AppNexus Events

Making Movements Matter at the 2018 Women’s Leadership Forum

Blog Post
The AppNexus Team

In the fall of last year, waves of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault proliferated across the United States and around the globe, spurred by investigative reports exposing a series of assaults committed by powerful men in the film industry. Within two months, survivors of sexual harassment and assault around the world had come forward to tell their stories, across all spheres of public and professional life.

One year later, activists, organizers, and social changemakers are unpacking a series of salient questions related to the events of late 2017: What turned the initial reports of sexual assault into an international chorus? And what measures and policies will ensure effects of the #MeToo movement translate into lasting social change?

These kinds of questions will be front and center during the “Making Movements Matter” portion of the 2018 Women’s Leadership Forum, a day-long event for current and aspiring leaders that will be held Thursday, October 11 in New York City.

Throughout the morning session, guests will hear first-hand experiences of visionary leaders working towards gender equality, the freedom to marry, Black liberation, and changing representations of women in media.

Here are a few of the speakers that will share how they think about harnessing social movements to create lasting change and how you can translate these social movements within your organization. 


Susan N. Herman

As president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Susan N. Herman is on the front lines of the fight to preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s immigration reform, free speech, LGBTQ rights or reproductive freedom, Herman and the ACLU have played an instrumental role in promoting legislation, protesting civil rights abuses and defending civil liberties in court.

At WLF18, Herman will shed light on the ACLU’s advocacy for gender rights in the workplace and share her own experiences as one of the most powerful women in law and politics, representing the ACLU in major media interviews, senate hearings, and amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court.


Evan Wolfson

Evan Wolfson is the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, the campaign that won marriage equality in the United States, and is widely considered the architect of the movement that led to nationwide victory for the freedom to marry in 2015. Citing his national leadership on marriage and his appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale, Time Magazine named Wolfson one of “the 100 most influential people in the world” and in 2012, he received the Barnard Medal of Distinction alongside President Barack Obama. Today, Wolfson devotes his time to advising and assisting diverse movements and causes in the US and around the world

At WLF18, Wolfson will shed light on the tactics that made the Freedom to Marry campaign a success and discuss how these tools can be used to power movements that have not yet achieved victory.


Samantha Skey

Samantha Skey is Chief Executive Officer for SheKnows Media, a media company that provides content and community to 75 million women. In addition to its flagship digital properties, SheKnows Media also operates BLOGHER, the largest conference for women content creators and entrepreneurs in the US. In 2014, Skey created the Femvertising Awards to celebrate brands whose advertising defies gender stereotypes and empower women and girls.

At the event, Skey will discuss the shifting representation of women in media, from her perspective as someone who has closely followed these trends. In addition, she’ll share how current and aspiring leaders can use these learnings to affect meaningful change themselves.


Brittney Cooper

Brittney Cooper is the award-winning author of ELOQUENT RAGE: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower and an Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. There, she teaches courses on Black feminist theory, Black intellectual thought, hip-hop, gender, and media. She was recently named to Essence Magazine’s #Woke100 for 2018.

At WLF18, Cooper will help unpack what determines whether movements have lasting impact, and how attendees can leverage these fundamentals to create lasting change for the issues they care about.


Resistance Revival Chorus

Performing live at WLF18, the Resistance Revival Chorus is a collective of more than 60 women who come together to sing protest songs in the spirit of collective joy and resistance. Born from organizers of the Women’s March, The Chorus believes that art and culture are essential to changing hearts, minds and history.

Learn more at