CHILDLESS COLLECTIVE

summit

Charleston, South Carolina | April 12 - 14, 2024

A three-day, in-person gathering to cultivate new friendships, learn to amplify your strengths, and celebrate your impact.

Brought to you by the Childless Collective online community.

it's time to celebrate.

If you had to let go of your dream of parenthood, celebrating may be the last thing on your mind. But please hear us when we tell you this:
You are worthy of celebration.
There is room for joy, even in the midst of grief.  We’d bet a pretty penny you’ve spent a lot of time celebrating the baby-related milestones of friends and family members. For those of us who are childless, a lot of our big moments pass by, unrecognized. Our milestones deserve to be seen and celebrated too.

This party is just for us.

The summit will support you in:

If you need a reminder of just how vibrant and rich a life without kids can be, these three days are for you.

This is not your typical summit. We’ve carefully crafted an experience focused on self-discovery, friendship, and celebration. 

Join us for three full days of inspiring talks, rich discussions, interactive sessions, small group dinners, and yeah – there’s a beach day too.

You’ll also have access to a private, online community to start building friendships with other attendees before you even land in Charleston.

what to expect

at the childless collective summit

Cultivate new friendships, learn to amplify your strengths, and celebrate your impact.

april 12-13

DAYs ONE & TWO

Through interactive sessions, we’ll explore themes of identity, self-worth, belonging, meaning, and joy. 

Sessions include panel discussions, fireside chats, small-group roundtables, a keynote address by Jody Day, plus a workshop on identifying and amplifying your strengths. We’ll end with a party to celebrate you!

Our connection-centered program also includes opportunities to build friendships with other attendees, including a social hour and optional small-group dinners.

Days one and two will take place in the Camden Room in beautiful downtown Charleston.

april 14

DAY THREE

On our final day together, we’ll take full advantage of the sunshine and stunning coastal landscape with a beach party! 

We’ve rented a beachfront pavilion that overlooks the beautiful shoreline known as “the Edge of America” and arranged transportation from and back to downtown Charleston.

We’ve got everything in place for a proper beach day, including games, snacks, restrooms, tables and chairs, shade, a food truck, and direct beach access. No agenda or program, just a chance to enjoy the scenery and hang out with new friends.

meet the speakers

your host

katy seppi

she/her

Founder, The Childless Collective

My four-year infertility journey ended with a hysterectomy in 2017. At the time, I didn’t have a single person I could talk to who was also involuntarily childless.

I decided to use my background in community organizing to create gathering places for childless people to connect, access support, and talk about the common themes that weave through our experiences.

I’ve hosted the Childless Collective Summit virtually for the past three years, which have brought almost 100 speakers and over 8,000 attendees together. I’m thrilled to be hosting this event in-person for the first time and I can’t wait to see you in Charleston!

In addition to the Childless Collective Summit, I also host the Childless Collective online community, which is a year-round hub of connection and support for childless women and nonbinary people. 

I have a Master’s of Social Work degree from UGA, with an emphasis in community empowerment and program development. My current home is Savannah, Georgia, where I spend my free time on my bike, exploring swamps, reading, hanging out with my favorite people, finding the best tiki drinks, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

keynote speaker

she/her

jody day

Founder, Gateway Women

Jody Day founded Gateway Women in 2011 and is often called the ‘founder of the childless movement’. She is also the author of ‘Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children’ (Bluebird/PanMacmillan).

Chosen as one of the BBC’s ‘100 Women’ in 2013 and as a UK Digital Woman of the Year in 2021, she’s a global thought leader on involuntary childlessness, a psychotherapist, a two-times TEDx speaker, a founding and former board member at Ageing Without Children, a former Fellow in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School and an Ambassador for World Childless Week.

After a lifetime in London, she now lives in rural Ireland where she is living in a half-built house on the Atlantic coast whilst trying very hard to finish her first novel (featuring a childless heroine of course!) and nurturing her emerging Gateway Elderwomen project.

Alisha Saavedra

Alisha Saavedra

she/her

Community Advocate

Tanya Hubbard

Tanya Hubbard

she/her

Counsellor

Angela L. Harris

Angela L. Harris

she/her

Childfree Lifestyle Content Creator, #NoBibsBurpsBottles

Stacey Brown

Stacey Brown

she/her

MRKH Advocate and Poet

Carrie Hauskens

Carrie Hauskens

she/her

Freelance Writer

Melissa Jones

Melissa Jones

she/her

Former Podcast Host, Live Childfree

Here's what previous attendees said

Hearing from those who have been on this path for decades and learning what is in store on this path was really helpful. I loved learning and unpacking the stereotypes and stigmas we hear about childless people and how to move beyond them into a more authentic story for yourself.

