The 2017 New Leadership Networking Initiative (NLNI) fall meeting was held on October 4-5, 2017 as a pre-conference institute for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective's 20th anniversary Let’s Talk About Sex Conference and Celebration. NLNI convened 29 activists representing 21 different organizations from 14 states.
On Thursday morning, NLNIs shared introductions and created community agreements to open their community space together. The first workshop centered activism on the ground in New Orleans. Marlo Barrera from Reproductive Justice Action Collective (ReJAC) discussed the creation of the collective and the projects underway, including the Plan B provision program and the reproductive health and justice zine. Lakeesha Harris from Women With A Vision (WWAV) spoke about the realities that face folks seeking abortion care in Louisiana and how WWAV supports these folks. Lakeesha also talked about the importance of building community as a resource for fighting against reproductive and racial injustice. Arely Westley from BreakOUT! discussed the importance and power of youth voices in the reproductive justice movement.
The second workshop block was a working session led by Charmaine Lang from New Voices and Brittany Brathwaite of KIMBRITIVE. NLNIs self-selected issue areas that they found relevant to their work in order to form group working sessions and dive deeper into specific questions and ideas within their reproductive justice movement work. Brittany and Charmaine instructed NLNIs to create a “Knowledge Potluck” using KWL charts: what we already know (K), what we want to know (W), and what we want to learn (L), as well as using empathy interviews as “cooking tools” and inspecting policy, culture shift, and service as “pots.” NLNIs organized into four groups for their working sessions: (1) self-care and radical joy, (2) reproductive justice strategies, (3) environmental and food justice, and (4) anti-oppressive work spaces and organizing.
The third workshop was “Fired Up and Burnt Out: Keeping it Together in Uncertain Times” by Agustina Vidal and Diego Barrera from The Icarus Project. Agustina and Diego delved into how reproductive justice activists can keep themselves grounded while participating in this movement moment. The Icarus Project works at the intersections of social justice and mental health. During this workshop, NLNIs learned about factors that contribute to individual and organizational burn out and as well as how to create systems of collective and individual care (madness mapping).
Fall 2017 NLNIs came together to share ideas and skills to strengthen and sustain the future of the reproductive justice movement. After the meeting, participants continued their weekend in New Orleans by attending Let’s Talk About Sex!, SisterSong National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective’s third annual conference celebrating 20 years of amplifying the voices of Indigenous women and women of color.
1. ANGELIQUE BELUSO | Planned Parenthood of New York City
2. NIKIA PAULETTE | Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region
3. CARLY MANES | National Council of Jewish Women
4. DANIELLE F. GILMORE | Feminist Women's Health Center
5. NAOMI LEGROS | Reproductive Health Access Project
6. SAMANTHA RODRIGUEZ | Reproductive Justice Action Collective (ReJAC)
7. NATALIE KOPKE | Reproductive Health Access Project
8. KATE WINANS | The Prison Birth Project
9. BRIENNE COLSTON | Brown Girl Recovery
10. BRITTANY BRATHWAITE | KIMBRITIVE
11. ZUNERA MIRZA | NAPAWF
12. NATALY BARRERA | Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
13. LUCRESHIA GRANT
14. KASSANDRA RENDÓN-MORALES | Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights
15. KARLA G GONZALEZ GARCIA | Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights
16. MARGARITA VILLA | Sadie Nash Leadership Project
17. LESLIE CLARK | California College of the Arts
18. INYANG NJOKU | ARC-Southeast
19. ANA LAURA MARTINEZ | California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
20. DEBORAH ORTIZ | California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
21. RAMELCY URIBE | Sadie Nash Leadership Project
22. SARA SPRIGGS | ACCESS Women's Health Justice
23. CHARMAINE LANG | New Voices for Reproductive Justice
24. AGUSTINA VIDAL | The Icarus project
25. DIEGO BARRERA | The Icarus Project
26. NEICY LOWE | ARC-Southeast
27. MARLO BARRERA | The Reproductive Justice Action Collective (ReJAC)
28. ARELY WESTLEY | Breakout!
29. LAKEESHA HARRIS | Women With A Vision, Inc.