Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

URGE Launches Multimedia “Abortion Bans are Racist” Campaign on MLK Day

(Atlanta, GA) – Today, a day when we reflect on the dangerous legacy of white supremacy in the United States, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity is launching a multi-faceted media campaign to educate Georgians about the inherent racism at the foundation of abortion bans. This campaign will run throughout January and include social posts, pandora ads, street decals, posters, and two billboards in the Atlanta area that state: Abortion Bans are Racist.  “In Georgia, we know all too well how harmful abortion bans are to our Black and brown communities, pushing essential health care out of reach. It was this way before last year’s Supreme Court decision, and now the situation is even more dire,” said Toni Watkins (she/her), Georgia resident and Voter Engagement Director at URGE. “Last November and… Read more »

Covid-19 is Here for the Long Haul; Here’s How to Make Sure You Are Too

Covid-19 has changed the world forever, and we need to act accordingly now. It can be helpful to think of Covid precautions like sexual health precautions. Covid is here for the long haul, so even though it’s becoming more impossible to have zero risk and exposure, there are likely several methods you could employ to make a situation safer. And while it’s more than understandable if you’d rather stay home to avoid infection, there are many steps in between never leaving your house and acting like the pandemic never happened (and isn’t ongoing). It’s here to stay, so act accordingly.  The problem of aerosols  It’s commonly accepted that Covid spreads through direct human contact and liquid droplets in the air and we can see the material effects of that impact…. Read more »

Environmental justice is to reproductive justice as water is to life

Environmental justice is essential in the fight for reproductive rights. Without the planet and the nutrients it provides for us to thrive and grow, how would we survive? How could we live to fight another day towards gender equity and reproductive access? Ecofeminism “argues that the domination of women and the degradation of the environment are consequences of patriarchy and capitalism”. The climate crisis is an attack on our reproductive rights. We cannot live the lives we choose and create the families we want to raise when we become environmental refugees in the ongoing climate crisis.  While it may alleviate some of the personal responsibility each of us feels, carrying a metal straw in our bags will not save the earth. On an individual level, every one of us should… Read more »

Moving Beyond Breaking News: Integrating Reproductive Justice Into Our Daily Lives

Since taking action when witnessing injustice is motivated by the ability to care and feel compassion for others, Stanford researcher Erika Rosenberg states, “doing something for the benefit of others, is first noticing what something or someone means to you.” This was crucial to my own activism journey as, in the past, I tended to pick and choose which issues I wanted to care about and which ones to ignore altogether. Understanding that they all connect and inform one another was what motivated me to fully strap into the fight for Reproductive Justice. While I felt guilty that it took me only this past year to truly face these issues, I learned that it was never too late to foster sustainable activism. The importance of this type of activism was… Read more »

Towards safe and sustainable communities

content warning: mentions of racial and queer violence Reproductive Justice has become a buzzword in politics due to the increased attention around Roe v. Wade and what that means for abortion rights for many communities that will be impacted by these access bans. However, it is easy to forget that Reproductive Justice is more than just cultural currency, and more than a concern around the choice to give birth and to raise children, but goes deeper to the roots of collective liberation for all peoples. SisterSong, a Reproductive Justice organization that centers Indigenous peoples, women of color, and trans and gender expansive peoples defines Reproductive Justice as “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable… Read more »

Beyond Voter Turnout: Re-centering Voter Suppression’s Real Threat to Democracy

The 2022 midterm and runoff elections have proven to be another contentious voting season in Georgia. And while Raphael Warnock ultimately came out on top, many Democrats were anxiously waiting to see the impacts of voter suppression with the Republican-controlled legislature passing Senate Bill 202 or the Election Integrity Act in 2021. Despite these barriers, with the fall of Roe in June, several leaders of political organizations predicted voters would turn out to cast their ballots to decide who will be in charge of the future of abortion rights in the U.S. And with the record-breaking turnout in Georgia’s runoff elections, it’s apparent that more and more voters want their voices heard. It might be easy to dismiss voter suppression as a relic of the past, but voter suppression in… Read more »

An Asian American lens of reproductive rights

The rise in anti-Asian hate crimes brings increased attention to Asian American issues The term ‘Asian American’ was coined by Asian graduate students, Emma Gee and Yuji Ichioka, during a critical point in time for social justice movements in the sixties. Gee and Ichioka saw the importance of collective solidarity in Asian American civil rights, borne out of necessity and the realization that non-Asian Americans often fail to recognize sub-group differences, mistaking one ethnicity for another and making broad assumptions across all ethnicities. A horrific example of this was during the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, when non-Japanese Asian Americans were required to wear badges denoting their ethnicity, or risk being lumped in among the Japanese Americans relocated to internment camps. While collective solidarity continues to be… Read more »

How We Can Sustain Our Activism in 2023

As 2022 comes to an end with the holiday season, times for reflection naturally bubble up to the surface, propelling us to look inward and outward, as we intimately face the year past. Because of this, the holidays often bring up feelings of gratitude and melancholy for me. I get frozen by loneliness, comparison, and the sun disappearing at 5 P.M., yet warmed by home-cooked meals and the earthy scents of never-ending candles. Having feelings exist in opposition is similar to how I’ve felt about social justice activism in my own spaces this year. There’s a feeling of invigoration by conversations about justice and liberation, yet dismay as they all fall short of any substantial action. I’ve noticed this to be common amongst my generation of peers, where we feel… Read more »

Florida’s legislation continues to target LGBTQ+ young peoples and their futures

As a high school student in Florida, I served two years as the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) president. I faced resistance from my school’s administration, who would not provide GSA funding, allow us to honor historical LGBTQ+ stories, or even advertise the existence of GSA. In many ways, the administration forced its LGBTQ+ students “underground,” actively erasing our existence from the school’s culture. Despite that, we found solace in a communal space in which we could express our joys and pains of being LGBTQ+.  Following these recent violations of Florida LGBTQ+ rights, however, Florida’s young LGBTQ+ people will have even less than I had in my youth. Young people in America are living in unprecedented times with many fears and uncertainties. While “unprecedented times” have been referenced countlessly  in the context… Read more »

Why the Fight for Abortion Rights Still Matters in California

The day Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24th, I felt what many people felt: angry, sad, lost, disillusioned. And I did what many people did: checked in on friends, donated to abortion funds, reposted articles I didn’t fully read, and looked to politicians and activists for guidance on how we go from here. One that particularly stuck with me was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s remark that everyone needs to be completely “strapped in” to this fight, advocating that we shouldn’t take big historical moments like these for granted – we need collective power for the long haul now more than ever. When I heard this, I was nodding alongside the clapping emojis on her IG live, feeling invigorated to put myself into action and show up differently. After hearing… Read more »