Midwest Feminists to lift up local women with Red Benefit - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Midwest Feminists to lift up local women with Red Benefit


Eau Claire (WQOW) -- After leaving the women's march invigorated and inspired and local group of women wanted to spread that inspiration around the Chippewa Valley. 

They call themselves the Midwest Feminists and their mission is to lift up other women around the community. 

"I think Eau Claire is a place with a lot of power house women," member Amy O'Connor said. 

Midwest Feminists was started by women in Eau Claire a couple of years ago, according to member Serena Wagner

"We wanted to offer a platform for those people," Wagner explained. "Not only hurting women, people of color, people with disabilities, people who don't have the advantages that we do. We wanted to make them feel like they're a part of this community." 

Until now, the group has existed mostly online with a following of about 530 members across the Midwest. Their goal is to offer access to knowledge about events around the area that are feminist inspired, or just activist in general. 

"A lot of it is an online presence, but we really want people to feel that kind of connection, empowerment," member Lorelei Ernster told News 18. 

That's why their hosting the Red Benefit on Wednesday, October 11 at Dive in Eau Claire. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 

"There will be comedians, there will be live music, there will be a silent auction. And all of the proceeds for the tickets, and then some of the signature cocktails, will go towards the Red Letter Grant," Ernster explained. 

The Red Letter Grant was started by Red's Mercantile in Eau Claire. Ernster said it's a grant that allows female entrepreneurs to get their business rolling. Applications for the next Red Letter Grant are due on Sunday, October 15. 

Doors will open for the Red Benefit at 5:00 p.m. for a cocktail hour. Performances begin at 6:00 p.m. 

"This is really the first inaugural event that we've hosted since the women's march. So it'll be a place for all of us to come together again," Wagner said. "And slowly and surely we hope the Midwest Feminists can facilitate a lot of growth within these non-profit organizations. And a lot of growth within women and within ourselves."

The Midwest Feminists said their group is open to all women and allies.

"We want to embrace all women. All women of color, all women of any age, all women of class status. All of it," Wagner told News 18. "We understand that sitting here as three white, cis-gendered females we want to make it known that this does not represent the entirety of Midwest Feminists. We want it to be inclusive and we want everybody in this community to feel like there is a voice out there for them." 

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