation and Art Reception
All conference attendees are invited to a disaply of poster presentations by NWSA members and art by feminist artists.

Shabbat sponsored by the Jewish Caucus
The Friday night Shabbat service is a reflection on the week/work behind us, in order to feel refreshed for the new week. The service includes participatory music, meditation, and prayers for healing. Most of the service will be in English and prayerbooks/guides are provided with English transliteration for Hebrew prayers. Afterward the Jewish caucus hosts an “oneg” including snacks, drinks and conversation. We welcome everyone including non-Jews, those with Jewish heritage, those who identify as Jews and allies. We especially invite Jews of color, Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews and those wanting to learn more about Jewish diversity including racial, gender and sexuality diversity. Our service focuses on issues of social justice. Come learn more about Jewish feminisms and Jewish spirituality!

Keynote: Reading by Arundhati Roy from My Seditious Heart
Conversation with Arundhati Roy and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor


Saturday, November 16, 2019
Comfort Women Memorial Walking Tour - register here!
Come and join activists, educators and other NWSA members as we tour the site and understand the movement towards its development, and most importantly, deepen our understanding of the contemporary battleground for rights of women to live in a world free of systematic sexual violence. We believe that we must depart from the conventional characterization of the “Comfort Women” issue as merely either the “Asian Women’s” cause or that of unresolved wartime injustice of the bygone era in a faraway land.  Instead, we see this work as part of present-day intersectional women’s issue irrevocably linking the issue of sexual violence to that of racist and colonial violence.
More information

Membership Assembly
Members can learn about the state of the organization, discuss recommendations in support of the NWSA mission, and talk with NWSA leaders. This year NWSA members will vote on recommendations and resolutions online electronically after the conference. This change, adopted by the Governing Council in June 2015, will promote democracy in the association and allow for increased member involvement.

MA/PhD Reception
Sponsored by NWSA MA and PhD member institutions, representatives from programs will provide information about their program. Prospective students can learn about programs. Alums and faculty can reconnect.

Graduate Student Reception
The Graduate Student Caucus is hosting a reception for graduate students.
Location: Grand Ballroom A

Awards Toast
Celebrate the recipients of the NWSA book prizes, the NWSA graduate scholarship, Trans/Gender Variant Caucus Award, Women's Centers awards, and the NWSA Women of Color Caucus/Frontiers Student Essay Award.

Closing Plenary: Writing New Worlds
Writing as an art, as a means of communication and a mode of performance, as a process of envisioning a new world has been central to feminist imaginings. Panelists writing in different genres and from different locations will address how the written, spoken, and signed word can take us beyond our geographical/spatial boundaries to new figurative and literal spaces through creating new realities. Panelists will also consider how new narratives can help construct new ways of being. Speaking on the panel are M. Jacqui Alexander, Mishuana Goeman, Margaret Noodin, Tsitsi Ella Jaji, and Cherríe Moraga. Savannah Shange is moderating.

Sunday, November 17, 2019
Closing Reception: Movements in Time: Anti-Imperialist Feminism, a Bay Area Legacy
In keeping with this year’s NWSA theme, “Protest, Justice, and Transnational Organizing,” we offer a public event at the historic site of the Women’s Building to recognize and reconsider our region’s contributions to feminist and queer anti-imperialism. We begin with an outdoor tour of the Women’s Building mural, led by Juana Alicia, muralist and author of the forthcoming book, MaestraPeace: The San Francisco Women’s Building Mural. Then we move inside, where a poster gallery of historical materials will be displayed, and a roundtable of exemplary leaders from historical social movements will offer commentary on their legacies for today’s social movements.

Maestrapeace Mural

Location: The Women's Building, 3543 18th St., San Francisco, CA