2015 RRASC Highlights

This summer, CLPP's Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC) placed 39 student activists from across the country at organizations working at the intersections of reproductive justice, economic equity, racial justice, and queer and trans liberation. Read more about their work in grassroots organizing, public policy, communications and fundraising, and community health and advocacy below!

ALEXANDRIA WILLIAMS, Women With A Vision, New Orleans, LA: Wrote blog posts for website focused on HIV/AIDS and harm reduction; trained on best practices with clients at Women With A Vision's harm reduction clinic; attended city council meetings, including campaigns around the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans as well as a budget hearing for Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.

ALLIE HILL, National Network of Abortion Funds, Boston, MA: Provided direct service by answering calls from people seeking abortion funding; coordinated logistical support for NNAF’s annual organizing summit; attended Planned Parenthood Generation Action Conference.

ALLY BATCHELDER, Political Research Associates, Boston, MA: Researched and edited articles for PRA’s magazine, The Public Eye. Wrote blog posts for PRA’s blog and conducted investigative research on CPCs; conducted a research project on state-level abortion regulation infrastructure; researched legislation and state level bans and created virtual maps of anti-choice politicians, organizations, health providers, and religious groups.

AMBER TINSMON, MotherWoman, Hadley, MA: Supported MotherWoman’s work on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to guarantee reasonable on the job accommodations to workers; helped develop strategy for committee hearings, drafted written testimony and press releases,and participated in conference calls with policy leaders; updated MotherWoman’s social media presence.

ANDY ESOBAR, Sylvia River Law Project, New York, NY: Responded to letters from prisoners and helped host a letter writing party for allies on the outside; staffed front desk during walk-in hours and translated for clients during legal intake sessions; interviewed prisoners who won legal cases in prison, including hormone access, for SRLP's newsletter In Solidarity.

ANNY RODRIGUEZ, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA: Tracked experiences with abortion, maternal care, and child health care in states with differing abortion policies; supported Ibis’s initiative to move oral contraceptive to over the counter status by organizing social media campaigns and creating educational materials for FreeThePill.com; visited pharmacies around Boston to record price, availability, and visibility of emergency contraception for the Oral Contraceptives (OCs) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Working Group.

ARMONTÉ BUTLER, SPARK Reproductive Justice Now and Southerners on New Ground, Atlanta, GA: Supported the #FreeFromFearATL campaign, which fought against a $7 million dollar increase in fines and warrants issued in Atlanta by recruiting volunteers, creating protest materials, participating in base-building meetings, and attending protests at the state capital; researched criminal justice reform at the municipal level; attended the Queering Immigration conference and the Movement for Black Lives Convening.

CECELIA LIM, Birthmark Doula Collective, New Orleans, LA: Worked on birth violence toolkit, which teaches practical skills for pregnant people to deal with negative experiences in the birthing room; attended births with members of the collective; conducted research for an insurance advocacy campaign, which would make doula services claimable through health insurance providers and compiled resources to give to local doulas and clients when requesting coverage.

DANIEL ORR, National Domestic Worker's Alliance, Oakland, CA: Wrote a zine on the intersections between queer justice and labor justice; created visual data summaries for the gathering of the International Domestic Workers Federation as well as the NDWA’s archives; handled logistics, targeted outreach, and mapping for NDWA, Hand in Hand, and UCLA Labor Center’s survey of employers of domestic workers.

DONZAHNIYA PITRE, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, San Francisco, CA: Researched, compiled, and distributed resource guide to inmates in California informing them of their legal rights; contacted sheriff’s offices in California to inform them of the new penal code regarding recently passed laws against shackling pregnant women.

ELVIN BRUNO, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Oakland, CA: Tracked presidential candidates’ policies and voting records on immigration and updated NNIRR’s website with information on the 2016 race; researched DACA, DACA extension, and DAPA initiatives, and compiled a resource page for NNIRR’s website, including resources for those applying as well as pending litigation; organized NNIRR’s archives in preparation for their donation to the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library.

EMMA HYCHE, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, Denver, CO: Created a multimedia timeline of the pro-choice movement in Colorado and Colorado NARAL; conducted street outreach encouraging people sign a petition against the parental opt-out sex education bill in Colorado; wrote legislator profiles, including voting records and committee memberships, in preparation for the upcoming legislative session.

