Connect International Women's Day to March 19th, the 3rd anniversary of the US-led occupation of Iraq.
- Some peace groups have already begun to plan actions on March 19th, such as demonstrations or vigils. You can use March 8 as a day to help publicize these upcoming events, and work in coalition with the groups who are planning for the 19th. You can also use this day of action to draw attention to the continued occupation of Iraq.
- If you are involved in planning for March 19th, you needn't be overwhelmed by contemplating planning another day of action. Your March 8th action can be small-a gathering of 5 to 10 women in a public place to vigil for even just a half hour to make a statement for peace and to stand in solidarity with women around the world, and especially with women in Iraq.
Invite the press: To see our sample March 8 press release and to get more tips about talking with the press, click here. Try to get an article about this campaign published in your local newspaper before March 8 to build momentum and to encourage people to sign the online petition. Make it public! Get the word out about international women's day and the urgent need to stop the war in Iraq by making sure that your actions are covered by the local media. Click here for our local press kit. Schedule interviews with local radio and tv stations prior to March 8 to increase the hype about the day and the anticipation of your action.
Outreach Ideas: By making a publicity plan, your event will get the attention and participation you desire. Here are a few pointers:
- Be inclusive:
- Reach out to every women's and peace and justice group within 100 miles (180 km).
- Reach out to mainstream groups too, such as women's religious groups, women in business groups, etc.
- Visit popular hang out spots, organizations you haven't worked with in the past, churches, and other places where people in your community gather.
- Strive to speak with people in your community that you don't know well, or who are different from you (ethnicity/religion/class/age/interests). Take the challenge of outreaching to those you find hardest to reach for geographic, cultural, or political differences. Don't just involve 'the usual suspects,' branch out! You may make some interesting and surprising new contacts/friends/allies!
- Once a person says she is able to attend, ask her to name the best thing she can offer to helping the event be a success. Listen and then ask her to do that.
- Be strategic in your outreach: Often it can seem daunting to outreach to your entire city. Instead, pick key leaders to pitch your event idea to, and see if they can spread the information to their community. For example, speak with church leaders, presidents of clubs, organizational leaders, and other well-connected people in your area.
- Spread the word: Write (and print plenty of) flyers to hand to passers-by before-and on the day of-the action. You may be able to get photocopies donated by local printing companies. Don't forget to include the www.womensaynotowar.org website on any fliers that you create so that people can go online and sign the Global Women's Call for Peace, and can find out more about the campaign.
- Use the Web: Post your event on the Women Say No to War website and on Indymedia sites and other websites that would draw people's attention to your event.
- Find collaborators and endorsers: Find collaborators, sponsors, endorsers to expand reach and instill ownership of the campaign in others. Get sponsors (alternative corporations such as bookstores, coffee shops, and small businesses) to host sign up sheets, host street theater actions, help publicize with posters in their windows. Sponsors can take responsibility for helping to promote the campaign.
- Play the PSA: Get our PSA (Public Service Announcement) on your local radio stations! We are in the process of recording our PSA, which will be available soon on our Download Resources page.
- Outreach during Valentine's Day: Get involved with V-Day (the reclaimed holiday created by Eve Ensler to end violence against women, see www.vday.org for more info). Or plan your own event for February 14th-It could be a "love the troops, hate the war" action, or you could make valentines that talk about how celebrating love makes us want to end war. More Valentine's Day event ideas coming soon via the CODEPINK website. At any event you go to, publicize your event, circulate petitions and have signup sheets available.
- Involve young people in your planning and event: Click here to read our youth ally guide. Use my space, livejournal, and friendster to reach out to people online.
- Connect global issues to what's going on locally: Check out www.nationalpriorities.org to find the statistics about how much money your city or town has contributed to the war in Iraq, and how many teachers, nurses, or other life-affirming employment and resources
- Delegate organizing tasks: Don't burn yourself out by planning the entire action yourself. Find people in your community who want to help coordinate. Including more people in the planning process will not only lighten your workload, but will also build capacity in the other activists in your community, and create a stronger, sustained network of individuals who will want to work together in the future!
Planning your event:
- Register your event on the Women Say No to War website by clicking here.
- Don't forget to take photographs of what you do-that way you can share your successes online with the global movement for peace!
- For more event planning resources, click here.
- Questions about planning an event within the United States? Please contact Rae at firstname.lastname@example.org.