From Abortion Rights to Social Justice:Building the Movement for Reproductive FreedomAnnual conference for student and community activistsHampshire College, Amherst, MA
On April 13-15, 2018, CLPP hosted 1,000 activists for our 37th annual conference. This event serves as an activist launching pad, leadership training weekend, and movement building, networking, and strategy forum for students, young reproductive justice supporters, emerging leaders and activists in allied social justice and human rights groups. For over 30 years, the conference has grown not only in number of participants but also in scope of issues covered and geographical reach. Many of our conference alumni are in leadership positions at diverse, intersectional, and innovative organizations across social justice movements.
Breaking Silences: An Abortion Speak Out opened the conference and provided an opportunity for people with experiences of abortion to share their stories in a space intended to honor and support them. Organized entirely by members of the CLPP Student Group, the Speak Out frames the weekend and grounds conference conversations in lived experiences. The stories were powerful and diverse, spanning experiences from before legalization to current challenges. For many speakers, the Abortion Speak Out was the rst time they shared their experiences publicly.
Fifteen activists shared their visions for reproductive justice in Speaking Out for Reproductive Freedom, the opening plenary. Speakers spoke about the intersections of reproductive rights and many other movements for justice, including immigrant rights, sex workers’ rights, environmental justice, equity for young parents, and many other themes. Throughout the weekend, 120 speakers offered a total of 66 workshops and panels. Members of the CLPP Student Group assumed important roles, including speaking in plenaries and leading workshops.