I love the inclusivity of the summit, all are welcome and I love the feelings of togetherness and support over the weekend as well as the opportunity to make new connections.

The summit blew my mind! I’ve struggled in isolation for over a decade to find this information and support, let alone a whole group of women with similar experiences in one place, at the same time.

let's meet

We know how it feels to be childless in a sea of parents. 

How would if feel to spend a weekend with over 100 people who also don’t have kids? 

Let’s meet in the beautiful, coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina and find out. A weekend of community connection, friendship, celebration, and inspiration is waiting for you. 

summit PasS

$550

Includes:

Summit Access

    Summit Access

    Two days of interactive and inspiring sessions. Sessions include panel discussions, fireside chats, small-group roundtables, workshops, and more.

    Beach Day Access

      Beach Day Access

      Join us at a private pavilion for a day of relaxation and socializing. We've got everything in place for a proper beach day, including games, snacks, restrooms, tables and chairs, shade, and direct beach access.

      Beach Day Transportation

        Beach Day Transportation

        A private shuttle is scheduled to take you from downtown Charleston to the pavilion on Folly Beach and back. The shuttle will be making round trips throughout the day, offering some flexibility for your arrival and departure.

        Lunch x 3

          Lunch x 3

          Catered lunch is included on all three days of the summit, including a food truck at the beach.

          Online Community Access

            Online Community Access

            Join a private, online community just for summit attendees. Access is open beginning in February and ending in May to give you plenty of time to connect with other attendees before you arrive and then keep those connections going once the summit wraps up.

            Option to Pay Over Two Months

              Option to Pay Over Two Months

              Pay in full or split the cost into two payments, one today and one the following month.

              *Register before March 15 for early pricing of $550. Rate increases to $600 after this date.

              a word from our sponsor

              Kate Kaufmann

              Advocate & Author of Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No.

              Please do not miss this opportunity of a lifetime. This April in Charleston you can be surrounded by a group you’ll fit into right away one where no one has children. Let me tell you, it’s a heady experience.

              Once you’ve walked into that room, though, you’ll never feel alone or misunderstood in quite the same way. You’ll be surrounded by people you can talk to and feel part of immediately. Their stories will resonate with you, and you can tell your own as you feel ready. You’ll discover there are people like you everywhere. 

              Because I’m so certain how crucial it is to gather together in person, I contributed funds to cover registration for two Summit participants I don’t even know. Maybe others will make similar donations. I hope they do, because everyone deserves to enjoy the safety and comradery of being with like-situated people.

              With love and gratitude for your courage,

              Kate

              schedule

              * Tentative schedule, subject to change.

              friday, april 12

              11:30 AM: Registration

              12:00 PM: Conference Begins

              12:10 PM: Plenary Speaker

              12:30 PM: Plenary Speaker

              1:00 PM: Lunch & Fireside Chat

              2:00 PM: Panel Discussion

              2:45 PM: Roundtable Chats

              3:30 PM: Break

              3:50 PM: Strengths Finder Workshop

              5:00 PM: End Day One

              7:00 PM: Small Group Dinners (optional)

               

              saturday, April 13

              9:30 AM: Conference Doors Open 

              10:00 AM: Conference Begins

              10:10 AM: Speed Friending

              11:00 AM: Break

              11:15 AM: Fishbowl Conversation

              12:00 PM: Lunch & Fireside Chat

              1:00 PM: Plenary Speaker

              1:20 PM: Keynote Speaker

              2:00 PM: Break

              2:15 PM: Pecha Kucha Sessions

              2:45 PM: Break

              3:15 PM: Celebration

              4:30 PM: End of Day Two

              7:00 PM: Small Group Dinners (optional)

              sunday, april 14

              10:30 AM: First Shuttle Leaves for Beach

              11:00 AM: Beach Day Begins

              12:00 PM: Food Truck Arrives

              2:00 PM: Food Truck Departs

              5:00 PM: Last Shuttle Leaves for Charleston

              5:00 PM: Beach Day Ends

              Here's what previous attendees said

              The summit has been informative, validating, inspiring and has ignited me with hope that I can live a full and meaningful life.

              After the summit, I realized these women were some of the strongest I've seen, in any walk of life! It made me feel stronger too.

              I've never felt such a sense of belonging & genuine understanding, it was refreshing. I also learned more about myself and why I had been feeling the way I have for so long.

              discover charleston

              This vibrant, coastal town is the perfect backdrop for our weekend together.

              It won’t take long to see why readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure consistently rank Charleston, South Carolina as the No. 1 city in the U.S. 

              WHERE TO STAY

              Charleston has a wide range of options for accommodations. The historic downtown offers charm and walkability, but comes at a higher price. Cross the bridge into Mount Pleasant for mid-range options within a 10-minute drive.

