Lux magazine and Verso Books have just released a free ebook: We Organize to Change Everything: Fighting for Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice. Find out more about the ebook: https://www.versobooks.com/books/4140-we-organize-to-change-everything
The US movement for reproductive rights is in disarray - five decades of NGO fundraising, lobbying Democrats, and bringing lawsuits before unsympathetic courts have failed to protect access to abortion – access that was first won in the streets in the 1960s and 1970s.
Today, organizers are knitting together a new national movement using more direct tactics: interrupting pro-life demonstrations, organizing to get abortion pills from overseas, and rallying behind abortion funds to support those who can’t afford the procedure. At this event, prominent organizers from different parts of the movement for reproductive freedom will break down how their work functions and how it connects with the broader fight for reproductive justice. We’ll explore tensions in the movement: should we emphasize direct service or political organizing? Legislative fights or a mass movement in the street? And we’ll share lessons from battlegrounds like Texas that are transferable to parts of the country less likely to enact dangerous new bans on reproductive health care.
This panel will be a place to debate strategy and tactics with those leading the fight to expand the reproductive justice movement, and it will be shared widely with activists engaged in this struggle.
Laurie Bertram Roberts is a low income, black, queer, disabled grassroots reproductive justice activist, freelance writer, doula, prospective midwife, and mother. She is the co-founder of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, and executive director for the Yellowhammer Fund in Alabama, a reproductive justice organization that seeks to meet the needs of those living in or traveling to Alabama for reproductive healthcare.
Monica Raye Simpson is the executive director of SisterSong: The National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Simpson is a queer, Black, North Carolina native and long-term organizer fighting against systemic violence against southern Black women and LBGTQ people. A singer and spoken word artist, Simpson created Artists United for Reproductive Justice at SisterSong, a platform for artists to collaborate on replicable artwork that furthers the reproductive justice movement.
Rockie Gonzalez (she/her) is an Indigenous xicana from the Texas Rio Grande Valley residing in Austin for 20 years. She is a long time trainer, facilitator and organizer. Her mission is to: build ground-up alternatives by operationalizing anti-racist values with a transformative, compassionate and decolonial approach rooted in Black Feminist Theory and indigenous knowledge to dismantle white supremacy. Rockie is Founder and Board Chair of the Frontera Fund in Texas, Deputy Director of the Austin Justice Coalition and an Undoing Racism trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Farah Diaz-Tello is a human rights attorney specializing in issues of reproductive justice. She serves as the Senior Counsel & Legal Director for If/When/How, and previously held a position as the Senior Staff Attorney at National Advocates for Pregnant Women. She publishes on issues including the criminalization of pregnancy outcomes, economic coercion in childbirth, obstetric violence, and reproductive issues in pop culture.
Sarah Leonard (moderator) is editor-in-chief of Lux magazine. She is contributing editor to Dissent and The Nation. (@sarahrlnrd)
This event is sponsored by Lux magazine, Verso Books, and Haymarket Books.