It is our primary goal to create a conference with diverse voices that addresses the subject of fat activism from an intentionally intersectional perspective. In consultation with people from communities including People of Color, Disabled People, Queer and Trans people, and people from various income levels, ages, and those inside and outside of academia we made the decisions outlined below, which we offer in the interest of transparency.
We are certain that we have made mistakes and that there are things we can improve. We are also aware that no community is a monolith and that our group of advisers may be missing voices and perspectives. In acknowledgment of that we offer The Suggestion Box for those who may want to share their ideas, comments and criticisms.
Recruit a diverse organizing team
One of the core principals of Intersectional activism is that an event such as this can never be truly intersectional until we have diverse voices at every level of the conference, including the organizing team. We work to recruit an organizing committee of powerful, diverse activists who work in and among the intersections of fat with other oppressions and marginalizations.
Create a diverse group of speakers
- Secure representation of communities that are under-represented in fat activism before pursuing speakers who are traditionally over-represented
- Invite people who aren’t professional speakers and support them in participation
- Invite people who are not in/from the United States
- Invite presenters from a wide range of ages and time spent in activism
Avoid tokenism and adding to oppression
- Presenters will have complete latitude to choose what to speak about
- Include multiple members of communities in an effort to avoid any one person feeling like they must be “the representative” for their entire community
- Protect speakers and participants from “trolls” using strict moderation
Create Accessibility, Avoid Classism
- Create an online conference so that people don’t have to be able to afford travel, lodging, and food to attend or speak
- Create as many ways to participate as possible- cell phone, landline, Skype etc.
- Create a pay-what-you-can option
- Include recordings of each workshop with the price of registration so that people can listen to them on their own time if they aren’t available during the live workshop, or re-listen to workshops
- Have a wide variety of times so that some live workshops are convenient to a wider variety of timezones and schedules
- Have presenter hand-outs so that participants may have something to engage them visually while they listen
Create an environment of financial independence and support
- Ask participants to pay a fair price for the conference (include a pay-what-you can-option)
- Compensate speakers and organizers for their work
Utilize Our Privilege
- Moderate comments, spaces, and Q&A to avoid adding to oppression of those who participate
- Invite feedback, take full responsibility for the mistakes we make.
Ideas? Comments? Criticisms? Suggestions for other topics/speakers for future events? Please feel free to put them in The Suggestion Box!