Local Reproductive Justice Conference Ready to Resist

Contact: Adrian Ballou, Communications and Development Associate
Civil Liberties & Public Policy, Hampshire College
413-559-6267, aballou@hampshire.edu

Local Reproductive Justice Conference Ready to Resist

1,000 Students, Activists, and Community Members from Across the Country to Gather on Hampshire Campus

We are facing extraordinary threats to reproductive and social justice in the United States and globally. More than 800 anti-abortion restrictions have been introduced in state legislatures since January 1, 2017, and the proposed American Health Care Act targets abortion access as part of an explicit campaign to make Roe v. Wade obsolete. Immigrants, people of color, transgender people, disabled people, religious minorities, and many others are under attack at heightened levels.

We are simultaneously witnessing a profusion of dissent: people who have not spoken out before are showing up in the millions for social justice alongside longtime organizers. How do we all join together to build a thriving resistance?

More than 1,000 students, activists, and community members will work to answer that question at the Civil Liberties & Public Policy (CLPP) Program’s 31st-annual conference, “From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom.” At this year’s conference, which takes place April 7–9 at Hampshire College, attendees will gain the skills and the community necessary to organize in a political climate especially hostile to human rights.

“With so many new activists entering organizing spaces, education and leadership development are even more urgently needed. The CLPP conference builds tangible activist skills and knowledge, fosters collaboration, and inspires and builds hope for people when they return to their communities,” says Lucy Trainor, CLPP’s associate director. “Now more than ever, we need to be building across movements. The CLPP conference is an incredible opportunity for that.”

This year’s event features 80 workshops and more than 160 speakers, such as Patrisse Cullors of #BlackLivesMatter and former Texas senator Wendy Davis. The following is just a small sample of the workshops.

  • How Do Families Resist?
  • Muslims and Reproductive Justice: Empowering Our Community Through Dismantling Stereotypes
  • #NoBanNoWallNoRaids: Arm Yourself with Information from the Frontlines
  • My Body, My Choices: The Trans/GNC Health Education You Didn’t Get in School!
  • How We Win: Using Direct Action to Increase Access to Abortion and Advance Reproductive Justice

Hannah Davidson, a co-coordinator of CLPP’s student organizing group, says, “The kind of movement building that happens at CLPP is vital to efforts in sustaining movements for resistance. It’s a space where people can engage with the full potential of their activism and envision the fullest extent of where their work can take them.”

Student co-coordinator Nargis Aslami agrees: “The conference is a space for people to come together, learn, grow, and transform. It’s a space to envision what a future without reproductive oppression would look like, and how we may get there. The campus is buzzing during the conference weekend, and it’s created by the energy, passion, and motivation that we’re all carrying with us. People leave the conference reenergized and ready to take on the world.”

Combining activism and academics, CLPP’s mission is to build leadership in the movement for reproductive justice. During its 35-year history, CLPP has trained more than 16,000 young activists. Almost three-quarters of CLPP alums remain lifelong advocates in reproductive rights and allied social-justice movements, often at the state, national, and international levels.

CLPP strives to make the conference accessible. Event spaces are wheelchair accessible, and the conference is a scent-safer event. Childcare will be provided free of charge. With the support of generous donors and grants, conference registration is offered on multiple payment levels, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. For a list of conference speakers and workshops or to reserve your space, visit clpp.hampshire.edu/conference. Please register by Monday, April 3; limited on-site registration is available.

The three-day conference begins Friday, April 7. Friday workshops will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Breaking Silences: An Abortion Speak Out will take place on Friday, at 7:30 p.m. Workshops and plenaries continue on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., and on Sunday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to noon. Students, staff, and participants will be happy to give interviews. For more information, please contact aballou@hampshire.edu.