2014 RRASC Highlights

2014 RRASC Serena Valentino at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project

This summer, students in CLPP's Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps worked at host sites around the country in community health, policy advocacy, communications, fundraising, and grassroots mobilization. Here are some of their highlights, and links to their work online! 

ALISSA ROBBINS, Spark Reproductive Justice NOW: Completed research for Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) outreach voter registration strategy and co-lead voter registration drive; completed outreach for SPARK’s FYRE (Fierce Youth Reclaiming & Empowering) Media Campaign; updated SPARK’s Resource Guide; attended the LGBTQ Rural Summit Kick Off in Greensboro, NC hosted by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

ARIANNA ROSE, Safe Passage: Developed curriculum and materials for Say Something Prevention Initiative; created material for and facilitated violence prevention workshops for youth; managed and created content for social media platforms, including Say Something blog, social media updates, and editorials; attended Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Forum, facilitated by the Boston Public Health Commission, and attended the Preventionist Showcase in Wellesley, Massachusetts. 

Read some of Arianna's blog posts here and here

AVIVA GALPERT, Political Resarch Associates (PRA): Authored original blog posts for PRA’s online blog; fact checked several articles to be published in the upcoming issue of PRA’s quarterly magazine; assisted in re-launch of research for a guide that will identify organizations that use donations to promote criminalization of LGBTQ overseas and/or support restrictions on reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy; conducted background research related to various PRA initiatives on low-wage worker organizing and economic justice. 

Read some of Aviva's writing here.

CHEMI CHEMI, The Doula Project: Worked as an abortion doula at Bellevue Hospital and Planned Parenthood in New York City; responded to national emails for the Doula Project; presented at “Not Just Talk: Radical Women Creating Resilient Communities”; advocated to bring awareness about the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, including meeting with A Better Balance and tabling with the Health Center Advocacy at Planned Parenthood.

DIGNO ORTIZ, Grow Food Northampton: Provided translation support for food justice outreach to Latin@ communities;  communicated with and presented to organizations and housing units about using SNAP benefits to purchase farm shares for fresh local food; provided community garden and carpentry support.  

ELLEN BRYER, Pride Center of Vermont: Researched LGBTQ issues for advocacy and outreach work; wrote and designed educational pamphlets on trans etiquette, sexual violence, and queer women’s health; assisted in the development of a Town Hall series for queer families; coordinated a series of summer classes called Summer Semester on topics important to the community; attended a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis community open forum.

GRACE RAMSAY, Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ): Updated and created resources that benefitted LSRJ programming and outreach, including a guide for LSRJ chapter leaders, the annual Internship and Fellowship Guide, and programmatic materials on criminalization of pregnant women and the shackling of women in labor in prison; wrote blog articles of the LSRJ blog and managed their social media platforms; traveled to DC to help facilitate and present at the annual Leadership Institute.

Read some of Grace's writing here, here, and here.

JEANETTE CUEVAS, Project South: Provided coordination and logistical support for SisterSong’s Standing Our Ground: Raising our Voices against Reproductive Oppression and Violence against Women Weekend in Jacksonville, FL and coordinated youth assembly; wrote grant proposals and worked on their donor database; attended United2Fight Drive and Southern Movement Assembly in Atlanta, GA to create a 2 year plan of action for all organizations across the South. 

JUDITH JONES, SisterSong and Crunk Feminist Collective: Coordinated and provided logistical support for Standing Our Ground: Raising our Voices against Reproductive Oppression and Violence against Women Weekend in Jacksonville, FL; provided conference support and participated in the march and rally at the Standing Our Ground weekend; provided support for Crunk Feminist Collective’s tumblr and blog, including a guest blog post on black feminist review of a film.  

JUSTINA TRIM, SisterSong: Planned major reproductive justice conference, Standing Our Ground: Raising our Voices against Reproductive Oppression and Violence Against Women; lead sponsorship outreach and compiled program book; attended Standing Our Ground conference, march, and rally; provided social media support for SisterSong.     

LILY KOFKE, The Care Center: Assisted, taught, and tutored students in classes for alternative high school for young mothers, ages 17 to 22, studying to earn their high school equivalency diplomas; attended enrichment classes with students.  

NICK FERNALD, Young People For: Provided logistical support for Young People For’s leadership development program made up of 150 students from around the country; updated organizational resources including a conference map for outreach purposes and the Resource Library; lobbied legislators on Transgender Lobby Day hosted by Trans People of Color Coalition, National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Gay and Lesbian Task Force to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act; attended Make Progress National Summit of progressive politicians on student debt crisis and economic justice.

NINA HADDAD, National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF): Supported work of the Development department, including entering clinic invoices for clients received funding from NNAF; managed NNAF’s referral process and responded to women seeking abortion; conducted interviews with activists, updated database and web surveys; interviewed and wrote Fund Spotlight project showcasing individual funds.  

Read some of Nina's writing here.

