CLPP: Initial Reflections

Hello! I’m happy to report that as I’m typing this, the sun is shining, birds are chirping and it is just over all a wonderful day.

clpp2I came back from CLPP very late Sunday night, feeling positively overwhelmed. Positively. My heart feels completely full. My brain is fluttering with ideas; there is so much to write about. Despite the cost and time off I needed to take, I knew I HAD to attend the conference because it would renew my spirit.

In the last few months after the election, I can’t deny that I experienced GENUINE burnout. While I wouldn’t change my experience of getting Obama elected again for the world,  this time around I worked for a third-party organization that really believed in exploiting folks with big, beautiful activist hearts, working them past the brink of exhaustion, and paying them inadequately for it. That is all I will say of that for now, but you damn well better believe I’ll be writing one HELL of an expose piece about that shizz. Upon returning back, I was shocked to have so many interactions with women my age at work who would openly make racist and homophobic comments. I had no activist friends, no one in my physical proximity to discuss politics/issues with, and it had me feeling pretty down, and questioning my hopes for working for my causes in the future.

Made an amazing new friend!

Made an amazing new friend!

Depressing, right? Moving on. At this CLPP conference my soul has been completely rejuvenated. That sounds corny, and I just don’t give a damn. At the very first workshop I attended, I met an amazing girl named Danielle who came by herself, and we instantly became friends. We’re already planning on meeting at next year’s conference together. How cool is that? I also got to reunite with my friend Sarah who I met and fell in LOVE with at training for the election in Colorado. I met so many rad people, and this is part of why I love that space.

As far as updates go, I learned so much, but I’m still having difficulty figuring out how to divide and deliver the stuff I learned into various entries. I’d like to think my website is a gateway for feminism. While I love preaching to the choir, I also want to help people who don’t necessarily see themselves or identify with the movement understand these issues and begin to care about them.

This is very hard, because CLPP is so expansive. It puts the issue of reproductive rights in the context of so

Reunited with Sarah :)

Reunited with Sarah 🙂

many other issues that all intersect; race, class, food politics, immigration, trans issues. Things I had never considered before I attended my first CLPP. I had never been in an environment that openly acknowledges that there is more than just the gender binary and addresses trans issues. I had never heard of what a doula was, the extent to which abortion access is such a human rights issue, or really just been aware of my privilege. Of course, I’ve been through some really hard shit, but as a white woman (who identifies in the traditional gender binary) I’ve been completely blind to so much of the institutionalized oppression that happens to others.

Regardless, I’m going to be writing and vlogging about my experience and all that I learned this week, and I plan to try to present it at a level for people who might not know about this stuff. I also fully admit that while touching on topics of race or transphobia, I might unintentionally misspeak as these are still issues I’M still learning about. So, lots of learning all around.

But yeah, overall initial point: While it was a little weak and defeated recently, the part of me that tells me I NEED to dedicate my life to fighting for the issues I care about has been completely woken up. Woken up with a super happy vengeance. I’m inspired by the many people I heard speak, and by the wider community of activists I am part of, even if I don’t *see* that every day. I can’t wait to share pieces of this experience with all of you.