New York, NY— What is a wave and what will the fourth wave look like? These questions are a sampling of the many topics discussed during AF3IRM NY’s last day of the Summer School of Activism (SSOWA). Lead facilitators Minerva Arias and Maria Garcia-Mugg critiqued the first three waves of feminism and challenged students to define what the fourth wave will look like in theory and in practice.
Ms. Arias and Ms. Garcia- Mugg asked students to define sisterhood and what it means to politically and personally create militant sisterhood from a transnational feminist perspective. For a majority of students, the conversation was refreshing and expressed a different kind of feminism that was surprisingly reflective of their own experience. For some, it was the first time that they identified as a feminist.
Ms. Arias and Ms. Garcia- Mugg sparked rich discussion with quotes by bell hooks, Yuri Kochiyama, and the statement: “I am of the third world living in the first world.” Students shared their vision for the fourth wave as one that is inclusive of the transnational woman’s experience in the United States, is respectful of ancestral roots, emphasizes shared foundation, and is mindful of the unique experiences of women of different ethnic, cultural, class, sexual orientation, and political identities that women hold. The conversation was respectful of differences and grounded in the shared transnational identity of colonization and imperialism.
Additionally, students shared student-created campaigns inspired by the previous SSOWA sessions. Amidst the drawings, transnational feminist memes, youth accessible poster, and photography, it was clear that there was no shortage of talent and creativity in the room. One student’s rubber stamp project encapsulated the overall sentiment in the room with: “Feminism is not a word. It’s an action.”
The end of the session was commemorative and celebratory. Students received certificates for their hard work throughout the summer and the school was closed with circle of light inviting participants to dedicate the light in honor of a woman both living and dead.
Held once a year, SSOWA is unique in being the only open school for women activist to learn history, political economy and campaign creation.