CLPP2014: Movement-building conference a huge success

The Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) Program’s 28th annual conference, From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom, captivated the minds and invigorated the spirits of social and reproductive justice activists April 11-13, 2014 at Hampshire College.

Over the course of the weekend, more than 900 activists, students, academics, and professionals came for an energizing weekend full of diverse workshops, exciting performances, movement-building networking, and enlightening conversations.

Friday Workshops
“This was my first CLPP conference, and I am excited to attend for the next three years.”

The conference kicked off Friday afternoon with 11 workshop sessions, including Crunk Feminism: Digital Activism for the Real World, Deconstructing the Good Mother Myth, Leading the Fight to Live and Thrive Positive, No Blurred Lines: Getting Clear Consent, State Violence and the Criminalization of our Communities, and Strategic Action Session: Cross-Movement Organizing in the South.

Breaking Silences: An Abortion Speak Out
“The abortion speak out was an amazing experience. Discussion and theory are one thing but the privilege of being able to know and hear from the people behind the statistics was an honor. I think that the humanization of abortion is such an landmark that society needs to reach."

After dinner, the Robert Crown Center was filled with people ready to hear and support personal accounts of abortions. Breaking Silences: An Abortion Speak Out provided a safe space for people with experiences of abortion to share their stories in a space intended to honor and support them.

Speaking Out for Reproductive Freedom

"It was all so awe-inspiring, but I think my favorite part of the conference was the opening plenary. It was surreal to see so many of the founding members of the movement and other individuals who are truly heroes of mine in one place."

On Saturday morning, 24 activists and performers used words, song, and performance to share their visions for reproductive justice in Speaking Out for Reproductive Freedom, the opening plenary.

Building our Knowledge

“It was truly inspiring to see people of so many different experiences and identities coming together. It was, I think, the first time that I really began to understand what intersectionality really means, and see that as humans we cannot be confined to one criteria, or one group, but that we are diverse together and apart.”

Throughout the weekend, 160 speakers offered a total of 71 workshops and panels. The Familiar Made Strange: An Exploration of Disability Justice and Access in our Racial, Economic and Multi-Issue Justice Work, Stand Up Against Population Alarmism, Transfeminisims, Creative Solutions to Abortion Restrictions, and The Unsustainability of the Military Industrial Complex were just a few of the sessions.

We Are the Movement

“The closing plenary was certainly my favorite event at the conference. It was about making everyone realize that they have a part in the reproductive justice movement because these issues affect everyone.”

The conference concluded with Sunday’s plenary, We Are the Movement. Speakers shared their experiences in reproductive and social justice movements, the challenges they have faced, and their visions for the future. Topics ranged from making space for new voices and leadership in the movements, intergenerational work and collaboration, and how to support each other across issues as we all work toward a common goal of reproductive rights and justice for all.

The 28th annual CLPP conference was hugely successful, and CLPP staff are already planning next year’s event. Stay tuned for #CLPP2015, April 10-12, 2015!

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