Women Who Rock Conference 2018

After a screening of the film Promised Lands, a discussion began with various Duwamish tribe representatives about claiming space for the original inhabitants of Seattle in a changing city.

The Chairwoman of the tribe, Cecile Hansen, talked about the struggles that the Duwamish tribe have faced in trying to maintain who they are. The city has ignored the tribe’s traditions and life by developing their land and not caring about their customs. An example is the Highway 99 tunnel project where the Washington State Department of Transportation ran into human remains from the Duwamish tribe while digging the tunnel and did almost nothing about it. Action needs to be taken to recognize the Duwamish and their contribution to society.

The tribe representatives stressed the need for all of us to approach the city government and advocate for equality for the Duwamish people. Representation of the native culture around Seattle is key in maintaining the diverse community that is present in the city. We need to honor the original people of the city not ignore them.

— Group 7 from the University of Washington class reporting on the Women Who Rock Conference

Women Who Rock Conference 2018

The conference started with a great welcome by the various organizers of the conference that make this event possible. The organizers presented the theme and purpose of the conference to recognize and honor the various backgrounds and personalities of the people in Seattle as well as the world.

We now move into the first session of the conference where various key women within the music world were introduced. Each woman on the panel then got a chance to respond to questions on how Seattle and the local scene has changed and what marginalized people can do to claim space and be recognized as central aspects of a diverse community.

The panelists stressed the fact that everyone needs to take a stand to change the way things are. If the new generation works with the older generation, then we as a community can work to reclaim space for those that have been marginalized. As one of the speakers said, “we need to be more inclusive and less exclusive. It’s important to have those difficult conversations and learn about each other.” We as a society can change what is happening now and acknowledge those that have been oppressed and marginalized, we just need to take a stand.

— Group 7 from the University of Washington class reporting on the Women Who Rock Conference