GABRIELA NOA BETANCOURT, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, New York, NY: Conducted research for amicus brief in Purvi Patel case, an Indiana woman accused of feticide after miscarrying; tracked cases of pregnant people accused of fetal endangerment by compiling media and public documents; created a state-specific resource database for NAPW’s subject areas, and compiled resources for UNGASS 2016, a special session of the UN General Assembly on the world drug problem.

JAZMIN GONZALEZ, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, Denver, CO: Led phone banking, canvassing, and other civic engagement activities around COLOR’s legislative priorities; presented at My Health My Voice workshops and organized meetings of COLORIST@S Unite, COLOR’s youth membership group; initiated and led reproductive justice story collection training with COLOR staff.

KALILA KIRK, Backline, Oakland, CA: Compiled resources for Talkline, Backline’s hotline for people needing support around pregnancy, abortion, and/or adoption; compiled list of state-level resources for Talkline clients, including social services and government assistance; created list of six key states for focused outreach.

KEANAN GOTTLIEB, The Trans Buddy Program through the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTI Health, Nashville, TN: Supported transgender patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center by responding to Trans Buddy patient advocacy requests; created LGBTI health presentations used to brief hospitals on best practices related to LGBTI individuals, from intake to clinical care; observed in OR and ER settings.

LAUREN GARRETSON, Project South, Atlanta, GA: Attended Project South’s BAM (Building and Movement) sessions, which brings together Southern organizers for dialogue and skill-based training that leaves them with tools for more effective, unified organizing; strategized with Blackbelt Citizens for Justice to fight environmental racism in Uniontown, Alabama; coordinated logistics for the Southern People’s Organizing Intensive.

MARIA PEREZ, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Los Angeles, CA: Participated in phone banking and canvassing to document coverage under the Affordable Care Act; researched material for The State of Latinas, a document to inform local legislatures and the general public about issues that affect Latinas in California; facilitated Raising Women’s Voices focus group to provide feedback on health literature material, measure participants’ knowledge of how health insurance works, and research what women and LGBT friendly policies would look like.

MARIAJOSE CHEVESICH, Physicians for Reproductive Health, New York, NY: Participated in Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health (CATCH) training, which places clinics in lower income schools in New York City which provide students with sex education and various birth control methods; attended Lobby Day in Albany for Senate Bill 4639 and Assembly Bill 6780, which would make pregnancy a qualifying event for obtaining or changing health insurance.

MARITSA LOAIZA DUENAS, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, New York, NY: Researched legislation and ballot measures that will affect Latinas in Virginia in the upcoming election via the Community Mobilization 2015 Legislative Bill Tracker; contacted and met with Congresspeople and city council members for the Latina Week of Action; translated communications materials.

MEGAN SKIPPER, Aid to Inmate Mothers, Montgomery, AL: Helped with case management of clients in residential housing and supported AIM’s visitation program, which made it financially possible for children of incarcerated women to visit them monthly; initiated and researched the costs of a technology literacy project to provide re-entering women with computer skills and a tablet; taught classes at Julia Tutwiler Women’s Prison and Montgomery Women’s Facility on parenting, family skills, and Internet literacy.

NAMRATA JACOB, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, Washington, D.C.: Lobbied for Title X funding of reproductive health care and attended the introduction of the HEAL Bill and EACH Woman Act; presented a Reproductive Justice 101 panel at the Planned Parenthood Generation Action Conference; helped facilitate the NAPAWF Leadership, Amplification, Mobilization, and Power Building Program (LAMP) leadership institute at Smith College in Northampton, MA, which focused on using storytelling as healing and activism for Asian and Pacific Islander women.

NANCY UDDIN, Justice Now, Oakland, CA: Assisted with direct service for clients and navigated institutional bureaucracy; worked on Trans Visibility and Gender Justice campaign at Central California Women’s Facility; helped plan Justice Now’s Open House yearly celebration by conducting outreach to allied orgs and collecting in-kind donations.

NOAH FOSTER, Stonewall Youth, Olympia, WA: Provided direct service with youth by helping to facilitate drop-in services and support groups and trained in harm reduction and crisis intervention models; researched grassroots fundraising models and led event planning and fundraising trainings with youth; created accountability/grievance redress system for youth members.

OLIVIA BERES, Kentucky Health Justice Network, Louisville, KY: Compiled resources and created educational graphics about sex education, reproductive justice, and LGB and transgender health for social media; followed up with abortion fund and practical support clients to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the program; participated in workshop planning and curriculum development.

