#AFSCMETOO: 2019 Council 13 Women’s Conference
As the #MeToo movement has reshaped America’s workplaces, politics and society as a whole, AFSCME women have continued to make strides in all of those areas and beyond.
Hundreds of those women gathered for the AFSCME Council 13 Women’s Conference in March for a weekend of sisterhood (and brotherhood), education and empowerment, under the theme of #AFSCMETOO.
Before taking part in a variety of workshops to build their union skills, conference participants heard remarks from Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman, AFSCME International Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride and State Representative Leanne Krueger.
Rep. Krueger spoke about her efforts to pass #MeToo legislation in Pennsylvania, as well as her own personal experience with sexual harassment and the culture that fosters it.
As fierce leaders like Krueger bring the fight against sexual harassment legislatively, organizations like the Victims Resource Center of Northeast Pennsylvania are providing support for victims of all types of crime, especially sexual violence.
As the conference concluded, Manager of Community Services for the Victims Resource Center Tammi Burke spoke about the pervasiveness of sexual violence among both women and men, and shared stories of the victims her organization has helped through some very difficult and dangerous situations.
Following Tammi’s remarks, the Council 13 Women’s Committee presented a $6,000 donation to the Victims Resource Center, which was raised through a silent auction, featuring items donated by conference attendees. For more information about the Victims Resource Center, or if you or someone you know needs help, visit www.vrcnepa.org.
Safe workplaces are a union issue, and AFSCME is walking the walk in the era of #MeToo. Visit www.afscmeatwork.org/harassment-conversation for resources, including sample contract and policy language.
“This conference is always a great learning experience and has helped me become a better leader for our union. Our guest speakers are inspirational and I always learn something new in the conference sessions. I look forward to the next Women’s Conference to see how much our union has grown,” President of AFSCME Local 1979 (Inspectors Non-Professional – District 5) Anne Radakovits said.
“Our speakers and statewide participants shared solutions and inspired ways to ‘be the change we wish to see,’ and to keep women’s voices heard. Experiencing that inspiration first-hand leaves me grateful and resolute to take action in solidarity,” Secretary of AFSCME Local 2456 (State Professionals – District 8) Susan Bosco said.
Whether getting involved in politics, taking a stand in the workplace or raising money for victims of sexual violence, it is clear following the Women’s Conference that it is up to us to do the work and make it happen, which is what AFSCME members do every single day.
Thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Women’s Conference, and a special thanks to the Council 13 Women’s Committee!