Wrapping up our first two years as an experimental feminist business
Can you believe it’s been nearly two years since we launched?! We are so proud of what we accomplished in that time.
We’ve got some big news to share about Feminist Oasis’ next phase — but first, let’s take a moment to reflect back on these first two years. Here’s just a sampling of what we did in 2018 and 2019:
- We organized over 150 events at 36 locations in 13 cities including: coworking sessions, workshops, book clubs, film discussions, networking/art/dance parties, hiking clubs, field trips, forums, article clubs, member socials, cozy creative meetups, listening sessions, reading rooms, theater visits and a weekend retreat.
- We partnered with over 55 organizations, schools and businesses to produce these events.
- We saw nearly 900 unique event attendees (over 1600 counting repeat participants!) of all genders, from across the New England region.
- We welcomed nearly 50 individual members from two countries, and our first Institutional Member.
- We grew our Feminist Library to nearly 100 books, published three robust Action Plans, spoke or led workshops at four other organizations’ summit events, published 67 blog posts, and were interviewed on two national podcasts.
We are so grateful for all of these incredible partners and every person who showed up to share their expertise, experience an event, dance, discuss ideas, practice collective self-care and explore what feminist values mean for their life and work.
What’s next for Feminist Oasis
One of the exciting new things that happened in 2019 was our partnership with UNH’s Women’s and Gender Studies Department — and our wonderful experience working with two student interns. Through more of our statewide outreach, we’re also in talks with other universities whose students have expressed interest in joining as Institutional Members and/or forming Feminist Oasis student chapters on their campuses.
We’re seeing incredible energy around what we’ve built in our Seacoast community these first two years — and our focus on the four feminist principles of Solidarity, Resilience, Sustainability and Systemic Justice is resonating particularly with students right now. Therefore, we’ve decided that the next phase of Feminist Oasis will be incubated in these student chapters!
With that in mind, our existing community events lineup will go on hiatus for the foreseeable future, to allow more capacity for our two primary focuses of 2020:
Supporting our pilot student chapters
Strategically planning our broader future initiatives
What future initiatives? So glad you asked!
Future Feminist Oasis initiatives
There are two notable initiatives that we’re excited to focus on in 2020:
- A restructured and simplified membership model. 2018-2019 membership benefits were largely anchored in localized events. We loved having different member levels named after some of our feminist icons — but our vision for a streamlined membership is one with resources that will be useful to folks regardless of where they are located in the world. Over the next 6–12 months, we will continue to publish monthly resources for our current members as we incubate and evolve our publications for a wide relaunch of useful offerings for feminists anywhere.
- A toolkit for Feminist Oasis chapters. This is something we’ve been talking about since our big pitch as a UNH Social Venture Innovation Challenge finalist! We’ve been listening to our community at every Feminist Oasis event — through sticky note walls, notes, surveys and other collected feedback. We’ll use this collected community listening, what we’ve learned from organizing two years of events and what we’ll continue to learn in our 2020 pilot student chapters to create toolkits that will empower anyone to replicate the most successful parts of our model in their own communities. These Feminist Oasis chapters will continue to bring folks together to explore feminist values in action.
Less IRL, more URL in 2020
While we’ll be pulling back on the live and local events front, we are by no means going dark! We’ll still be publishing content in the form of online resources, blog posts, social media inspiration and action items in response to local or global happenings.
FeministOasis.com has become a resource that we’re very proud of, and keeping it up to date is something that we take specific joy in. We’ll also keep sending occasional emails with new resources or happenings of note, as well as updates on our exciting new initiatives.
Still accepting memberships in 2020?
We’ll continue to provide custom support to our Institutional Members and student chapters. Our capacity for these are limited for 2020, so if you’d like to be a part of the 2020 pilot cohort, please contact us and we’ll see if it’s a good fit for 2020.
We will also continue to welcome individual members, with the following streamlined benefits:
- bell hooks is for everybody. Starting this month, the only individual membership available is our $5/month bell hooks membership. We’ve decided to phase out other member levels, since they were largely centered around benefits for events that are going on hiatus.
- Monthly digital resources. We will send members a monthly email newsletter structured around the four feminist principles of Solidarity, Resilience, Sustainability and Systemic Justice.
- Quarterly outings. We’ll organize one event, outing or field trip each quarter that will be free and open to members and guests. We’ll also add a members-only Slack channel to our existing Slack community (used most frequently by our awesome #FeministsWafflesWork crew) for ongoing online solidarity, separate from social media.
We’re excited to keep sending you resources to support your personal and our collective Feminist Oasis!
If you’re not already subscribed to get our email updates, join our list now so you’ll be among the first to get updates as we evolve. Or, keep tabs on us on Instagram.
In Solidarity & Resilience — and excitement for what 2020 will bring…
— Crystal Paradis, Founder + Lead Organizer