Fall 2011 NLNI Meeting

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 Alabanza
Wyndi Anderson, Abortion Access Project
Dera Baskin, Great Beginnings for Black Babies
Katie Bryson, Population and Development Program
Rachel Caballero, Indigenous People's Highway
Kelli Dorsey, Different Avenues
Morgan Drewniany, CLPP
Paris Hatcher, SPARK
Deon Haywood, Women With A Vision
Courtney Hooks, Population and Development Program
Teresa Huang, CLPP
Laura Jiménez, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Christi Ketchum, Our Rightful Place
Mia Kim Sullivan, CLPP
Sfirah Madrone, Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights
Theresa Martinez, Justice Now
Shanelle Matthews, Forward Together
Dominique McKinney, Young Women’s Empowerment Project
Mija, First Nations Two Spirit Collective
Mariko Miki, Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Mia Mingus, generationFIVE
Bhavana Nancherla, Sex Workers Organizing Project
Lindsey O-Pries, National Network of Abortion Funds
Eesha Pandit, Breakthrough
Miriam Perez, Feministing
Malika Redmond, Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence
Nia Robinson, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective
Corinne Sanchez, Tewa Women United
Danny Scar, Birth Attendants
Aimée Thorne-Thomsen, Advocates for Youth
Angel Torres, Young Women’s Empowerment Project
Mari Villaluna, Indigenous People's Highway
Coya White Hat-Artichoker, First Nations Two Spirit Collective
Corinna Yazbek, CLPP
Rye Young, Third Wave Foundation