Alumni Spotlight: Justina Trim
How were you involved with URGE?
I was the Communications intern at URGE the summer of 2015 (right after graduation). I took photos and assisted in planning and preparing for URGE’s national student conference. I tabled at various reproductive justice conferences in DC, updated the website and added new blog posts to ChoiceWords.
What do you do now and how do you bring a reproductive justice frame to the work you do?
Currently, I am the Membership and Program Coordinator at SisterSong: National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. SisterSong is one of the organizations that helped bring the reproductive justice framework and analysis to the forefront within the reproductive health and reproductive rights movements. Part of our work is facilitating a wide variety of trainings. I thoroughly enjoy facilitating reproductive justice, racial justice, and Trust Black Women trainings all over the country because I have realized one of my passions is being able to see people understand that reproductive justice isn’t an academic or far-fetched framework—It’s real life. Reproductive oppression is permeated all throughout society. It’s the way you are treated when you walk down the street at night. It’s the way that children who are born in low-income communities are more likely to develop asthma, because power plants are strategically placed in nearby areas, making the air toxic to surrounding households. It’s when it takes longer for you to buy Plan B at the drugstore. It’s that feeling in your chest that you had when Tamir Rice was shot and killed at 12 years old. Once that light bulb goes off, I can instinctively feel the spark. It’s a powerful thing to witness, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hold gratitude to assist folks in learning what reproductive justice is, and using the idea of bodily autonomy for empowerment and inciting folks to start their journey for their personal liberation. I also coordinate and help plan SisterSong’s events and national conferences, as well as moving communication between our national groups and campaigns.
What skills or knowledge did you learn from URGE that you use in your current work/life?
I learned a lot of web design, as well as navigating word press, and just general html knowledge as well as improving my writing because I had to submit blog posts. Also assisting in the planning process as well as just helping throughout URGE’s national conference was good preparation for planning and coordinating events for SisterSong, which is what I primarily do.
What are your top priorities in politics and/or reproductive justice?
Some of my top priorities include centering Black women’s leadership and expertise as well as highlighting the intersections of reproductive justice with all movements. Amplifying how the destruction of marginalized communities all connects under the reproductive justice framework is one of my main priorities. I think connection and relatability is something that we have to use in order to help people understand that folks are being impacted in real and intense ways. One of the ways to do that is making folks understand that certain policies and issues can directly impact them, and the people they love within the communities they reside in.
Who inspires you?
I find inspiration from various people. Everyone I encountered in the RJ movement. They are the most brilliant and inclusive set of people in the world and I’m extremely grateful and honored to be doing this work alongside them. All of my SisterSong fam. My sister who taught me about compassion and the importance of community building early on in my life. My community also inspires me. My tribe. My entire family. And this isn’t necessarily a “who”—but the resilience of Black people inspires me to keep pushing and going and striving for a better world to live in.