The EGOS Manifesto for Feminist Repair
The established agenda of diversity and inclusion with its concomitant discussions of means and ends has been revived as the Covid-19 pandemic, the resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests, and the second wave of #MeToo have all continued to alert us to persistent structural discrimination and systemic inequalities, particularly foregrounding the intersectionalities of gender, race, and class. Current movements, then, question the assumed progress of mainstream diversity and inclusion initiatives. While such initiatives are, undoubtedly. relevant, necessary, and needed, they also carry with them problems, complications, and backlash. The narrative of success and the sole emphasis on individual performances, in particular, enables backlash to current movements as marked by, for example, #NotAllMen and #AllLivesMatter, complicating the struggle for recognition and equality.
Critique, therefore, continues to be a condition of possibility for feminist progress, as we must reflect upon the pervasive injustices of society as well as the inadequacies of our own response. Upholding a critical stance, however, can be tough and draining, and we need spaces for hope and care, spaces of feminist repair, that may fortify the continued push forward. At EGOS 2022, we met to discuss the development of such a space, addressing the following questions: Who do we include and who do we privilege in our current organization? Who is a woman and what is a network? Might these terms risk reproducing problematic ideas of neoliberal empowerment? How might we envision alternatives? How can we do things differently to initiate change? What are our hopes for the future? And how do we plan to get there?
Using the above as a backdrop, 126 EGOS delegates engaged in a collaborative writing session and produced the following EGOS Manifesto of Feminist Repair. The manifesto is both a promise to ourselves to change how we acts and a plea to the entire EGOS community to do the same.