g u i d e l i n e s
Word/work is sublime... because it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference-the way in which we are like no other life. We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives. —Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture, 1993
In the spirit of Toni Morrison’s lifelong dedication to justice, equality, and democracy, we once again are asking local communities of writers to organize themselves using the Writers Resist framework.
The first series of Writers Resist events were held in response to the 2016 presidential election to help foster community, while supporting democratic institutions and social organizations. In this upcoming election year, we recognize that our local and national communities face new challenges.
With these new challenges in mind, this series of events will focus on Morrison’s call for “word work” as it is connected to the future of our democracy by emphasizing voter awareness and participation in the 2020 general election.
We are once again calling for writers, readers, and thinkers to host events that bring people together to:
Partner with local and national non-profit and advocacy organizations
Raise voter/voting awareness
Events will be held on March 29, 2020.
This open framework deliberately leaves room for local groups to address issues of their choosing consistent with our shared goals. Groups may choose to work with partners whose mission supports democratic engagement, whether through registering voters, getting out the vote, or preventing voter suppression. Or, they may want to select a cause that they wish to see elevated in public discourse.
However, in the spirit of unity, we invite local groups to title their event accordingly by filling in the following blank with their location:
Writers Resist: WRITE THE VOTE _______ (example: Writers Resist: WRITE THE VOTE Philadelphia)
To ensure the most widespread and effective impact, the theme of Word Work should be reflected in the setting and tone of the events, with writers reading not only their own words but also work by Morrison, inspired by Morrison, or in the spirit of Morrison and her legacy. Please emphasize voting in your local organizing and communications. Visit our resources page to learn more about possible readings and voter awareness resources.
For this series of events, Writers Resist has partnered with HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that works to promote participation in democracy. This partnership is based in providing voter registration resources for event organizers in order to create opportunities for more informed participation in the democratic process. As you are organizing your local events, please consider visiting HeadCount.org in order to learn more about how to bring a local a HeadCount representative to your event, how to volunteer for HeadCount, or how to become a HeadCount team leader.
If you would like to request a HeadCount representative at your event, please fill out the HeadCount Google Request Form.
Writers Resist is not affiliated with a political party. We wish to focus on the future, and how we, as writers inspired by Morrison, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy. We urge local organizers to refrain from using the names of politicians or adopting “anti” language as the theme of their Writers Resist events in 2020.
Please visit our “Resources”page to begin planning your event or our Events page to get involved with an event near you.
If you would like to post your Writers Resist event on the site please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header “NEW EVENT LISTING”
As we draw closer to the 2020 election, we hope that these events will once again energize a widespread network of writer-activists throughout the United States and the world capable of becoming a consistently potent voice and force for social good.
Please think ahead about how you’ll highlight and accommodate presenters and attendees who may have special needs in order to participate, from wheelchair access, to creative ways for those folks to speak at the event (making sure they have input on what will serve them best). Please refer to the AWP Disability Caucus “Guidelines for Accessibility & Inclusivity” for further information on how you might create the most inclusive space.
Thank you for your support and hard work. Again, we believe in you, your sense of humanity, and your power as writers and activists.
For more information about how to host a fundraiser for a non profit organization, official Writers Resists images/ logos, and more, please click below.