Sponsor Shout-Out: The Harnisch Foundation

The Harnisch Foundation has been one of our most enthusiastic supporters from the very beginning. Their philanthropy is inspiring: progressive, fiercely value-driven, and with keen focus on creativity. Their objective is simple, but vital: supporting “the work of effective leaders and creative communities working to advance gender and racial diversity with a focus on women and girls.” They are furthermore devoted to exploring journalism’s possibilities for enacting social change. As you well know, BinderCon is committed to diversifying the media by empowering and bringing together women and gender non-conforming writers. So, ours is a perfect match, wouldn’t you say?

In October the HF underwrote a fantastic luncheon and keynote conversation between Emily Bell (Director of the Tow Center for Journalism) and former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson. HF Founder and President Ruth Ann Harnisch gave a lovely introduction to a packed room and what followed was a fascinating and invigorating discussion. This weekend, in Los Angeles, they will present a panel on reporting sexual assault, unfortunately a critical topic in our current climate. And we can always count on them to support us on Twitter – and to spread the word on news and issues relevant to feminist-centered journalism.

Speaking of which, here are just a few of the HF’s other inspiring projects: Funny Girls empowers girls between the ages of 10 and 13 to foster leadership skills through the practice of improvisational comedy. Ruth Ann Harnisch is one of the executive producers of The Hunting Ground, a documentary on campus sexual assault (and whose producer/director Amy Ziering will take part in the Harnisch panel). Awesome Without Borders provides grants to projects in TWENTY-NINE different countries. In fact, for the last two years, the HF has funded a grantee EACH WEEK. I mean, wow.

We’re thrilled to continue this wild ride with the Harnisch Foundation at our side.




Sponsor Shout-Out: Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation is truly a force of good in the world of journalism. Supporting “transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts,” their organization foregrounds diversity and community building the way that BinderCon does. It’s fitting, then, that we would team up with them, and we’re so grateful for their sponsorship.

A blog post cannot do justice to all the wonderful work supported and accomplished by the Knight Foundation, but we do want to make you aware of some particularly awesome philanthropy. In addition to sponsoring BinderCon, they have begun the Knight Arts Challenge, where nonprofits, individuals, and companies compete for funding on a community-based artistic project (those in St. Paul, Detroit, and Akron still have time to submit!). Their backing of the Mighty Writers program in Philadelphia enables grade-school students to foster their literary creativity in pursuit of careers in writing.

You can read much more on their beautifully-curated website and follow them on Twitter for more exciting updates. You inspire us, Knight Foundation – thanks so much for being a part of BinderCon!


Sponsor Shout-Out: Ms. Magazine

If you took a gender studies class in college, then you’ve certainly heard the name Gloria Steinem. And in the midst of working rigorously at the forefront of second wave feminism, she co-founded Ms. Magazine. Since 1971, the publication has been a linchpin in the world of feminist journalism, asserting that it is “more than a magazine – a movement!” And as BinderCon continues its own movement as a space to empower women and gender non-conforming writers, we are grateful to count Ms. Magazine as one of our supporters.

Ms. Magazine can claim a number of firsts: the first to publish a cover story on sexual and domestic abuse, to spearhead and then run a study on date rape, and to feature well-known women speaking out against anti-abortion laws. (Read more about Ms. Magazine‘s initiatives here)

And even if you don’t have a subscription to Ms. Magazine, their site offers plenty of excellent and important reading material. Check out, for example, this study on the dangers faced by abortion providers. The article “Injustice League” explores the submerged epidemic of domestic abuse in the NFL. The site also links to a great page of feminist resources.

Ms. Magazine started so much of the work that we at BinderCon are striving to continue. Many, many thanks for your support.


Sponsor Shout-Out: BuzzFeed

Okay, we don’t need to tell you what BuzzFeed is. We probably don’t need to tell you about their commitment to diversity and fair hiring practices either. But perhaps you missed it when they, without reservation, spelled out their allegiance to feminism on Tumblr.

That’s pretty awesome. And it’s just one of the reasons why we at BinderCon are so proud to name BuzzFeed as one of our generous sponsors. We have them to thank for our conference’s VIP party.

Whether it’s a clever list or an essay, BuzzFeed regularly runs content foregrounding people writing at the margins of society. Take, for instance, this essay by Lindsay King-Miller on queer partnership, the frustrations of trying to conceive, and the homophobia inherent to conceptions of pregnancy and childbirth. Or Tracy Clayton, writing on her experiences with racism in southern fraternities. And then, of course, there’s this fabulous rewriting of Harry Potter, where Witch Supreme Hermione Granger is the protagonist. Alana Massey talks frankly about treating strippers with respect.

To say that the above pieces are just the tip of the iceberg is a vast understatement. Keep BuzzFeed on your radar for all sorts of progressive, feminist content – we certainly do. And we’ll be thrilled to raise a glass to them at our VIP party. Rock on, BuzzFeed, BinderCon loves you!



BinderCon Knows How to Chill

No matter how exciting a conference may be–and ours is really exciting–downtime is vital in an otherwise jam-packed weekend. Here are just some of the ways that you’ll be able to relax with your new friends and colleagues at BinderCon Los Angeles.

