Spring 2020 Newsletter

Civil Liberties and Public Policy

Dear CLPP family: 

We are thinking of you, our beloved community of students, alums, activists, supporters and friends. We hope you all are well--healthy, safe, and finding ways to take care of yourself in the midst of these uncertain and challenging times. Please stay in touch and let us know how you are.

We know that folks who were already facing barriers to reproductive justice--communities of color, immigrants, people with low-incomes, and those who are incarcerated--are likely to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From loss of income and domestic violence to food insecurity, the crisis will have a deep and long-lasting impact on our most vulnerable communities. With health services overburdened, politicians are calling for abortion to be categorized as a non-essential procedure, and access to contraception, birthing supports, and pre and post-natal care are dwindling.

This means there will continue to be a great need for activists and leaders working to maintain access to reproductive health in the midst of this crisis, helping folks recover from significant losses after the fact, and creating systemic change so all communities can create their families in supported, safe and healthy environments, free of oppression.




Programs Update: 

CLPP is continuing its important work: supporting activists, leaders, and organizations working for reproductive justice in this moment, as well as preparing new generations of activists and leaders who will be vital in our country’s long road to recovery. While our in-person programming is suspended, we are exploring ways to continue our work virtually--all the while centering people's humanity and needs in this time.

Campus Organizing 

Even though our campuses have closed, we are committed to supporting the students working with us right now as part of our staff team and who have been part of our student group this year. We've created resources to keep them virtually connected, continue to support their learning with weekly check-ins, and are developing new ways for them to engage.

Annual Activist Conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom 

For the first time in 34 years, we had to cancel the annual CLPP conference, scheduled for April 3-5. Like you, we are moving forward in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our communities, but we are so disappointed that we won't be able to convene this dynamic, important, movement space, to see so many of you face-to-face, and to build community.

We are organizing new ways to offer alternative programming virtually or in-person in the coming months. We are excited to be working with SPARK Reproductive Justice Now to shift some of our planned conference sessions to JusticeNow2020, which will take place in Atlanta from November 20-22, 2020. We hope you can join us there!


Summer Internships (the Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps) 

Last month, we finalized our corps of 2020 interns--undergraduates who would complete paid 10-week internships at organizations across the country with an emphasis on southern and predominately red states. We are working closely with both host organizations and interns, exploring possibilities for virtual work when needed.

NLNI: New Leadership Networking Initiative

Newer members and alums of our New Leadership Networking Initiative met in Puerto Rico in January for a winter retreat “grounded in radical love.” In addition to our goals of facilitating networking, reflection, and respite, we asked participants to help us assess our programs’ impact and explore ways we can shift to meet continuing movement needs. This summer, we are excited to incorporate this feedback to better support new and emerging leaders, broaden participants’ activist networks, and open opportunities for new collaborations. We will next convene the network in the fall of 2020.

Staff Members 

While our staff members work creatively to continue supporting activists and leaders on the front lines, we are also taking care of each other. Staff are working from home and we are supporting one another in this new reality with shifts in work hours and workloads, stipends to support life and work needs, as well as understanding, care, and kindness.


Big Picture:


Since spinning out from Hampshire College last year, we've strengthened our core programming by creating a new organizational structure and financial home for CLPP. We are now operating as a newly incorporated nonprofit, fiscally sponsored by TSNE MissionWorks. These changes have provided CLPP with long-term sustainability and financial security, as well as the opportunity to deepen our national work.

We've been collecting and analyzing data about the RJ field, funding, and our own long-term impact, as well as researching alternative models of academic-activist programs. With the pandemic pausing our in-person programming, we are piloting collaborations and initiatives that will build relationships with new partners, develop new capacity, and help us to learn and grow.  We'll head into a strategic visioning process this spring with expansive dreams, deep research, and new learning!




Join Us:

We are committed to continuing to support front-line activists and organizations while building the next generation of reproductive justice leaders. We know we will need all of us when we emerge from the present crisis. We hope you stay engaged with CLPP, and that you and your communities are staying safe, finding support, and building resilience together.

In solidarity,

CLPP Staff



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Civil Liberties and Public Policy
893 West Street,
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002
clpp@hampshire.edu | p: 413.559.6976 | f: 413.559.5826

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