CLPP Alumni: Connecting and Creating Change (Spring 2012)

the Fight for Reproductive Freedom

Akira Céspedes Pérez (Student Group, RRASC, Conference Co-Coordinator), who is currently teaching in Tulsa, OK, through Teach For America, brought her skills as a former CLPP/PopDev conference coordinator to the role of emcee for a second time at a new and growing reproductive justice conference in Norman, OK. The second annual Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice took place February 24-25, 2012, and CLPP was happy to be a sponsor. Akira said, “I am overwhelmed with pride for the students and local activists who are committing so much of their time and intellect to this fabulous event, making this conference not only memorable but also commendable.”

Destiny Lopez (NLNI, Conference) recently became a Principal at ConwayStrategic, a firm that specializes in issue advocacy for progressive causes. Previously, Destiny served as director of Latino engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she significantly expanded PPFA’s capacity to engage Latinos as patients, advocates, and supporters. She has also served as a spokeswoman in major media outlets, including CNN, the BBC World News, the Los Angeles Times, El Diario, and Huffington Post Latino Voices. 

Dominique McKinney (NLNI, Conference), C. Angel Torres (NLNI, Conference), and their colleagues at Young Women’s Empowerment Project (YWEP), recently released new research documenting how and why young people in the sex trade and street economy are being turned away from social services and helping systems in Chicago. YWEP hosted a webinar for out of town allies on May 29, 2012, and a live event on May 31. They presented their findings, their healing justice work, and told how YWEP is organizing young people to change the way Chicago sees and treats its homeless, home-free and street based youth. Learn more at

Eesha Pandit (NLNI, Conference, CLPP staff) is the new Executive Director at Men Stopping Violence (MSV), a social change organization dedicated to ending men’s violence against women, based in Decatur, GA. Most recently Eesha worked as Women’s Rights Manager at Breakthrough, a global human rights organization that uses the power of media, pop culture, and community mobilization to inspire people to take bold action for human rights.  At Breakthrough she worked on the Bell Bajao! (Ring the Bell!) Campaign that asks men and boys to take action, get involved and help end violence against women. Eesha is also a prolific blogger; you can find her posts at and

Gina de Vries (RRASC, NLNI, Conference) has an essay titled “Girls” in the new anthology Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. “The book is dedicated to exposing hierarchies wherever they exist,” the editor said in an interview for HuffPost Gay Voices. We can’t tell you more than that since both copies are checked out of the Five College libraries, but we are pretty sure it’s worth getting your own copy.

Sarita Gupta (NLNI, Conference) is Executive Director of Jobs with Justice, a labor organization in 46 cities and 26 states working to create a broad, global movement for economic and social justice. She recently appeared on the Bill Moyers show along with Ai-jen Poo of the Domestic Workers Alliance to talk about their new collaboration, Caring Across Generations, an intergenerational campaign to transform the long-term care industry and advance the rights of domestic and homecare workers.

Tell Us Your News

Have you participated in a CLPP program—taken a class, attended NLNI or the conference, done a RRASC internship, or attended a PopDev convening? We want to hear about your work, creations, or achievements. Send your news to and we’ll help you spread the word via this newsletter!

---return to newsletter index

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.