#Emilymatters – 2nd Anniversary – reflections & thanks

Filed in #Emilymatters, Uncategorized by on February 13, 2016 0 Comments



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#Emilymatters is a social media campaign, inspired by suffragette Emily Davison, that champions gender equality and has a specific focus on voting matters. See our #Emilymatters page to find out more about what we do.

Two years ago today, 13th February, an historic performance of To Freedom’s Cause (my play about suffragette Emily Davison) took place in the House of Commons, just across from where Emily occupied Parliament during the night of the 1911 Census.

Whilst many other suffragettes boycotted the Census, Emily took up residence in Parliament so that she could claim, on behalf of all women, the equal right to be there. 

As a result, her name is listed in the Census (incorrectly as Davidson), which you can view online. It turns out she was mentioned as being at her home address that night as well – quite some feat, even for Emily!

The performance of To Freedom’s Cause (directed by Brian Astbury) was part of a special event that was held in support of Emily Thornberry MP’s campaign for a statue of Emily Davison in Parliament.

Devising a social media campaign to promote the event, I created #Emilymatters, which drew on Emily Davison’s passion for equality, social justice and the right to vote.

Social media was very much a part of the evening. Audience members were encouraged to tweet & post during the performance and during the post show discussion. 

Following a powerful speech about the importance of Emily Davison and the dearth of women in Parliament by Emily Thornberry MP, the discussion got underway.

The ‘To Freedom’s Cause’ the campaign for Equality – Still worth fighting for? discussion was Chaired by Jane Garvey (BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour presenter) and the panellists were:

Emma Barnett – Women’s Editor of The Daily Telegraph and broadcaster

Yas Necati – Feminist campaigner and winner of The Guardian Women awards 2013: Best hope for the future (UK)

Chi Onwurah MP – Shadow Cabinet Office Minister & Member for Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Dr Helen Pankhurst – Great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst

Social media continues to play a major role in #Emilymatters campaigns, including our hugely successful #DearLauren Message to a First Time Voter (inspired by a conversation with a first time voter on the eve of the Scottish Independence Referendum).

Since 2014 the focus of #Emilymatters has mostly been on social media, building Team #Emilymatters as well as starting our supporters group, #EmCrew. With these strong foundations in place, a new creative chapter began last August where the first #Emilymatters Interactive performance took place at London’s Woman Up! Festival.

This interactive production drew on the mother/daughter and Epsom Derby scenes from To Freedom’s Cause as well as tweets from the #DearLauren campaign.

Over the past year I have also developed a series of #Emilymatters talks for community groups, schools and colleges.  And in January 2016 the first #Emilymatters/To Freedom’s Cause talk & solo performance took place at Masham Town Hall, North Yorkshire

#Emilymatters has excelled at social media and built up a considerable following on Twitter. Our Twitter Chats have become a popular feature of what we do.

Over the coming months, Team #Emilymatters will be taking time to plan and bring to fruition some long term creative projects that will include a tour of To Freedom’s Cause and new material.

I’d like to thank everyone who has supported To Freedom’s Cause and #Emilymatters. Your continued interest in both the play and the campaign mean a great deal to me.

I thought the House of Commons event was the end of the journey, instead it was the beginning of a whole new chapter!

Kate Willoughby

Emily matters  |  Voting matters  |  You matter


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Listening and valuing what others have to say is very much a a part of what we do. It matters to us that you are heard and not just at election time.








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