Renowned spiritual author and activist Marianne Williamson has penned six New York Times bestsellers, four of which hit #1; and founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program for homebound AIDS patients, and The Peace Alliance, a grassroots effort working to establish a U.S. Department of Peace. She has now set her sights on some of the most intractable problems now plaguing American society: childhood poverty, the exploding prison population, and corporate money in politics post-Citizens United. Williamson is tackling those issues by engaging women specifically in a two-day event called ‘Sister Giant‘ in Los Angeles from November 10-11, 2012, with the goal of getting more like-minded women into elected office to effect substantive change.
Full disclosure: I am working on this campaign, though in an unpaid capacity. My involvement stems from my current passion project, overturning Citizens United. This Supreme Court case ruled that corporations are people; money is speech; and accordingly, corporations should be able to spend unlimited sums in campaigns as an expression of the First Amendment. I am also involved with Move to Amend, and recently competed in a citizen journalism contest for United Republic to cover the Republican and Democratic conventions.
Now to get back to business… Saturday, Nov. 10 will focus on personal and political issues–the personal being emotional and psychological factors affecting women’s involvement in the public sphere, and the political being the aforementioned key topics. That evening a panel of Democratic, Green, Justice, Libertarian, and Republican representatives will essentially pitch the audience on running for office for their respective parties. Leaders of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University will host a special training on Sunday to inform political aspirants of the realities of a life in politics and to create action plans.
All of this is not free, but lest you think that Sister Giant is an attempt to profiteer off of the current activism trend, let me dispel that notion… Williamson is charging for tickets to the event, but on a good-faith donation basis according to each participant’s ability to pay. She has herself paid considerable sums to promote and host Sister Giant, and simply looks to recoup her expenses. The suggested donation is $50 for regular admission and $25 for students.
According to Rutgers, women held 16.8% of the 535 seats in the 112th U.S. Congress– 17 seats in the Senate and 73 in the House of Representatives. This statistic reflects not only the severity of the gender gap, but the inherent imbalance in psychological energy within our dysfunctional government. Women must participate in the political process in far greater numbers in order to correct the faltering course of our democracy. Join us in Los Angeles from Nov. 10-11 to waken the sleeping giant… Sister Giant.