Spotlight

2018 Generation 2 Generation Awards and Celebration

URGE is ready to celebrate with advocates and friends from the reproductive justice movement at the Generation 2 Generation Celebration. 2016 was truly amazing, and we think we’ll outdo ourselves this year.

Come celebrate all the power reproductive justice advocates have built this year, while enjoying delicious food, an open bar, and a night of dancing on June 15 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate the best of the reproductive justice movement with fellow activists!

Get your tickets or organizational sponsorship now!

Congratulations to our inspiring 2018 awardees. We’re honoring activists who are changing their communities and our country with the power of grassroots campaigns, social media, and advocacy education. Check out this year’s newest crop of social justice advocates and get inspired, too!

Keynote Speaker

Alicia Garza, Social Activist & Co-Creator Of #BlackLivesMatter

Social justice activist and organizer Alicia Garza shares her unflinching call-to-action against discrimination in the U.S. while galvanizing individuals to fight for freedom and justice for all black lives.

As co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Alicia helped transform what was once a viral hashtag and social media force into a grassroots national organization and a global human rights movement. In response to the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Alicia—along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors—sparked a worldwide phenomenon and an organizing network focused on combatting anti-black state sanctioned violence that now boasts more than 26 chapters internationally.

Currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Alicia has dedicated her life and career to fighting for equality and justice for all. Her work has earned her numerous awards, including being featured on the Root 100 2016 list of African American Achievers & Influencers and the POLITICO 50 guide of thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics.

Alicia serves as a beacon for those fighting anti-black racism and state-sanctioned violence, spurring everyday people to stand together to transform society into a world where Black Lives Matter, once and for all. Empowering and eye-opening, she challenges us to recognize and celebrate the contributions of all black lives, so that we can truly be a world where everyone is valued, respected and can live with dignity.

2018 G2G Awardees

The Steinem-Waters Legacy Award: Cristina Jiménez, United We Dream

Cristina Jiménez is Executive Director & Co-founder of United We Dream (UWD), the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. Originally from Ecuador, Cristina came to the U.S. with her family at the age of 13, attending high school and college as an undocumented student. She has been organizing in immigrant communities for over a decade and was part of UWD’s campaign team that led to the historic victory of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 that protects close to a million young immigrants from deportation. Under Cristina’s leadership UWD has grown to a powerful network of 57 affiliates in 25 states with over 400,000 members.

In October 2017, Cristina was a named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her work as a social justice organizer. Cristina is also one of Forbes’s 2014 “30 under 30 in Law and Policy;” and was named one of “40 under 40 Young Leaders Who are Solving Problems of Today and Tomorrow” by the Chronicle of Philanthropy; one of “50 Fearless Women” by Cosmopolitan; and one of 25 disruptive leaders who are working to close the racial opportunity gap by Living Cities. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Letters & Humanities by Wesleyan University. She was also awarded the Creative Change Award.

She has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, the LA Times, ABC, NPR, The Huffington Post, Univision, Telemundo, and La Opinion. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy (NCRP), Hazen Foundation, and Make the Road Action Fund.

Cristina co-founded the New York State Youth Leadership Council, the Dream Mentorship Program at Queens College, was an immigration policy analyst for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and an immigrant rights organizer at Make the Road New York. Cristina holds a Masters degree in Public Administration & Public Policy from the School of Public of Affairs at Baruch College, CUNY and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Queens College, CUNY.

The Excellence in Leadership Award: Justina Trim, SisterSong

Justina is a graduate of Georgia State University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Race and Urban Studies concentration and a Psychology Minor. She became exposed to Reproductive Justice work, analysis, and the framework when she interned at SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective during her junior year of her undergraduate studies.

Her first big assignment was to help stage a national protest of the incarceration of Marissa Alexander, a domestic violence victim who defended herself from her attacker. Marissa Alexander’s story really exemplified the RJ framework in action and inspired her to learn more and contribute to this movement by interning at URGE where she advocated for youth leadership.

She is currently the Program Coordinator at SisterSong and responsible for holding, creating, and coordinating safe spaces for movement leaders to strategize and advocate for protecting our bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom.

She is deeply engaged in highlighting all the intersections the Reproductive Justice framework illuminates; she truly believes in the vision in which we can create a world where we are all able to bring our whole selves into every space we enter.

Outstanding Chapter Award: URGE at University of Georgia

The University of Georgia’s URGE chapter had been circling the drain for several years before its’ revitalization, but today, only one year after its’ re-establishment with the University, URGE at UGA is a loud, local voice for positive change. Demanding reproductive justice and gender equity not only on UGA’s campus, but in the surrounding community of Athens, GA has been a central goal of the newly re-structured leadership board throughout the year. Through focusing on RJ issues in the community, URGE at UGA has found its niche in the cause and, in turn, many students have found their place with URGE.

Collaboration with like-minded organizations has been another of the founding principles of the chapter’s re-invigoration. The Community Relations Chair, one leadership position of the current six, is dedicated solely to the cultivation of relationships between our chapter and activists fighting for reproductive justice—though they may not have called it RJ until they met us. Stephanie Flores held this position with ferocity and dignity all year, forging bonds with the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, Progressive Action Coalition, the extremely successful ICE Out of Athens campaign, and more. In tandem with these organizations, the UGA chapter has hosted NASTY Week and the Students for Life Counter-Protest (complete with technicolor vegan vulva cookies and paper affirmations) in the Fall. In the Spring, the chapter brought students to Atlanta for URGE’s state-wide Advocacy Day (which the chapter re-titled “A Day of Ass-Kicking”), registered students to vote, hosted Sexual Assault Awareness Week, with the “Rape Happens at UGA” movement, a “How to Keep Downtown Safe for Women of Color” Panel, and the URGE’d & Unheard Open Mic Night which raised over $130 for our chapter and The Cottage, a local women’s shelter.

URGE at UGA has prioritized creative expression through our NASTY Zine and Open Mic Night because the chapter believes that healing and community are vital to URGE at UGA’s work. Our numbers have exploded this year with new members joining, but much of the hustle has been thanks to a small group of committed leadership members. Ursula McPherson-Vitkus, the only remaining member of the “old URGE” and current chapter president, asked Stephanie Flores, Emily Nalwasky, and Dorothy Rau to join her in leadership in April of 2017. Since then, Alena Skyer and Claire Warren have joined ranks and the chapter has worked hard to build a foundation from which tangible improvements can be demanded. Moving optimistically into the future, Claire and Alena (as co-Presidents of the chapter) hope to build a dedicated general membership body and begin to make some of those demands of the Powers that be, starting with Georgia’s formidable public university system.

 

Thank you to our sponsors for their support!

Advocates for Youth

National LGBTQ Task Force

National Network of Abortion Funds

SIECUS