Travel Babes of the World,
Like many of you, in the week since the election, I have been obsessively watching the news. It seems to get worse and worse by the hour. Yesterday, on my way to the NY Times Travel Show, I had an epiphany in the back of the cab.
What if, after expenses, I gave 100% of Women’s Travel Fest proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union?
The Women’s Travel Fest has always been structured on the principle that anyone can travel, if travel is their priority. But over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of American citizens and residents lost that right.
To continue programming as usual felt inauthentic and a disservice to our attendees. Until yesterday, I was struggling with how to take that and shift the event so that it aligns with what’s happening in our world today. What if our attendees didn’t want us to donate? What if this makes the event too political? What if our sponsors walked away as well?
But: travel is political. And as women, our access and rights are on the line, too.
This executive order does directly affect our community in ways we’ve never seen before. And I believe this is just the beginning.
Why the ACLU?
Of all of the organizations that need our help, and there are a lot, the ACLU is on the ground actively fighting against the violation of civil liberties.
Once this executive order is terminated (and I’m certain it will be), the work will have only just begun. Attacks on women’s rights, freedom of speech, LGBTQ rights, freedom of religion, have begun and will continue.
It isn’t just the ACLU that needs support, however. So, at the Women’s Travel Fest we will create a “donation center” where attendees can contribute to organizations including Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, the NAACP and Greenpeace.
What Else Are We Doing?
We have invited members from the ACLU of Louisiana to join the Women’s Travel Fest’s opening ceremony.
In the coming weeks, you’ll also see new speakers added to the Women’s Travel Fest schedule, to include more diversity and better represent our global community.
If You Hate Civil Liberties
And you don’t want to be a part of the event now, well, the feeling is likely mutual. Email me at Kelly @ GoGirlGuides dot com for a full refund of your ticket.
If You Want To Contribute But Can’t Attend
We have added new donation boxes to our Eventbrite page, one for the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club. 100% of these donations will go towards the charity of your choosing. We also suggest you consider donating to these organizations directly, and would like to add that you should also be supporting PBS, and our US National Park Service, too.
We are proud to add our name to the list of companies resisting hateful legislation. But our focus has always been on women who travel, and that’s where it will stay.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative that you travel the world — first and foremost to serve as a mini-ambassador who shows the rest of the world that not all Americans are racist and hateful–and more so, to travel on behalf of those who cannot.
Join us at our event where we will share a variety of tips and tricks to get you out there, while also discussing the realities of how life has changed for travelers. The two must go hand-in-hand.
About Women’s Travel Fest
Women’s Travel Fest is an annual conference aimed at inspiring, empowering and connecting women in travel. Our 4th year event will be held in New Orleans March 3-5th, 2017. Tickets are $99 per day and available here.
Pic by: Cody Williams