              If budget and being within a 10-minute drive of the venue are your top priorities, consider these options which are right across the bridge in Mount Pleasant.

              If charm and proximity are your top priorities and you’ve got a bigger budget, consider these options which are all within one mile of the summit venue.

              Within two miles of the venue, and still on the peninsula, this hotel offers a free shuttle to and from downtown and is priced lower than most downtown hotels. 

              it's time to...

              Make room for joy and celebration.

              Recognize your strengths.

              Find inspiration for your next steps.

              Connect with community.

              join us at the childless collective summit

              common questions

              The Childless Collective Summit is primarily designed for those who are childless not by choice, regardless of the circumstances. If you’ve had to let go of your dream of parenthood, you’ll be in good company here.

              If you are childfree by choice, but grief or ambivalence has been a part of your experience, you may enjoy it too. 

              The summit is inclusive of all genders. 

              The summit runs from April 12 – 14, 2024 in Charleston, South Carolina. 

              On April 12 – 13, we will meet at the Camden Room in the Charleston Visitor’s Center. 

              On April 14, we’ll meet at the Pelican Pavilion on Folly Beach (transportation to and from downtown Charleston provided).

              Accommodations are not included in the registration fee. Attendees will be responsible for finding and booking their own accommodations. 

              As the event gets closer, we’ll put together a list of recommended areas and hotels for those who aren’t familiar with the area. 

              Yes, we’ve included a guide above! Scroll up a bit to view our recommendations. If you have any additional questions about travel logistics, feel free to reach out to Katy at Katy@ChildlessCollective.com. She’s happy to help!

              You’ll want to fly into the Charleston International Airport (CHS), which is 11 miles from the Charleston Visitor’s Center (our venue for the first two days). 

              We have a few options for you. 

              • When registering, you have the option to split your payment over two months. If you need a longer payment plan, email to Katy at Katy@ChildlessCollective.com to discuss options.
              • We are looking for a few people to help during the event as volunteers in exchange for a waived registration fee. Learn more and apply by February 22 to be considered.
              • For those who can’t attend live, we’ll be offering a Replay Pass which will include recordings of the main sessions. Details coming soon.

              For attendees who register, but can no longer attend: 

              • Cancellations received on or before March 1, 2024 will receive a 50% refund. 
              • Cancellations received after March 1, 2024 will receive no refund.

              Please submit all refund requests in writing to Katy@ChildlessCollective.com.

              We’ve had a few questions about whether the summit would be cancelled if registration numbers don’t hit a specific number. The answer is no. We know attending the summit requires travel for most, and appreciate the cost and planning that goes into a trip like this. Please book your trip with confidence knowing we will only cancel this event under extreme circumstances beyond our control.

              If the event is rescheduled, attendees will have the option for a full refund or to apply the registration fee to the new date. If the event is canceled, all purchases will be refunded in full.

              Please note that our COVID-19 policy is subject to change based on evolving circumstances and public health guidance.

              COVID-19 Policy

              We strongly encourage all participants to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations prior to attending the event.

              We ask that any participant who is exhibiting any symptoms prior to their departure for the summit or while attending the summit test for COVID-19. Attendees should not participate in the summit if they feel unwell or, at any point, they test positive before or during the annual meeting.

              Masks are welcome, but not required. Anyone who wishes to wear a mask is welcome to do so and their decision should be respected.

              No worries! We’re here to answer any questions you have. Just send an email to Katy@ChildlessCollective.com and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours.

              Join us for three-days of in-person connection to cultivate new friendships, learn to amplify your strengths, and celebrate your impact.

              alisha saavedra

              she/her

              Alisha is living childfree after infertility. She shares openly about how following the social and cultural pressures to have children didn’t allow space to acknowledge her ambivalence towards parenthood. After wading through her childless grief, she is finding comfort in embracing the “both and”, where grief and glimmers that bring joy and peace coexist.

              Discovering her power within childlessness has prompted her to begin bringing awareness to the unique experiences of our intersectional identities, specifically what it is like to live as an only child, her experiences with post-traumatic growth, and being a Mexican-American woman who is childless.

              Tanya Hubbard

              she/her

              Counsellor

              I am a professional counsellor and coach living in Vancouver, Canada. As I was completing my training as a counsellor, I was also in my own deep grief as I came to terms with becoming permanently childless. I have experienced pregnancy loss, fibroid surgery, multiple fertility treatments and after 7 years of trying to conceive, chose to stop all the interventions and figure out how to build a new life trajectory without children.

