We are at a unique moment in our culture as the #metoo and timesup movements grow in the wake of a multitude of sexual harassment and sexual abuse allegations that started in Hollywood and have now spread to every industry: from entertainment to media to education to government and the military.
As this is one of the most important conversations confronting our culture right now, The Athena Film Festival will take on this cultural moment in the significant manner it deserves. In addition to screening two films focused on the topic (North Country which tells the true story of the first landmark sexual harassment case in the country and 9 to 5), we will host an Activist Town Hall to discuss how we can use this historical moment to make lasting change.
The town hall will include activists working for women’s equality and leadership to discuss ways to move forward. What are the best ways to turn outrage into power? How can we ensure that women can safely reveal harassment and abuse and that their harassers face real consequences? How can we make sure that leadership across all sectors includes women and people of color and that they have the authority to reduce pay inequity and gender discrimination? How best can we change popular culture so that violence and abuse is not prevalent or normalized?
Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International, Host of the PBS series #MeToo, Now What?
Mallika Dutt, the founder and past President and CEO of Breakthrough, a human rights organization dedicated to making violence against women unacceptable.
Saru Jayaraman, the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United which is seeking equity and harassment free workplaces for restaurant workers. She is also the Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley
Jehmu Greene is an award-winning progressive media and advocacy strategist and the Board chair of VoteRunLead, an organization credited with recruiting and training more than 15,000 women to run for political office. She was a recent candidate for Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Gillian Thomas, is an attorney with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, who is advocating for women directors seeking to obtain more jobs in Hollywood. The author of Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work, previously litigated sex discrimination cases at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Legal Momentum.