Spring 2016 NLNI Meeting

The 2016 New Leadership Networking Initiative (NLNI) spring meeting was held on April 8, 2016 prior to the Civil Liberties and Public Policy’s (CLPP) 35th anniversary conference. NLNI convened 44 intergenerational activists representing 32 different organizations around the country.

This spring, NLNI emerging activists and leaders discussed the intersections between bodily autonomy, race, gender, and sex. NLNIs also participated in a Reproaction workshop where they learned how to effectively incorporate media into direct actions aimed to advance reproductive justice.

Sean Saifa M. Wall, founder of EMERGE, a cross disciplinary project that aims to create social impact through visual artistry, led the first session highlighting how vital it is to understand intersex as a reproductive justice issue directly related to bodily autonomy. Small group discussions focused on the intersections of gender, race, sex, and the feelings and experiences of safety and threat associated with individual identities. Wall connected individual reflections made in small groups to the realities of many intersex folks; non-intersex people often perceive intersex people as threatening because their bodies challenge the binary understanding of sex. Wall’s session allowed NLNIs to better understand intersex rights as a reproductive justice issue.

Pamela Merritt and Erin Matson, co-directors of Reproaction, a direct action group working to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice, facilitated a workshop on how to use direct action to increase abortion access and advance reproductive justice. In the interactive workshop, Merritt and Matson defined direct action and the ways in which it can be integral in bringing about social change. Through spotlighting the work and monumental progress of intersectional social change activists, they led NLNIs through a discussion on how to use media effectively during direct actions.

During lunch, NLNIs led and engaged in small group discussions on self-selected topics. These group discussions during lunch allowed NLNIs to network on issues connected to their work or interests. Table topics included: healing modalities, young leadership in non-profits, understanding the effects of white supremacy and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), sustaining leadership in people of color led organizations, and trans community organizing.

During the afternoon session, NLNIs participated in a screening and question and answer session with the No Más Bebés producer, Virginia Espino, who conducted original research on the Madrigal court case that formed the basis for the documentary. No Más Bebés tells the story of a landmark event in the history of reproductive justice, when a small group of Mexican immigrant women sued county doctors, the state of California, and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth during the late 1960s and early 1970s. During the question and answer session, many participants drew connections between the documentary and current eugenic practices in the US prison-industrial complex.

Spring 2016 NLNIs came together to share ideas and skills to strengthen and sustain the future of the reproductive justice movement. At the close of the meeting, the NLNIs left to attend CLPP’s 35th anniversary conference filled with energy, hope, and inspiration.


1. ADRIAN BALLOU | Civil Liberties and Public Policy
2. AMANDA MAJOR | Civil Liberties and Public Policy
3. ANNIE KROL | NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
4. BARBARA CERDA | Reproductive Justice Collective
5. BRENDA HERNANDEZ | Boston Doula Project
6. BRIANNA SUSLOVIC | Young Women of Color Leadership Council
7. COLE PARKE | Political Research Associates
8. CONSTANCE C. LUO | Texas Organizing Project
9. CORTEZ WRIGHT | SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW
10. DANIA CHILDRESS | Aniz, Inc.
11.; EMMETT DUPONT | Civil Liberties and Public Policy
12. ERIN MATSON | Reproaction
13. GYKYIRA SHOY | Trans Liberation United
14. JUSTINA NICOLE TRIM | SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
15. KELLI KOONCE | Access Reproductive Care-Southeast
16. KELLY HILL | National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
17. KERRY MCDONALD | Prison Birth Project
18. KIARA ST. JAMES | New York Trans Advocacy Group
19. LESLIE CLARK | Sadie Nash Leadership Project
20. LINDSAY RODRIGUEZ | National Network of Abortion Funds
21. LISA ANDREWS | Prison Birth Project
22. LUCRESHIA GRANT | Sexuality Educator
23. MARKESHA DUNHAM | Aniz, Inc.
24. MARLO BARRERA | New Orleans Abortion Fund
25. MELISSA MADERA | The Abortion Diary
26. MIA KIM SULLIVAN | Civil Liberties and Public Policy
27. MISTY ROJO | Justice Now
28. NICOLE CLARK | Nicole Clark Consulting
29. NINA HADDAD | National Network of Abortion Funds
30. ORIAKU NJOKU | Access Reproductive Care-Southeast
31. PAMELA MERRITT | Reproaction
32. PATRICE WILLIAMS | Planned Parenthood
33. QUITA TINSLEY | Access Reproductive Care-Southeast
34. RANDI GREGORY | NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
35. SABIA C. WADE | Prison Birth Project
37. SHAYLA | Trust Project MN
38. SINA SAM | Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
39. STEPHANIE BLAUFARB | Reproductive Health Access Project
40. TAMIKA MIDDLETON | Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective
41. TIFFANY TAI | National Network of Abortion Funds
42. VICKI BORAH BLOOM | The Doula Project
43. VIRGINIA ESPINO | No Más Bebés
44. ZABRINA COLLAZO | Ms. Foundation for Women