National Organization for Women members from across the U.S. were in Bloomington this weekend to discuss topics ranging from racial justice and pay equity to health care.

The conference's theme — Feminist Agenda Rising: Our Time is Now — reflected the group's sense of urgency heading into the 2020 elections.

Workshops focused on messaging for feminist candidates, Medicare for All, reproductive rights and other topics.

Some sessions highlighted activism in the host state. Betty Folliard, founder of ERA Minnesota and a former state representative, was on a panel focused on building support for adding an Equal Rights Amendment to state constitutions and asking Congress to extend the deadline for ratification of a national ERA.

Minnesota ratified the national measure in 1973. "We're not one of the 13 states that still need to ratify, but we are one of the 24 … that don't have an ERA in our state constitution," Folliard said.

There's growing energy aimed at "legalizing equality in America," she said. "It is our time right now."

Other discussions led by Minnesotans dealt with new approaches to paying for health care, encouraging advocacy and ways Minnesota Women's Press magazine helps "shift narratives."

NOW was founded in 1966. It's the nation's largest feminist organization and has more than 500,000 members in more than 500 affiliates.

Judy Keen