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Spring 2012 NLNI Meeting

On April 12 and 13, 47 members of CLPP’s New Leadership Networking Initiative (NLNI) gathered in Amherst, MA, for intensive discussions, concentrated learning, and cross-movement networking.

On Thursday evening, participants attended one of two concurrent dinner discussions. Grassroots Fundraising, led by Lisa Andrews of the Prison Birth Project, explored the politics of funding and fundraising and provided a forum for people to share their strategies and challenge assumptions about resources in our communities. Maxwell Ciardullo, a former staff member at SIECUS and current master’s candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led Community Land Trusts. His presentation on this affordable housing model based on community control and permanent affordability led to further discussions of gentrification, housing policies, and organizing.

“Amazing! Movements get siloed but they are all really connected! Bringing a diverse group together was a refreshing experience.”
– Sonia Rastogi, U.S. Positive Women's Network

On Friday, a panel of speakers addressed the theme of solidarity from various viewpoints. Solidarity: Building Across Issues, Organizations, and Experiences featured Amanda Scheper, Director of Client Services at Justice Now; moderator Christine Soyong Harley, Policy and Programs Director for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum; Coya White Hat-Artichoker, member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective (pictured below); Jasmine Burnett, National Mobilization Chair for the Trust Black Women Partnership; and Shanelle Matthews, Communications Manager at Forward Together (formerly Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice).

“The information presented by Coya was really great and it helped me gain new analysis and insight about the struggles within the Indigenous communities and Native communities.”
– Stephanie Alvarado, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Panelists described challenges to building solidarity and identified opportunities in several areas, including immigrants’ rights, feminism, Occupy Wall Street, Indigenous sovereignty, and prison abolition. They presented strategies for working together without making assumptions and building solidarity while taking differences into account.

I have learned more about how to be a valuable and responsive ally. I am hoping to engage in discussion with people in my organization on issues of racial justice and how to build solidarity.”
– Megan Smith, Ibis Reproductive Health

Small group discussions following the panel focused on how to build solidarity with immigrants, people in prison, Indigenous people, women of color, youth, and across class. Attendees chose the topic area most connected to their work or interests. CLPP Senior Programs Manager Corinna Yazbek introduced the People’s Movement Assembly (PMA) process to the group, from her own experience anchoring the Gender Justice PMA at the 2010 U.S. Social Forum. In small groups, participants used this model to analyze current challenges, identify a vision for the future, and commit to specific actions toward that future vision. (Pictured above, Shanelle Matthews of Forward Together led the group that discussed organizing across class.)

“I really enjoyed the panel talking about class. It will help me to think more critically about these issues and others.” – Mimi Spalding, LSRJ fellow at Black Women's Health Imperative

After the meeting, participants went on to both attend and present at CLPP’s 26th annual conference, From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom, organized in collaboration with Hampshire’s Population and Development program. Joining over 1,100 participants from across the U.S. and other countries, they spent the next two days learning and teaching together, continuing the new connections and collaborations they began at NLNI.

NLNI Spring 2012 Meeting Participants and Presenters

Stephanie Alvarado - National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Lisa Andrews - Prison Birth Project
Sabrina Andrus - Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ)
Erin Armstrong - LSRJ fellow, National Health Law Program
Karla Brollier - Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Marianne Bullock - Prison Birth Project
Jasmine Burnett - SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Maxwell Ciardullo - not currently affiliated
Katherine Cross - Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Suha Dabbouseh - Sakhi for South Asian Women
Morgan Drewniany - CLPP
Jamal Felix - Spann - not currently affiliated
Kat Good - Schiff - CLPP
Leslie Grant - Sistas on the Rise
Christine Soyong Harley - National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
Courtney Hooks - PopDev
Kimberly Jeffrey - Justice Now
Anjela Jenkins - LSRJ fellow, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Shivana Jorawar - LSRJ fellow, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
Lorena Marez - LSRJ fellow, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Shanelle Matthews - Forward Together (formerly Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice)
Katie McKay Bryson - PopDev
Dominique McKinney - Young Women's Empowerment Project
Keely Monroe - LSRJ fellow, National Women's Health Network
Deesha Narichania - SAFER (Students Active For Ending Rape)
Symone New - The Doula Project
Lindsey O - Pries - National Network of Abortion Funds
Lucy Panza - LSRJ fellow, Center for American Progress, Women's Health and Rights Program
Jacqui Quetal - Nursing Students for Choice
Sonia Rastogi - U.S. Positive Women's Network
Malika Redmond - Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence
Morganne Rosenhaus - Reproductive Health Technologies Project
Amanda Scheper - Justice Now
Finn Schubert - Sadie Nash Leadership Project
Shannon Sennott - Translate Gender
Tones Smith - Translate Gender
Megan Smith - Ibis Reproductive Health
Mimi Spalding - LSRJ fellow, Black Women's Health Imperative
Rebecca Spence - LSRJ fellow, Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Mia Sullivan - CLPP
Ena Suseth Valladares - California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Angel Torres - Young Women's Empowerment Project
Beata Tsosie - Peña - Tewa Women United
Marissa Valeri - Catholics for Choice
Mari Villaluna - Eagle and Condor Healing Project and Indigenous Peoples Media Project
Coya White Hat - Artichoker - First Nations Two Spirit Collective
Corinna Yazbek - CLPP