HOUSTON - Modeled after the 1977 National Women’s Conference which met in Houston 45 years ago, with over 200 delegations from 43 states, organizers say, the 2022 Women’s Convention will be the largest gathering of organizers and feminist advocates.
"It was the first major national convention during the second wave," says Barbara Smith, delegate in 1977. "There was a national women’s conference in Houston in 1977 that was sponsored by the U.S. Government."
Barbara Smith was one of over 200 delegates from 43 states that attended the first ever conference. She reflected on that time with FOX 26.
"1977 was declared international women’s year, countries in the E.U. were encouraged to have national convention in their own county and that’s what happened in Houston in the fall."
Organizers say it was a strategic move to host the convention in Houston this year.
"We really are building on that legacy of that first convention," says Rachel O’Leary Carmona, Organizer of the event. "We really took a lot of inspiration there around the process of how we create together, how do we build together across difference, races and classes."
"I like bringing the fight to where the fight is going on," says Smith. "That’s why I think the Women’s Convention that’s happening in Houston is so important. Because it’s an opportunity for people who are so concerned, not just about the status of women and reproductive rights, but all kinds of things that effect us and our communities. "
A few decades later, Smith says the issues are much the same.
"The two things in Houston that were really contested were the two planks around reproductive rights and sexual orientation," says Smith. "Those were the two hot bottom topics."
The 2022 Women’s Convention in Houston will bring together gender justice advocates and allies from across the United States to plan, prepare, and build power.
The 2022 Women’s Convention was organized by Women’s March, Black Feminist Futures, the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, UltraViolet, and the United States of Women.
For a list of events, click here.