The fall NLNI meeting convened in Los Angeles on October 27 and 28, 2011. In response to participant suggestions, this meeting centered black women’s experiences with racism in reproductive health, rights, and justice work. The meeting also provided the opportunity for participants to reflect on NLNI’s history and mission, and the network’s core values, infrastructure, and planning processes. At 35 participants, the meeting was a smaller, more intimate gathering of NLNI members, most of whom had experience participating in NLNI meetings or other network programming, including CLPP’s Summer Leadership Institute.
The meeting began with a presentation by CLPP Director Mia Kim Sullivan on NLNI’s history and mission. Senior Programs Manager Corinna Yazbek reviewed the network’s infrastructure and planning processes, identifying core values of collaboration, intersectional movement building, leadership at all levels, lifelong learning, and centering the voices of people most impacted by oppression.
Three facilitators led participants in challenging discussions on dynamics of race and color, particularly anti-black racism, within our movements. The trainers were all NLNI alums: Wyndi Anderson, Senior Director of Programs at the Abortion Access Project; Kelli Dorsey, Executive Director of Different Avenues; and Aimee Thorne-Thomsen, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Advocates for Youth.
The meeting venue was chosen to strengthen regional collaboration and highlight the work of Los Angeles-based activists. During evening presentations, participants heard from the following three groups:
Staff from California Latinas for Reproductive Justice shared the messaging they developed with young mothers in the community and their victories in mobilizing other Latino and Chicano organizations to oppose Spanish language anti-abortion billboards.
Theresa Martinez from Justice Now presented on lessons learned from cross-organization movement building work in L.A. with organizations including the Filipino Workers' Center. She also detailed the leadership development that Justice Now supports for incarcerated people, as well as their documentation of human rights violations within prisons.
Dera Baskin from Great Beginnings for Black Babies spoke about efforts to secure funding for lactation support and doulas during labor. GBBB works to reduce infant mortality by providing parents with culturally competent information on birth and breastfeeding.
NLNI Fall 2011 Meeting Participants and Facilitators
Zahra AlabanzaWyndi Anderson, Abortion Access ProjectDera Baskin, Great Beginnings for Black BabiesKatie Bryson, Population and Development ProgramRachel Caballero, Indigenous People's HighwayKelli Dorsey, Different AvenuesMorgan Drewniany, CLPPParis Hatcher, SPARKDeon Haywood, Women With A VisionCourtney Hooks, Population and Development ProgramTeresa Huang, CLPPLaura Jiménez, California Latinas for Reproductive JusticeChristi Ketchum, Our Rightful PlaceMia Kim Sullivan, CLPPSfirah Madrone, Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic RightsTheresa Martinez, Justice NowShanelle Matthews, Forward TogetherDominique McKinney, Young Women’s Empowerment ProjectMija, First Nations Two Spirit CollectiveMariko Miki, Law Students for Reproductive JusticeMia Mingus, generationFIVEBhavana Nancherla, Sex Workers Organizing ProjectLindsey O-Pries, National Network of Abortion FundsEesha Pandit, BreakthroughMiriam Perez, FeministingMalika Redmond, Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic ViolenceNia Robinson, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health CollectiveCorinne Sanchez, Tewa Women UnitedDanny Scar, Birth AttendantsAimée Thorne-Thomsen, Advocates for YouthAngel Torres, Young Women’s Empowerment ProjectMari Villaluna, Indigenous People's HighwayCoya White Hat-Artichoker, First Nations Two Spirit CollectiveCorinna Yazbek, CLPPRye Young, Third Wave Foundation