How to Hold a Film Showing

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By Glenn Scott

When DSA’s Feminist Working Group (FWG) launched a fundraising campaign to expand abortion access for low-income women via Abortion Bowl-a-thons, Austin DSA decided to combine the bowl-a-thon with a showing of “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” a recent documentary about the U.S. women’s liberation movement from 1960 to 1971.

Some 70 people attended the film showing, which was both the chapter’s first public feminist event and one of the largest actions the chapter has sponsored since being chartered in the fall of 2014. What follows are components of what made the event a success:

1. Get buy-in. FWG member Alice Embree proposed the event to Austin DSA and got unanimous support. She signed up at least nine volunteers at the meeting.

2. Set up a planning committee. We established a committee of DSA bowling team members and others. We purposefully recruited young women, both in and outside DSA, to work on this event. The committee divided up tasks. One member enlisted her church to approve hosting the event at a central location with free parking. Other members distributed flyers around the University of Texas, the community college, bookstores, and coffee houses. We also flyered at several feminist events.

3. Use social media. One young ally on our committee set up a Facebook event page and we each invited our FB friends. By five days out, we had 35 committed. Another young member set up a Meetup announcement on the documentary fan club site. Our DSA co-chairs put out an email invite to all members of DSA, and all planning committee members sent out emails to their networks.

4. Coordinate with allies. We connected to the Lilith Fund of Austin, which would receive the funds. One of our committee, Meaghan Perkins (new DSA member) invited Rosann Mariapurnam, a Lilith Fund board member, to speak at the event. Mariapurnam made clear the daunting barriers women in Texas face in obtaining legal abortions and the pressing need for contributions.

5. Keep track of details. Alice rode herd on all the logistical details from food, flyers, projector, signs at event, screen, set up, thank-you notes, and crediting the funds to the fundraising site.

6. Remind people more than once. We sent reminders to FB invitees, emails, and texts, in the three days leading up to the event. Almost 40% of the Facebook confirms attended, which is a very high percentage.

7. Promote DSA. At the event, Alice and I both acknowledged DSA as the sponsor. Co-chair Allison Behr was at the sign-in table. Co-chair Danny Fetonte talked with people about membership after they signed in. Alice talked about DSA’s national effort on abortion access. I did a brief introduction and brought the planning committee up front so that people could see that we were intergenerational.

8. Leverage the event. Thanks to our emails and online fundraising in addition to the film showing, we tripled our initial $500 fundraising goal by the date of our bowl-a-thon. DSA fielded two teams, each made up of young people. Older DSA members and allies were the cheering squad. Our committee brought a DSA banner, pompoms, kazoos, and costumes. Committee member Taylor Borgfeldt brought “Design your own Fallopian Fans” with a fallopian tubes graphic, markers, glue, and glitter. We have established DSA as a strong ally on abortion access. Four new members joined DSA during our campaign. Several more are interested in working with us. In addition, we now have a core group for a DSA feminist committee to do ongoing work.

Glenn Scott, a longtime union organizer and feminist activist, is a member of Austin DSA.


This article originally appeared in the summer 2016 (early June) issue of the Democratic Left magazine.

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. Democratic Left blog post submission guidelines can be found here. 

Data Security for DSA Members

June 27, 2017

Ack! I googled myself and didn't like what I found!

WHAT: A DSA Webinar about "Doxing"
WHEN: 9PM EST, 6PM PST

We're proud of our organizing, and chapter work is transparent for both political and practical reasons. However, there are basic precautions you can take in this time of rapid DSA growth to protect your privacy.

Key Wiki is a website that meticulously documents DSA activity and posts it for the world to see. If you're an active DSA member, likely your name is on their website. This is an example of "doxing".

As DSA becomes larger, more visible, and more powerful, we might expect that more websites like this will pop up, and more of our members' information might be posted publicly on the web.

Join a live webinar on Tuesday, June 27 with data security expert Alison Macrina, to learn:

  1. what is doxing? with examples and ways to prevent it
  2. how to keep your passwords strong and your data secure
  3. where to find your personal info on the internet and how to get it removed
  4. social media best practices for DSA organizers
  5. what to do if you've already been doxed

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/9173276528

Call-in Info: +1 408 638 0968
Meeting ID: 917 327 6528

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 11 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 9 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.