Happy Hour Options

Sunday’s happy hour will take place at the conference venue. No fuss: you can grab a drink as you continue bonding with your new friends, writing partners, colleagues, soul sisters, etc.

And comedy and television writers have another option for schmoozing and chatting. You can head over to a special happy hour, organized by friends of BinderCon, in West Hollywood. Here are the details:

Clambake 2015!
Booze. Ladies. Jokes. Repeat.

What: A happy hour for lady comedy writers (of film, TV, web series, podcasts, sketch, and stand up) featuring a Q&A with Carolyn Omine, longtime writer for The Simpsons, and other special guests TBD. Moderated by writer-director Joy Gohring.

Where: The Pikey. Come find us in the gloriously dark and clubby back room of LA’s most authentically British pub. The Address: 7617 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, 90046.

When: 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Q&A at 5 p.m. (FYI: There is a “hard out” of the room at 7 p.m.)

Sign Up for Ko Im’s Yoga Workshop!

What could be better than beginning a second day of conferencing with restorative breathing and stretching?

The workshop takes place at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, and sign up is now live. Reserve your spot  ASAP!

And don’t forget: ticket sales CLOSE on March 20. Register now and join us for an amazing weekend (seriously, we could not be more stoked). We’re still looking for volunteers, too! Four hours of work, and the rest of the conference is yours to enjoy!

See you superbinders next week!


Sponsor Shout-Out: TinyLetter

If one (or ten) aren’t showing up in your email each week, then you’ve at least heard of TinyLetter. And this makes sense, seeing as the TinyLetter newsletter has become a uniquely intimate and creative way to correspond with people. And as fellow binder and On the Media podcast host Meredith Haggerty has discussed, women in particular seem to be turning to TinyLetter as a way to write about their experiences without reservations or self-censorship.

The possibilities for TinyLetter are many and various. BinderCon Advisor and super-journalist Ann Friedman writes weekly, rounding up excellent reading, endorsements, GIFs, and updates on her own work and appearances. Jezebel.com Features Editor and music aficionado Jia Tolentino curates a weekly “mixtape.”  Charlotte Shane chronicles and reflects upon her experiences in sex work (she is featured in Meredith’s podcast). And lately Sulagna Misra has begun one on pitching – a process necessary to a writer’s work, but something that can also be quite anxiety producing.

The networking and communities forged from these communication channels have revealed themselves to be vital sources of support and emotional sustenance. We’re fortunate to TinyLetter for making this–free!– service available to us. It seems fitting that this company would stand up to support BinderCon, and we are grateful to them for that.


BinderCon is Imminent…And We’ve Just Added New Programming!

BinderCon Los Angeles is mere weeks away and, yet again, we’re fortunate to offer an embarrassment of riches in terms of programming. The women and gender non-conforming writers, producers, editors–the list goes on–who have given or will give their time and expertise to the conference are truly stunning in their accomplishments.

And now our sessions grid is even more flush, with the addition of our Harnisch panel and another fantastic workshop. Producer and manager Victoria Wisdom will run a workshop on pitching television pilots and films. Victoria has recently worked with Hilary Swank and Amy Adams on the features Labyrinths and Taravella, respectively, and has represented the writers and directors of Oscar-winning films like The Usual Suspects and The Red Violin. We’re so fortunate and excited to have her with us!

Our title sponsor, the Harnisch Foundation, will be presenting a panel on a topic that is, unfortunately, extremely critical: Reporting on Sexual Violence: How Can We Do It All Better? Led by Katie J.M. Baker (Buzzfeed News), Alexandra Brodsky (Feministing.com), Kamilah Willingham (Just Detention International), Lindsey Taylor Wood (LTW Communications), and Amy Ziering (The Hunting Ground), we’ll talk about what it means to report sexual violence sensitively, and with keen attention to context.

Established media folks engage with BinderCon attendees off the stage, too, and in Los Angeles, they’ll lunch together. Conference attendees now have the opportunity to sign up for the March 28 Networking Lunch, where tremendous journalists like Ann Friedman and Jill Robinson and awesome publications like Ms. Magazine and HelloGiggles will host tables. If you’d like to sign up for the lunch, we recommend doing so immediately, as spaces are filling up quickly.

That’s the big news for now! Keep checking this space – we’ll be updating regularly!


Sponsor Shout-Out: Wifey

We’re pretty stoked to be supported by a network as cool as Wifey. If you haven’t yet made their website a regular stop in your daily web crawl, let us urge you to change that immediately (there’s new content everyday!).

Founded in 2013 by Rebecca Odes (co-founder of gURL.com) and Jill Soloway (creator of the much acclaimed series Transparent), Wifey combs through the vast internet in order to locate the best, most provocative video content for women.

So, what might you find? According to the site, the content covers all sorts of feminist ground: “Stuff we love. Stuff made by women. But more than that, stuff that viscerally represents women’s unique and complex POVs…We like to zoom in on exactly what’s missing in the conversation.” Right now, for instance, you can watch a powerful video where women offer advice to their younger selves, one on women who have embraced the power of “bitch face,” and another on a selfie stick for your vagina (NO SHAME, LOVE YOUR BINDER BODIES).

So, thank you, Wifey: for what you’re doing for women, for media, and for the BinderCon community. We think you’re aces and can’t wait to see what the future holds for your wonderfully vital network!