As we mentioned in one of our "I love the 80s posts", Hampshire College students, faculty, and staff have a long, proud history of agitating, organizing, showing up, speaking out, and broadening the scope for causes we believe in.
My favorite CLPP memory?—definitely the fall intern dinner at Hampshire that celebrates the work of RRASC interns on their return to campus. I attended my first RRASC dinner before I was officially on-board at CLPP, on the eve of starting as development officer in October 2009. The dinner was a great introduction to how students integrate their academic work with CLPP and PopDev with their passion for social justice. I love how interns' accounts capture—in vivid and compelling detail—how internships build their leadership, extend their skills, and crystallize career paths in reproductive justice organizing or women's health.
In 1998, forty activists came together on the eve of the CLPP conference, From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom, to discuss how to broaden the issues that define reproductive rights and to ensure that younger voices were a part of this dialogue. Most of the participants were younger women, who had been trying to have their voices heard in this movement, and their allies, those who recognized the need to reach beyond traditional constituencies and create a strong network of allies.
Nicole Heig, Amherst College alum & CLPP Conference participant, shares how the CLPP conference influenced her life:
“No decision of the Supreme Court in the history of this country has ever been so important to women’s liberty, equality, and health as the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade which declared and recognized that a woman’s right to choose abortion is part of out fundamental right of privacy.” – Janet Benshoof, human right’s activists, speaking at the very first CLPP Symposium in 1983
From the beginning CLPP and Pop Dev have provided space for student academic and activist leadership to take root. There are countless examples of students connecting what we learn in the classroom to our political organizing, and bringing that experience back to campus and the classroom. Over the years, students have been challenging and supporting each other to think critically and be engaged in our communities.
Throughout the 80s, students completed Division 3s (Hampshire College senior thesis projects) on surrogacy, birth and fetal rights, sterilization abuse, reproductive health care, and the history of the abortion rights movement.
And took classes including: