Fall 2008 NLNI Meeting

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The 2008 fall meeting of the New Leadership Networking Initiative brought together over 50 activists, organizers, and educators in reproductive rights and social justice organizations from around the country.

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Hosted in part by Atlanta-based NLNI member organizations SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, Aniz, SisterLove, Inc. and Project South, and with an incredible amount of support from SPARK Reproductive Justice Now and Vanessa Huang from generationFIVE, NLNI participants engaged in powerful, challenging and ultimately meaningful conversations around racism and white supremacy in our movement. What resulted was just the beginning of an important conversation about issues prevalent in our diverse movement.

The meeting also featured three concurrent workshops:

A National HIV/AIDS Strategy for a New Administration Presenters and participants explored current regional, national, and international HIV/AIDS strategies and their hopes under the new presidential administration. Presenters included long-time NLNI and founding member of Aniz, Inc., Zina Age, Maxwell Ciardullo from SIECUS, Coco Jervis from CHAMP, and Shayla Pierce from SisterLove, Inc..

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Women of Color Stand for Justice and Say NO to Operation Save America Atlanta-based organizers presented strategies used to mobilize the civil rights community in defense of abortion rights when the right-wing anti-abortion group Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue) descended upon the city in the summer of 2008. This workshop featured Nia Mitchell of SPARK Reproductive Justice Now, Heidi Williamson from SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, and Unique Robinson, a student working with the Population and Development Program at Hampshire College and a 2008 CLPP Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC) intern with SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective.

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Bringing Youth Into Our Work In this workshop Lani Blechman from CLPP and Tanya Karakashian from the Youth Action Coalition’s Video Vanguards program guided participants to move, create, and make ‘zines as they imagined concrete ways to support each other and hold each other accountable in designing and implementing youth work. This workshop was rooted in the Principles for Meaningful Youth Engagement, developed from CLPP’s 2008 International Leadership Development Meeting.

Participating organizations included: Aniz, Inc., Backline, Women's Health and Justice Initiative, Center for American Progress, CHOICE Philadelphia, Choice USA, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP), Family Tree Clinic, generationFIVE, Harbor Communities Overcoming Violence, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH), Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, Ipas, Justice Now, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of New York, Ms. Foundation for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice New York, DSC01796.jpg NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, New York Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Population and Development Program, Pro-Choice Public Education Project, Project South, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), SisterLove, Inc., SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, SPARK Reproductive Justice Now, Translate Gender, Young People for the American Way, Youth Action Coalition/Video Vanguards