The future is fiercely female.
On June 1, the Joyous Persistence conference—a gathering of local citizens, activists, and some the country's most progressive leaders who are dedicated to resisting the Trump administration—will, for seven hours, fill the Palace of Fine Arts Theater with a bevy of keynote speeches, insightful lectures, and academic panels, all designed to encourage a persistent outlook on the future. At the top of the roster is Ms. She Persisted herself, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who will appear in conversation with MSNBC host and author Joy-Ann Reid.
More than a few power women from the Bay Area (and beyond) will be accounted for in the program, which has been organized by Esprit founder Susie Tompkins Buell. Meet some of the players.
Shannon Coulter, #GrabYourWallet Founder
Shannon Coulter is the digital strategist and cofounder of the #GrabYourWallet movement, aimed to highlight the powers of conscious consumerism—a way to stick it to the First Family, laden, as they are, with so many conflicts of interest. Since its October 2016 launch, the movement's hashtag has been used more than 950 million times across prominent social media channels, resulting in 23 companies dropping their business relationships with the Trump family.
Cheryl Haines, Art World Tour de Force
For almost three decades, award-winning arts curator Cheryl Haines has curated some of the most provocative Bay Area artistic installments. Remember that incredible Ai Wei Wei exhibition on Alcatraz? Or the installation to do with Homeland Security at the Presidio Batteries? Yep, she's a hitter.
Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Tongue-and-Cheek Storyteller
Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, media trailblazer, well-respected TV host and engaging storyteller, is mostly recognized for her stint hosting the Emmy Award–winning series High School Quiz Show on PBS. For those of us who make our morning commutes to soothing NPR musings, Lakshminarayanan is a frequent contributing voice on Snap Judgment and has also appeared on Austin-based podcast The Risk. As one of the 16 Bay Area performers to watch in 2016, she currently hosts San Francisco's monthly Moth StorySLAM, in which participants prepare a five-minute story to tell a crowd based on the nightly theme. Hilarity usually ensues.
Susie Tompkins Buell, Hella Fierce Activist
Cofounder of the cultish 1980s fashion line Esprit, Susie Tompkins Buell has been a longtime pioneer of women's rights and environmentalism. These days, she's helming Emerge America—a national program geared toward helping women canvass for political office. The SF native and grandmother of 10 perfectly sums up the urgency and importance of conferences like Joyous Persistence.
"This is an extraordinary time in our history and the best of humanity is called upon to rise. We've assembled a powerful, creative, and committed group of women and men profoundly in touch with the qualities of art, soul, and activism that, we are confident, can encourage and enable us. It will take a deeply connected community to sustain the Resistance over the next four years, and a day filled with art, heart, motivation and marching orders is just the ticket."