Em-URGE-ing Voices


Name + Pronouns: Shakristal W. + they/she
Favorite Writer: Audre Lorde and R.F Kuang
Hidden Talent: I can wiggle my ears!

Bio: Born and raised in Alabama, Shakristal is a Black, non-binary person proudly from the South. They hold an undergraduate degree in Public Health with minors in Creative Writing and Women's Studies. Additionally, she recently received her Master's degree in Public Health with the intention of eliminating sexual health disparities for marginalized communities—specifically those who are low-income/rural, LGBTQIA+, and/or Black. Shakristal's additional interests include comprehensive sexual education and birth work for low-income/Black women where she remains dedicated to achieving reproductive justice through creative advocacy and intervention.

In their free time, Shakristal enjoys playing video games, reading, writing, lifting weights, and cooking at home.

Posts By: Shakristal W

Avoiding Burnout for Youth Activists

From Roe vs. Wade being overturned to abortion bans and various policies and rulings that have put basic rights under attack, Gen Z are dealing with immense amounts of injustice and threats that will have a disproportionate impact on their rights. Emboldened by either their personal experiences, their connection with their peers, or their need to create safe spaces for their identities/beliefs, an increasing number of young people are engaging in activism to channel their despair and anger into positive action for change. For many, activism can become a means for dealing with the stress and frustrations caused by institutional wrongs and oppressions. Many youths find that becoming involved in activism lessens their essential dread and offers them a sense of community and agency.  However, despite the benefits, activism can… Read more »

Housing Justice is Reproductive Justice

Illustration by Nina Yagual x @abeautifulhoodcrumb “A home that is stable, affordable and secure not only means that we are able to curate a life full of color, tradition, and magic, but it also paves a way for ongoing health and happiness for future generations.” — Nina Yagual Sistersong, a national organization and reproductive justice collective, defines reproductive justice as the following:  However, how can someone obtain consistent prenatal care if they are experiencing homelessness and are transient? How can a person parent their child safely if they live in substandard housing? How can people afford an abortion or health insurance for contraceptives if they’re spending over one-third of their income on rent alone?  The current housing crisis is a threat to the reproductive justice movement as housing insecurity threatens… Read more »