Our 31st annual conference, From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom, took place April 13-15, 2012, at Hampshire College. 1,142 activists, students, academics, and professionals from 134 campuses and 234 organizations came for a weekend of workshops, performances, networking, and conversations.
Before they arrived, participants told us they were excited about “attending awesome workshops,” “learning a lot,” and “reuniting with activist friends and meeting new ones!”
By Sunday afternoon, attendees said they were inspired to “start dialogues with people who may have differing views than I do,” “educate my peers,” and “work professionally within the movement.”
The conference began on Friday afternoon with workshops. Sessions included Abortion Access in the U.S.; Colonized Spaces, Criminalized Bodies; and We’re the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: Justice-Based Campus Organizing.
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.
On Saturday morning, 21 activists and performers shared personal stories and persuasive words in Speaking Out for Reproductive Freedom, the opening plenary. They connected reproductive rights to the rights of transgender people, immigrants, people living with HIV, people in prison, and survivors of abuse. They spoke about caring for our bodies by caring for the earth, taking care of our movements by taking care of each other, and finding a new strategy to address global climate change without sacrificing reproductive freedom. Watch videos of the plenary presentations. Read some of them on the PopDev blog.
On Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, participants attended workshops, painted and collaged in a drop-in art space, and made and renewed connections in spaces all across campus. Throughout the weekend, 179 speakers offered a total of 74 workshops and panels. 2012 Elections: Representing Our Communities; Disability Justice, Feminism, and Reproductive Rights; Moving from Racial Awareness to Accountable White Ally; and Strategic Action Session: Climate Justice were just a few of the sessions.
The conference concluded with Sunday’s plenary, We Are the Movement. Six panelists reported from five strategic action sessions; then all participants engaged in small group discussions. (Check back soon for videos of this plenary.)
What People Are Saying…
“The conference is the most wonderful space that exists anywhere. It is so valuable and I learn new things every year.”
“I walked away feeling energized and passionate.”
“The conference is always such a rejuvenating experience, and is a great reminder that we ARE making a difference.”
Numerous bloggers including our partners at Amplify and Feministing documented the weekend. Check out the conference blogroll for post-conference conversations, poetry, and even fashion!
We're very grateful for the support of our generous sponsors and the Hampshire community. The CLPP student group devoted countless hours, boundless energy, passion, and humor to make the conference run smoothly. Student group committe chairs (below, with CLPP and PopDev staff) coordinated the speak out, accessibility, childcare, entertainment, hospitality, outreach, and transportation. All conference speakers donated their time and energy, which is a huge contribution to building the movement for reproductive freedom!