Feminist Caucus sponsors festival

Emily Williams

The festival will take place Wednesday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in 3104 of the Ferguson Center. Fifteen student organizations, including UA Democrats, Students For Open Doors and Ethical Leadership and the Mallet Assembly will set up information tables and 
sponsor games and activities.

Ben Ray, event and programming coordinator for the UA Feminist Caucus, said it will function like a Get On Board Day specifically for progressive organizations.

“We will be really focusing in on building a progressive community, making connections,” Ray said. “There’s a disjointedness in progressive communities, in that there’s a particular niche that students get into like a feminist niche or an environmental niche where the particular ideology sets align. But what we have to do is start breaking away from that and say all our issues are interconnected and directly influencing 
each other.”

Amanda Bennett of the National Council of Negro Women said her organization decided to participate in the Progressive Festival to connect with other organizations that share their goal of promoting racial, cultural and social progress.

“We hope to build lasting connections with other progressive organizations on campus so that we will have contacts with whom we can hold activist events, fundraisers, forums, as well as fun and inclusive social events,” Bennett said.

Samaria Johnson, of the Alabama Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Justice, said she hopes the Progressive Festival will give her organization a chance to make more meaningful 
connections with students than at Get On Board Day.

“The AASRJ Executive Board decided that ProgFest would allow us to specifically attract progressive-minded students who might’ve gotten lost in the chaos at Get On Board Day,” Johnson said. “We’ll have a better chance of meeting and connecting with those students and introduce them to AASRJ in a more nuanced way, perhaps having opportunity for full discussions rather than rushed spiels and sound bites and scrambling to hold four wildly different conversations at once.”

Ray said the goal of the festival is to create a coalition of progressive organizations on campus.

“What we really want students to take away is that progressive ideas can flourish in conservative institutions,” he said. “There is an environment here that will really cultivate progressive ideology and will help to bring awareness to campus on issues that 
are progressive.”