Spring 2009 NLNI Meeting

On the eve of our 23rd annual conference, CLPP convened 50 members of its New Leadership Networking Initiative (NLNI) to learn about and discuss racism, power and privilege within our movements; new advocacy opportunities to develop the field of climate justice; and new ways to evaluate movement-building work.

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Ten activists working in other countries and internationally on youth leadership development participated in the meeting, as well as members of the Third Wave Foundation’s youth-led Reproductive Health and Justice Initiative, which met in conjunction with the NLNI meeting.

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Over two days, Rani Varghese, Michael Funk and Tory Field, anti-racism trainers from local community-based organizations and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Social Justice Education Program, engaged NLNI participants in interactive workshops and affinity group discussions to examine assumptions, biases and stereotypes that affect our work. Together, participants began to develop a common language and analysis of racism and oppression, and ways to communicate and work together across difference. Elizabeth Barajas-Roman and Betsy Hartmann from CLPP’s sister project, the Population and Development Program, led a discussion on the current backlash against reproductive rights fueled by climate change concerns and positive linkages between reproductive justice and climate justice that can advance both movements. They also showed Stop the Blame, a free, newly released multi-media presentation created with the Committee on Women, Population and the Environment that displays historical prints, posters and articles from the US and other countries with commentary as a teaching tool that can be used in classrooms, activist trainings and public talks. Amanda Wake from Expanding the Movement for Empowerment and Reproductive Justice (EMERJ) discussed their work in developing tools, models, and other resources to support organizing and policy change in our communities.

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Spring meeting participants: