ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: URGE Staff

Artists We Love: Megan Smith

Art and the creators behind some of our favorite work have changed as digital media maintains its hold on audiences the world over. Instagram has become the world’s museum, and finding and appreciating art has become easier than ever. This summer, we want to take a minute to appreciate some of our favorite artists who create work that inspires and excites us as reproductive justice advocates, intersectional feminists, and culture agitators. Click here to see more from the Artists We Love series. Artist Name: Megan Smith What encouraged you to become an artist? I come from a creative family. My grandmother is a painter and so from an early age I was around someone who not only was creating work but who also was teaching me about color, perspective, and, less-overtly, about… Read more »

Artists We Love: Laura Berger

Art and the creators behind some of our favorite work have changed as digital media maintains its hold on audiences the world over. Instagram has become the world’s museum, and finding and appreciating art has become easier than ever. This summer, we want to take a minute to appreciate some of our favorite artists who create work that inspires and excites us as reproductive justice advocates, intersectional feminists, and culture agitators. Click here to see more from the Artists We Love series. Artist: Laura Berger, Painter What encouraged you to become an artist? I was always active in a lot of creative things growing up — I painted, drew, did theatre, sang, danced, and played instruments.  When I was 27, my father got ill at age 60 and died quite suddenly. … Read more »

Summer Series: Artists We Love

Art and the creators behind some of our favorite work have changed as digital media maintains its hold on audiences the world over. Instagram has become the world’s museum, and finding and appreciating art has become easier than ever. This summer, we want to take a minute to appreciate some of our favorite artists who create work that inspires and excites us as reproductive justice advocates, intersectional feminists, and culture agitators. Click here to see more from the Artists We Love series. Artist: Sonya Renee, Writer What encouraged you to become an artist? I have always been an artist since I was a child. I started writing poetry in 6th grade. I went to performing arts schools from middle school through high school. I sang in Concert Choir and did plays… Read more »

Why You Shouldn’t Let Self-Doubt Keep You From Celebrating Your Success

In my first year of college, I applied to join my university’s honors program. Even though I was already attending my “reach” school, I had done well during my first year of college, so I applied. Much to everyone’s surprise, I got in. As soon as my first honors program class started, I knew I was in over my head. All of the students around me were talking about their favorite philosophers and unbelievable internships. They tossed around words like “vociferous “ casually, and leaned back in their fancy leather chairs as if they were born to be in the honors program. You know the type. This was my first philosophy class ever. The readings were dense and difficult. The paper prompts were daunting. The oral presentations were intimidating. While… Read more »

The New LGBTQ Health Measure You Need To Know About

Last week was historical for the transgender community. In the span of five days we saw the U.S. Government sue North Carolina over their discriminatory bathroom bill, HB 2, arguing that it violates federal law; we watched the U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, deliver a powerful public speech on transgender rights and equality; President Obama directed public schools to allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom fits their gender identity; and, finally, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a nondiscrimination ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), banning discrimination in the healthcare context based on gender identity or sex. It was a big week. Rounding out the week was the ACA nondiscrimination rule. This ruling deserves additional attention, not only because of the immediate and widespread impact… Read more »

How to Make Money While Making Change: Come Blog for Us!

Got a story on intersectional feminism, reproductive rights, or abortion access burning a hole in your chest? Come write for us! As a student blogger for URGE, you represent one of the many young voices we lift up everyday on campuses in Kansas, Ohio, California, Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. Our staff is always looking for diverse voices that can resonate with young people across the country, and we want to give six students that opportunity. Writing for URGE means more than you may think. Firstly, YOU’LL GET PAID (that in and of itself should make you wanna apply, right?), and your pieces will be featured on our website and shared on all social media platforms on the national level. Your voice, your story could contribute to the national conversations on… Read more »

On Solidarity and the Movement for Black Lives

Two weeks ago, an anti-choice group released heavily-edited undercover videos aimed at discrediting and potentially dismantling Planned Parenthood. As the country’s largest provider of reproductive health care, this campaign to take down Planned Parenthood could have disastrous effects on the millions who need access to abortion and other healthcare services. The movement for reproductive health, rights, and justice swiftly rallied to Planned Parenthood’s defense against these malicious attack. Here at URGE, we did the same and were one of 92 organizations that signed on to a letter to Congress in support of Planned Parenthood’s work. Our movements  worked quickly to stand in solidarity against these attacks — that’s a good thing — but we also hope we can use this as a moment to bring our solidarity to another vital… Read more »

Being A Black Woman in the Reproductive Justice Movement

I recently asked one of my black female friends about her activism. “Why don’t you feel connected to reproductive justice and reproductive health work?” Her response was, “Access to abortion is important, but we are getting killed for simply existing. I want to focus on that.” I understood where she was coming from, because I definitely felt that exasperation too. Like many of us, I was not always familiar with the concept of reproductive justice or even feminism. These were terms I had loosely heard about before, and I vaguely remember in high school reading a Seventeen magazine article about it, but that was the gist of my exposure to it at that time. I grew up in the South—southern hospitality, really amazing sweet tea, and mouth-watering soul food are… Read more »

What Could King v. Burwell Mean for Young People?

The Supreme Court is poised to release a decision on the King v. Burwell case any day. This case may have not received the attention it deserves for its possibly devastating outcome, especially for young people. Many people have discussed this case in terms of tax credits, something that young people may not think about very much. However, if the plaintiffs are successful, it would mean that any state using the federal government’s infrastructure for its healthcare exchange would not be able to receive federal financial assistance. Currently, that financial assistance in the form of tax credits helps low- and middle-income people pay their monthly insurance premiums. Without that assistance, monthly payments will increase substantially. For example, in Alabama where the average monthly insurance payment in 2013 was $178, that… Read more »