Meet this year's Student Group Co-Coordinators!

We’re so excited to introduce you to this year’s CLPP Student Group co-coordinators! Members of the CLPP Student Group are integral in making conference happen, from staffing registration, to coordinating childcare, to creating safer spaces for participants, and much more. In addition to their work during conference, throughout the year Student Group members host events, coordinate trainings, and are reproductive justice activists and organizers on Hampshire’s campus and beyond.

Our Student Group co-coordinators serve as liaisons between CLPP staff and students. They take on an enhanced role in conference planning and help create workshops and panels; they lead and facilitate trainings and discussions; and they create opportunities for students to connect with each other and build bridges between students’ social justice activism and academic work. We are continually inspired by the knowledge, drive, and passion of our Student Group co-coordinators, and can’t wait to work with them over the course of the upcoming year.

And now, in their own words - meet IonaPearl and Rachael! 

IonaPearl Reid-Eaton is a feminist and third year student at Hampshire College studying Reproductive Justice, Sexuality Education and Journalism. A Programs Intern with CLPP since her first semester at Hampshire (F13), IonaPearl was also a member of the CLPP Student Group and served as co-chair for the Accessibility, Hospitality and Transportation committee for two years. In her free time, IonaPearl enjoys reading (Our Bodies, Ourselves), eating (Sour Patch Children) and climbing (the Hampshire Tree). IonaPearl is honored to serve as a co-coordinator for student group this year and is excited for this year’s conference and CLPP’s 35th anniversary!

What are you excited about for this upcoming year?

I am most excited about this year's programming/lead up to conference, and then conference itself. I'm excited to get more people involved with CLPP and increase understanding of reproductive justice on Hampus and throughout the community.

What was your favorite part of conference last year/what would you like to see again?

One of my favorite parts of conference last year was the Papaya Workshop on the Manual Vacuum Aspiration Abortion. That experience, in addition to the heartfelt, deeply personal conference evaluations we received, solidified my decision to become an abortion provider.

And our favorite question: What does reproductive justice mean to you?

Tough question – it means so many things! To me, reproductive justice means that I can live the life I want. To me, RJ means that everyone has access to not only to abortion, but safe drinking water, regardless of where they live. To me, RJ means that a child in Texas doesn't think that they're dying when they get their first period, that a trans teenager in Washington doesn't have to be afraid to go to school for fear of being bullied, that I don’t have to be paranoid when I walk around New York with condoms in my purse, and so much more.

Rachael Strickler is a third year student at Hampshire College.This will be her second year as one of CLPP’s Student Group coordinators. Being part of CLPP has been a life-changing experience for her in all of the best ways possible. It has been a whirlwind of incredible opportunities to learn, explore, and act. She hopes to provide others with experiences similar to her own and to ensure everyone, from student group members to conference speakers, not only has a positive experience but also an empowering one in an atmosphere explicitly intended to fight oppressions and encourage growth. In her academic and personal ventures she hopes to learn what can be done to work towards and achieve positive and sustainable social change. In her studies, Rachael critically analyzes issues of injustice and oppression using a reproductive justice lens as her guide and focusing on the carceral state. 

What are you excited about for this upcoming year?

I’m unbelievably excited to be back working with everyone. Last year was a dream, better than I could have ever expected, and I can’t wait to see what this year will be like. Having already been in this position, I’m more comfortable with the day-to-day aspects of the job so I feel we can start doing some of the bigger picture projects we spoke about last year but weren’t able to get around to doing. I’m excited about connecting more with other activists and activist groups on campus to see what kind of work we can do, conversations we can have, and change we can achieve when we come together. More than anything, I’m excited to see what will happen and to be surrounded by such incredible people while it all plays out.

What was your favorite part of conference last year?

I think in the end all of the things that made it so incredible circle back to the people. It was inspiring to see how enthusiastic, engaged, and empowered everyone was. One thing I loved seeing was how open all the conference participants were to learning. Last year, my former co-coordinator Namrata and I sat down with Loretta Ross after her lecture to discuss some of the questions she had received. As were were trying to work through our ideas, we were joined by some other participants, and we all challenged, rebutted, and questioned one another for at least twenty minutes. So much growth and openness was present in that conversation, and to me it encapsulated a lot of what the conference is about. No matter who you are in the movement, there is a place for you, there is learning to be done, there is room to grow, and there is the passion needed to make it happen. I hope to see similar engagements between participants this year!

And our favorite question: What does reproductive justice mean to you?

I’ve been incredibly passionate about a multiplicity of social justice issues for as long as I could remember, but I struggled as a result of the often divisive and isolating nature of many social justice movements. I quickly recognized how inextricably intertwined these issues were, but remained unsure of where intersectionality was not only being recognized but also addressed. As soon as I found the reproductive justice movement, I knew I had found my place. I believe that RJ is a powerful force for not only connecting people across what often seem like impenetrable socially constructed boundaries, but also for creating a platform for a larger human rights movement. Reproductive justice reminds us of how absolutely necessary it is that we be inclusive and holistic as we fight for something and not just against something. As the movement makes clear, there is not just one person, not just one story, and so there is not just one reproductive justice. To me, RJ is about being whole and empowered.

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