              As I moved through my own grief and began to build my private practice, I decided to start an Instagram account with a focus on supporting those who were childless not by choice. That has allowed me to build some beautiful personal and professional connections as well as find clients that are a great fit. It is my honour to support people as they navigate being childless despite having wanted to become a parent.

              angela l. harris

              she/her

              Childfree Lifestyle Content Creator, #NoBibsBurpsBottles

              Dr. Angela L. Harris, is the Visionary and Founder of #NoBibsBurpsBottles, an online community and brand that empowers, highlights, and celebrates childfree African-American/Black women to live their best childfree life.

              As a Childfree Lifestyle Content Creator, Dr. Harris offers virtual events and in-person meetups, 1:1 empowerment coaching, childfree pride merchandise through her online store, and is the host of a successful YouTube channel, Podcast and Blog.

              Her two most popular signature events are The Chocolate & Childfree: Sistah Circle Brunch and The Chocolate & Childfree: Optimal Growth Group Experience. Dr. Harris has been featured on a variety of media outlets such as NPR, Huff Post, Spectrum News, and Scripps News. Dr. Harris is the author of “#NoBibsBurpsBottles: The Stories of African-American Childfree Women” (work in progress/manuscript).

              stacey brown

              she/her

              MRKH Advocate and Poet

              Stacey Brown is a poet and MRKH advocate. MRKH is a congenital syndrome affecting 1 in 5,000 women, where you’re born without a uterus or an underdeveloped vaginal canal. In May 2021, Stacey launched Wombless and Worthy, using poetry to redefine what it means to be a woman. The world tells you this is what a woman’s body is supposed to do and how a woman’s body is supposed to do it. Her goal is to use poetry to inspire and share a message that reminds others who are a part of the MRKH and infertility community that they still have a purpose and their body still has a purpose.

              carrie hauskens

              she/her

              freelance writer

              Hi, I’m Carrie, a freelance writer based in Northern California. My expertise is writing about infertility and the many tangents that radiate from that experience. My trademark is vulnerable and authentic writing.

              After eight years of trying to conceive, multiple miscarriages, working with surrogates, and delivering my stillborn daughter, I embody all things grief and infertility based.

              I was a guest speaker at the Sharing Parents Memorial, Infertile AF Summit and the Childless Collective Summit and have published articles in The MAPS Institute and Tutum Journal.

              My first career was in education, where I focused on teaching writing skills and incorporating social and emotional learning techniques. This proficiency has cultivated my blog, newsletter, and goal curriculum I designed while dealing with infertility. I’ve completed courses with the School of American Thanatology, which focuses on the science of death, dying, grief, loss, and bereavement.

              I bring intention and emotion to fact-based writing.

              Melissa jones

              she/her

              I’m excited to be a part of the first in-person Childless Collective Summit with all of you! My husband, Erik, and I pivoted into a childfree life following six years of infertility. A few months into our newly childfree life, we struggled to find resources to help us transition into a life without children. That frustration inspired us to start a podcast. For four years, we turned on the mics and discussed our thoughts and experiences and in turn, heard from listeners who bravely shared their own stories with us.

              Although our podcast is now retired, I remain passionate about giving a voice to the experience of living unexpectantly childfree and connecting with other childless women. In this current chapter of my life, I find myself comfortably settled into a childfree lifestyle and uncomfortably learning all sorts of new things about being human.

              Kate Kaufmann

              she/her

              Advocate & Author of Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No

              Please do not miss this opportunity of a lifetime. This April in Charleston you can be surrounded by a group you’ll fit into right away—one where no one has children. Let me tell you, it’s a heady experience.

              Back in 2015 and again in 2017 I had the chance to do just that, thanks to Karen Malone-Wright’s NotMom Summit in Cleveland. I arrived early, not sure what to do. As was one of the first signups for her gutsy gambit, I had no idea the powerful experience that was soon to be mine. I waited up in my room until I couldn’t stand it, both nervous and excited. I’ve come to trust that’s how I know I’m about to do something important. Karen’s team was still stuffing program materials when I walked up to the registration desk. I was warmly welcomed, and in that moment my life changed.

              Gone were the jitters that someone surely would ask me if I had kids, then follow up with some stupid or hurtful line of questioning. Not a chance. We were all there for the same reasons. Grasping the importance of this experience was almost impossible to predict beforehand.

              Once you’ve walked into that room, though, you’ll never feel alone or misunderstood in quite the same way. You’ll be surrounded by people you can talk to and feel part of immediately. Their stories will resonate with you, and you can tell your own as you feel ready. You’ll discover there are people like you everywhere.

              Because I’m so certain how crucial it is to gather together in person, I contributed funds to cover registration for two Summit participants I don’t even know. Maybe others will make similar donations. I hope they do, because everyone deserves to enjoy the safety and comradery of being with like-situated women.

              Due to a scheduling conflict, I can’t be there with you myself this April. But I will be thinking about you every day, delighted you’re all together in Charleston.

              With love and gratitude for your courage,

              Kate