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 HealthLisa Andrews - Prison Birth ProjectSabrina Andrus - Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ)Erin Armstrong - LSRJ fellow, National Health Law ProgramKarla Brollier - Alaska Community Action on ToxicsMarianne Bullock - Prison Birth ProjectJasmine Burnett - SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice CollectiveMaxwell Ciardullo - not currently affiliatedKatherine Cross - Sylvia Rivera Law ProjectSuha Dabbouseh - Sakhi for South Asian WomenMorgan Drewniany - CLPPJamal Felix - Spann - not currently affiliatedKat Good - Schiff - CLPPLeslie Grant - Sistas on the RiseChristine Soyong Harley - National Asian Pacific American Women's ForumCourtney Hooks - PopDevKimberly Jeffrey - Justice NowAnjela Jenkins - LSRJ fellow, National Latina Institute for Reproductive HealthShivana Jorawar - LSRJ fellow, National Asian Pacific American Women's ForumLorena Marez - LSRJ fellow, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)Shanelle Matthews - Forward Together (formerly Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice)Katie McKay Bryson - PopDevDominique McKinney - Young Women's Empowerment ProjectKeely Monroe - LSRJ fellow, National Women's Health NetworkDeesha Narichania - SAFER (Students Active For Ending Rape)Symone New - The Doula ProjectLindsey O - Pries - National Network of Abortion FundsLucy Panza - LSRJ fellow, Center for American Progress, Women's Health and Rights ProgramJacqui Quetal - Nursing Students for ChoiceSonia Rastogi - U.S. Positive Women's NetworkMalika Redmond - Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic ViolenceMorganne Rosenhaus - Reproductive Health Technologies ProjectAmanda Scheper - Justice NowFinn Schubert - Sadie Nash Leadership ProjectShannon Sennott - Translate GenderTones Smith - Translate GenderMegan Smith - Ibis Reproductive HealthMimi Spalding - LSRJ fellow, Black Women's Health ImperativeRebecca Spence - LSRJ fellow, Asian and Pacific Islander American Health ForumMia Sullivan - CLPPEna Suseth Valladares - California Latinas for Reproductive JusticeAngel Torres - Young Women's Empowerment ProjectBeata Tsosie - Peña - Tewa Women UnitedMarissa Valeri - Catholics for ChoiceMari Villaluna - Eagle and Condor Healing Project and Indigenous Peoples Media ProjectCoya White Hat - Artichoker - First Nations Two Spirit CollectiveCorinna Yazbek - CLPP