This would be the first Women's Convention held in 40 years. "He is really in line with the principles of the Women's March", Mallory said in an exclusive interview Wednesday night. In January, millions of women came out in an extraordinary and unprecedented display of power and resistance. "Now more than ever, we must support the leadership of women across the country and fight together to advance our progressive agenda". Sanders received harsh feedback from Twitter users who said his headlining slot is "hurtful" and "wrong".
Several Twitter users simply expressed their disappointment with Sander's planned participation.
Bernie being a man speaking at a women's convention didn't go unnoticed. Sanders, critics were quick to point out, is notably. not a woman.
Those who didn't understand that the backlash towards Sanders alleged that the convention's organizer's likely wouldn't be able to afford preferred speaker Hillary Clinton, who was reported to be priced at $275,000 in 2015.
Of the 39 speakers chosen for the conference, only two are men, including Sanders.
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"I believe his voice is crucial and clearly welcome at the Convention and in this movement, but he should not be the face the Women's March is attaching to their opening night", wrote Ashcraft.
As the firestorm over Senator Sanders continued spreading on social media throughout the afternoon, the Women's Convention put out a statement on its Instagram page, suggesting that the organizers' hand was forced, in part, by scheduling conflicts.
Angela Rye, Amber Tamblyn, Symone Sanders, Stacey Abrams, Nina Turner, US Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), Stephanie Schriock, Ai-jen Poo, Aida Hurtado, Lenore Anderson, US Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Stephanie Chang, Raquel Castañeda Lopez, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Sarah Eagle Heart, Rashida Tlaib, Brittney Packnett, Nomiki Konst, Winnie Wong, Stosh Cotler, Leah Greenberg, and the Women's March co-chairs Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory.
According to the Women's Convention's official website, the event that will run from October 27-29 in Detroit 'will bring thousands of women, femmes and our allies.for a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections'. "Our program features more than 60 women leading in activism, organizing and advocacy, as well as grassroots leaders running for and serving in office across the country", the organization said.
The Women's Convention, organized by the founders of January's Women's March, announced Thursday morning that Sanders had been selected to open up the conference - and the outcry was swift.