JOIN US!!  for a weekend of learning, thinking, discussion, surfing, community, and movement building.
SCROLL down for Poster

We start Friday, for group surf, at 4pm (or when you can get there).  We end Sunday afternoon.  There is no fee, but participants must “skill-share,” meaning contribute a resource, skill, or a project update.  This is done  in presentations (though other ways could be suggested). See the tabs for the Institute 2017 detailed brochure, information on making your own presentations, and to apply.  See below for Overview Schedule.

Space is limited. Applications due September 22nd.  Once participant selection is complete, curriculum and logistical details will follow.

DATES: October 6-8, 2017
PLACE:  Stanford University & Linda Mar, Pacifica (California)
2017 TOPIC: “Issues of Access”

The Institute for Women Surfers is pleased to announce its 2017 meeting will be cosponsored by Stanford University’s Lane Center for the American West. An important area of Lane Center research is energy and environment, including specifically the history and politics of the California Coastal Commission. Given that in November 2016 the Coastal Commission required the Mavericks surf competition to include women surfers, setting the framework for women surfers’ access to the legendary big wave contest at Mavericks (near Stanford), the topic of “access” is timely as well as extends beyond the fight for Mavericks.

What does “access” mean, and for whom? In what ways are issues of access also feminist issues? The term suggests governmental initiatives – as in policies for access to surf breaks, surf contests, beach spaces, and to public systems (like transportation) that make access possible. “Access” alerts us to indigenous governance claims as well – the competing sacred and historic claims on coastal territories of indigenous people. The term also suggests realms of imagination and art. Film, often as much as any public policy, creates new understandings of the self, as well as of space and place. A path-breaking film can alter the cultural meanings of a place, like a surf line up. A place is made more accessible to people who previously could not inhabit it.

Making use of “issues of access” as a conceptual and practical point of departure, the 2017 Institute explores communities of women who are forced out or simply not thought about due either to official sanctioned policy or due to unofficial cultural practices that exclude, especially by virtue of class and race. How do activists working in very different arenas of women’s surfing – in nonprofits, youth advocacy, indigenous revitalization, competitive surfing, art and filmmaking, and in storytelling – address these challenges? In non-US contexts, what kinds of issues of access are priorities?

As in years past, the Institute devotes itself to political education of activist leaders, artists, filmmakers, and directors of organizations. Participants meet for three days of learning, communal surfing, and skill-sharing presentations. Our goal is to teach one another what we know, support new collaborative feminist relations, including between scholars and community experts. The Institute is about our connections, and through them, the movement for the lives of waterwomen everywhere.

HISTORY  The Institute was co-founded in 2014 and conducted its first training at the North County LGBTQ Center in Oceanside, California.  We taught one another how to identify confusing contradictions for women in the world of surfing in order to create better worlds and better activist projects.  We focused as well on the importance of our relationships to building long term surfeminist movements.  The Institute 2015, held at the Brooks Institute in Ventura, took up the linked topics of Storytelling, Sustainability, and Building a Movement.  As a mode of activism in surfing, storytelling can move people to action and to new ways of thinking. But stories are far from simple and the ethics of telling new stories is not straightforward.  Our question was: how to sustain new stories and surf movements to create the worlds we value?  Many reported on the value of new collaborative relationships to the projects they hoped to do or were in the thick of doing.  Participant Skill-Shares were one highlight of the meeting!

Click for Report of IWS 2015
Scroll for Video on 2015, courtesy of Beth O’Rourke.

2017 Institute Schedule

Friday, Oct 6 4pm Group Surf (Linda Mar, Pacifica: Look for IWS Flag & Tent)
6:30pm-9:30pm Dinner + Intros, Setting our Goals (Little Brown Church, 1850 Francisco Blvd. Pacifica)

Saturday, Oct. 7:30 AM Surf (Linda Mar, Pacifica)
10:30am-5pm Stanford University (Y2E2 Classroom 300: in Yang Environment & Energy Building)

Sunday, Oct. 8 7:30 AM Surf (Linda Mar, Pacifica)
10:30am – 3:30pm Stanford University (Y2E2 Classroom 300: in Yang Environment & Energy Building)
5pm After-Party (Traveler, Pacifica)

IWS 2017 Poster-01