OZAKH AHMED, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Chicago, IL: Conducted outreach, education, and organizing for the #StopPNA campaign, which worked to overturn parental notification laws in Illinois by researching states where bans were overturned successfully and collecting testimonials from orgs and individuals against parental notification; wrote report on Title IX accommodations for pregnant and parenting young people and contacted schools to see if these were available to students; helped pilot ICAH racial justice trainings.

PATRICE WILLIAMS, The Doula Project, New York, NY: Successfully trained as an abortion doula and supported clients; supported application and interview process for new Doula Project members by creating shareable training and application guidelines for future hiring rounds; observed clinical work at Planned Parenthood NYC.

QUASIA HERU, Advocates for Youth, Washington, D.C.: Created fact sheets for young women who have sex with women; became a leader with YouthResource, Advocate’s LGBTQ+ youth leadership program; lobbied at Advocacy Day on the Hill; interviewed for a CBS Evening News segment on youth access to contraceptives.

RAKSHA WHITE, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, New York, NY: Acted as a dean and mentor for young women in Sadie Nash’s Summer Institute program; facilitated a number of courses for Summer Institute, including hip-hop and creative writing, access to education for women and girls worldwide, and domestic violence; hosted guest speakers such as Feminista Jones and the NJ4.

RANDISS HOPKINS, Young People For, Washington, D.C.: Evaluated impact of regional YP4 training in Cleveland using quantitative and qualitative data; attended MakeProgress summit in Washington, D.C..

ROBYN SUTTON-FERNANDEZ, Safe Passage, Northampton, MA: Provided direct service to clients by answering the crisis hotline and working in the shelter; updated resource list for women and families new to the area; conducted independent research project on children born out of reproductive coercion and marital rape.

SARAH HWANG, A Better Balance, New York, NY: Researched and compared paid maternal, paternal, parental, and sick leave for major U.S. companies and corporations; attended Planned Parenthood Generation Action Conference; staffed ABB’s booth at health fairs across New York City with information on the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA), the Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), and breastfeeding rights.

SEQUOYAH MOORE, The Audre Lorde Project, New York, NY: Organized social media and external communications work for Trans Day of Action, ALP’s largest annual event; created a visually-driven annual funders report; compiled resources for the healing and wellness toolkit for 3rd Space Support Collective, which works with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color on issues of employment, education, immigration, and health care.

SOPHIA SCHILLING, The Reproductive Health Access Project, New York, NY: Created training materials binder for doctors learning to provide abortion and full spectrum reproductive care; successfully completed abortion doula training; drafted RHAP’s petition to engage contacts and their Congressional representatives in support of the EACH Woman Act.

SOPHIA SHAW, Boston Doula Project, Somerville, MA: Lobbied at Planned Parenthood Sexual Health Lobby Days at the state capitol; created a best practices guide to communicating on social media with inclusive, reproductive justice informed language; attended Menstrual Health and Reproductive Justice Conference.

TERRIUS HARRIS, Tewa Women United, Española, NM: Accompanied TWU on fieldwork relating to their environmental justice initiatives; supported A’Gin youth group during Organizing Youth Engagement Conference; worked on the certification process for the Española Healing Foods Oasis, a community garden program and presented proposal to the City Director of Parks and Recreation.

TIMOTHY LEHMBERG, HealthRight International, New York, NY: Conducted literature research to identify models and strategies for treating populations and assessing needs and resources, specifically on the health needs of LGBT asylum seekers; worked with Harvard researchers on a statistics-based impact analysis of medical evaluations in human trafficking cases, which is the first study of its kind; conducted grant research for the Human Rights Clinic, a project of HealthRight International specializing in supporting asylum seekers.

TRAVIS NODDINGS, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Oakland, CA: Worked on campaign with the ACLU to ensure that State Bar Associations provide adequate time and accommodations to parents who are taking the bar while breastfeeding by contacting State Bar Associations and State Supreme Court offices; compiled community resources for local chapters of LSRJ in the South; researched fact sheet on the effects of federally funded abstinence-only education in schools and Presented findings at the LSRJ Leadership Institute.

VINCENT CREER, Pride Center of Vermont, Burlington, VT: Helped plan Trans Town Hall meetings, which are open community forums for transgender people to discuss issues important to them locally and nationally; updated the Pride Center’s Vermont Trans Resource Guide; helped plan and participated in Summer Semester events, including a dance class, movie screenings, and meeting facilitation for the Pride Center’s support groups, including the first queer person of color meeting sponsored by the Pride Center.

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