Sanders, a Man, to Headline First Night of Women's Convention

Sen. Bernie Sanders / Getty Images
October 12, 2017

The Women's Convention will feature a male speaker to address more than 3,000 women and progressive activists for its opening night later this month.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) was the right choice to be a headliner for the first national Women's Convention in 40 years, Tamika Mallory, co-founder of Women's March, told USA Today.

"He is really in line with the principles of the Women's March," Mallory said on Wednesday night, noting that Sanders "is probably one of the most powerful U.S. senators ... on progressive issues, women's issues, mobilizing millennials."

Mallory added that Sanders brings the experience of a long-time senator who continues to fight for progressive change in government.

"We believe as women ... that we ought to have more than just women at the Women's Convention," Mallory said. "People want to hear from the leadership from within our government who can give us some insight about what's happening ... so we can know what we need to do to be able organize."

USA Today listed 12 other people who will speak at the convention, including Democratic politicians and progressive activists, all of whom are women.

The Women's Convention will take place in Detroit and begin on Oct. 27, lasting for three days. The convention's website describes plans to "bring thousands of women, femmes, and our allies of all backgrounds" to the event to help prepare for the 2018 midterm elections by "tapping into the power of women in leadership as the fundamental, grassroots force for change."

The convention is affiliated with Women's March, the movement behind the Women's March on Washington to protest President Donald Trump's inauguration and to support progressive causes across the country.

The announcement that Sanders will be a featured speaker follows previous confusion over what exactly the event's $295 price tag would cover.

The theme for the Women's Convention is "Reclaiming Our Time," a play on words spoken by Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) at a hearing in which she clashed with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that went viral.