Whew! After half a year of hard work, Southern Girls Convention 2001 finally happened this past weekend in Auburn, Alabama. As you may have noticed from my extended absence, it was absolutely exhausting, long, hard work, but it was totally worth it. Over FIVE HUNDRED totally rad feminist women and boys came from all over the country (and Canada too!) for over 60 information-filled workshops, tables with all kinds of information, four music shows (including an outstanding hardcore show at Olde Auburn Ale House), and an amazing chance for community, networking, and meeting lots of rad kids from the South. Although as organizers we were constantly running around exhausted and dealing with crises, everyone told us that they had an amazing time and the positive feedback was more than enough to keep us going on vicarious great experiences.
Auburn hasn’t seen so much diversity or political consciousness in a long time. Queer punk girls were lounging outside of Foy Union, everyone from PIRG to SURGE to Planned Parenthood were hosting tables, and a group of Radical Cheerleaders coordinated a spontaneous march and took over the downtown Taco Bell in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ campaign for tomato pickers.
I can’t write here how challenging, exhausting, uniting, empowering, and wonderful the experience of organizing SGC2001 and carrying it through have been. But it’s been all that and more. I don’t want to organize any more conventions for a long time, but I am super-psyched about going to next year’s SGC and experiencing it from a participant’s-eye-view. I hope, I pray that SGC will be an on-going, transformative presence in the South for a long time to come.