FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2016
Ivy Quicho, AF3IRM National Chair
LOS ANGELES–Delegates from AF3IRM’s nine chapters across the United States recently converged in Los Angeles for its national Congress, which takes place every three years and is the highest decision-making body of the organization. Celebrating 27 years of militant sisterhood, the group planned a new phase of work in the struggle for genuine liberation and elected new officers to its National Executive Committee.
In the current global context of the rise of neo-fascism and the genocide of womankind, AF3IRM evaluated its role as transnational feminists, anti-imperialists situated in the United States. As the first organization to intentionally put the theory of transnational feminism into practice, the group discussed how to move beyond solidarity to forge horizontal relationships in order to create a broader impact both within the U.S. territory and across borders. AF3IRM discussed the terrain of the women’s movement and the need to continue to center im/migrant, women of color experiences and identities as they decolonize feminism and build deeper in their locales.
Under the new theme of combating the patriarchal right to access women’s bodies, AF3IRM renewed its vigor against the nuances of women’s oppression today. The group discussed the need for a heightened strategy against right-wing, post-modern, and liberal ideologies that frame the sexual exploitation of women, such as prostitution, as “agency over one’s body,” masking its true, violent nature by removing it from its source- patriarchy, and replacing it with “empowerment.” AF3IRM reasserts that this dangerous view has and will continue to deepen the subjugation of women worldwide and divide the women’s movement when unity is needed more than ever.
The perceived entitlement to women’s bodies, particularly transnational women of color, roots from legacies of colonialism, capitalism, and militarism, and continues to plague our society today in the form of street harassment, pornography, sexual violence in deportation centers and prisons, and the confluence of sex and labor exploitation, to name a few. The intersections of patriarchy push transnational women to make decisions in order to survive because they are not afforded the luxury of “choice.” In this new phase, AF3IRM will continue to theory-build around this and strategize beyond reformist solutions that merely aim to reduce, rather than eliminate harm, in order to build towards a world free of violence and hate.
Based on this ideological framework, AF3IRM developed a new strategic plan for the next three years and also elected its new National Executive Committee Officers. Ivy Quicho, an AF3IRM member of 13 years and organizer in the labor movement for 8 years, is moving from her post as National Organizing Director to be the newly elected National Chairperson. Barbra Ramos, a writer and a marketing professional within publishing and higher education, is beginning her second term as National Communications Director, while Angel Bartolome, a licensed clinical social worker, is also beginning her second term as National Finance Director. Olivia Canlas, a public interest lawyer, is leaving her post as longtime AF3IRM NY/NJ Chapter Coordinator to be the new National Education Director. Princess Manuel, the co-founder/former coordinator of the AF3IRM South Bay/LA chapter and graduate student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, is the newly elected National Organizing Director, and Myra Duran, past AF3IRM LA chapter coordinator and current Policy Manager at California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, is the newly elected National Programme Coordinator. The organization is grateful to its outgoing officers – founding chair Jollene Levid, Emelyn de la Pena, and Mona Novarro – for their work and dedication that has led to AF3IRM’s exponential growth and development. Under new leadership and expanding upon the theories and ideas of previous terms, AF3IRM is once again energized and renews its commitment to build towards a liberated world of its radical imagination.