POOJA GHOSH, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF): Updated Reproductive Justice toolkit that 2013 RRASC Intern Jennifer Su completed last year; drafted statement on NAPAWF recognition of LGBT Pride Month; delivered pledges to legislators to urge them to support comprehensive immigration reform; drafted AP(Eye) newsletter to inform chapters of major policy changes; attended various brown bag lunches and trainings hosted by: the National Women’s Law Center, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, White House Council on Women and Girls, New Organizing Institute, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Americans Foundation for Aids Research (amfAR), East Coast Asian American Student Union, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), and Advocates for Youth. 

RACHAEL CLIFFORD, Justice Now: Researched, interviewed, edited and compiled information for the Legal Advocacy and Wellness Project on eugenics, sterilization, and the right to family; interviewed and documented stories from sterilization abuse victims inside of the Central California Women’s Prison; trained on vicarious trauma—the trauma that arises from witnessing the suffering of others; staffed direct phone call line for people inside, correspondence with people in prison and supported fundraising.  

RACHEL LICHTMAN, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH): Helped plan the Latina Week of Action, an annual week of activism events; updated Latinas Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy (LOLA) curriculum. Created a debunking abortion myths section to be used in an abortion access workshop and wrote a fact sheet with statics on racism against Latinos in the US; coordinated with LAN (Latina Advocacy Network) on group phone conferences, conducted entirely in Spanish; managed the Latina Week of Action with partners: California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and COLOR. 

RORY WOODARD, National Advocates for Pregnant Women: Completed research for NAPW’s educational outreach projects; conducted extensive research into new Tennessee legislation HB1259/SB1391, contacted all 45 TN drug courts and interviewed 6 drug courts, produced report and fact sheet from research;  researched Oklahoma’s Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPCs) and gathered information on NYC CPC; attended biweekly Brown Bag talks at the Innocence Project, LSRJ training, and other meetings on drug policy reform.  

SARAH ORSAK, Center for Sex and Culture: Worked with CSC archive, specifically with Larry Townsend Collection, a leader in the gay male leather community; catalogued the collection of Townsend’s papers and original art he commissioned, author of the “Leatherman’s Handbook”; presented work to the Bay Area Leather Alliance; created and coordinated panel on disabled folks experience with kink.  

SERENA Z. VALENTINO, Sylvia Rivera Law Project: Compiled, edited and published on the Prisoner Advisory Committee (PAC); researched and compiled information for In Solidarity, SRLP’s annual collaborative newsletter; completed outreach for SRLP events, including design and distribution of flyers; attended Bushwick Pride, Membership Orientation, and Trans Day of Action; researched trans-friendly drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities; drafted section of op-ed article on the school-to-prison pipeline; updated teaching companion guide for Toilet Training, a documentary on the issues with bathroom for gender non-conforming people.  

Read some of Serena's writing here.

SOFIA PICATOSTE, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR): Managed organization’s social media platforms and provided communications support to multiple programs including youth focused comprehensive sex education campaign “I Got This” (“Lo Tengo Bajo”), the Youth Advisor Council called COLORado1in3, Denver Pride, No 67 Campaign, and Latina Week of Action with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; provided social and communications support to combat Hobby Lobby decision with the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act; gave writing and editing support for press releases and ED speeches; drafted a Communications plan and annual communications calendar. 

SOPHIA ROBOHN, Prison Policy Initiative: Researched prison-based gerrymandering in school board districts in over 35 states across the country; audited the 2010 Census Prison Locator; used GIS and districting software; wrote memos and articles for website.

Read some of Sophia's writing here and here.

SYDNEY VAUGHN, MotherWoman: Prepared materials to pursue new legislative campaign focused on pregnancy discrimination legislation and convinced legislator to introduce legislation in new legislative session; crafted individual report cards for MotherWoman’s Voter’s Guide for primary election; created fact sheet on the history of pregnancy discrimination legislation; coordinated with A Better Balance, on amendment to existing legislation that would allow for fair treatment of pregnant workers in the workforce; drafted press releases and created social media campaign for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act initiative.    

VICTORIA KENT, Prison Birth Project: Updated organization’s resource and referrals guide for previously incarcerated people;  organized event on the realities of women in prison outlined in Orange is the New Black;  worked with fundraising committee on annual Solidarity Supper to increase sponsorships.

XAVIER A. TORRES DE JANON, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights: Monitored news and updated the organization’s website and social media; researched and developed Border Policy Toolkit on the US-Mexico border; wrote articled entitled, The Border: Enforcement as a Weapon on the increase of spending on border enforcement and resulting deaths of border-crossers after 9/11; involved in day-long mass naturalization workshops in San Francisco and Oakland to help permanent residents learn about qualifying for US citizenship; participated on national conference calls on immigration; attended press conference on children refugee crisis and national grassroots environmental conference, Our Power National Convening.  

Read the toolkit Xavier developed here and some of Xavier's writing here and here.

ZOË BOYLE, Parkmed: Created a new addition to ParkMed’s website focusing on LGBT reproductive and sexual health; researched LGBT health disparities; supported patients during recovery after abortion procedure and took vitals, administered medication, monitored bleeding and pain, and removed IVs.