ChoiceWords Blog

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,… Read more »

A Letter from Our Executive Director

When I walked into URGE in January 2000 as the Maxine Water Reproductive Freedom Fellow, I didn’t know what it meant for me to be a leader. All I knew was that I wanted to do good work and I wanted to do that in community with good folks. For me, and for so many others, URGE is a part of that community. From the Abortion Positive billboards in Kansas to the 16 #noborderwall resolutions passed in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to the fight to #BeBoldEndHyde with All* Above All, URGE has shown up in our movement in ways I only dreamed of when I first took over as Executive Director 10 years ago. We have more than tripled our budget and doubled the number of staff with… Read more »

Alumni Spotlight: Kimberly Inez McGuire Cordero

School: Hampshire College Major: Race, Gender, and the Citizen: Constructing Political Identities Grad year: 2006 How were you involved with URGE? I was hired as an URGE intern (back when it was ChoiceUSA!) the summer of 2005 as part of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy program Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps. I had the pleasure of working with the program team to put together the Gloria Steinem Leadership Institute that year and got to meet many of the amazing URGE student leaders. What do you do now, and how do you bring a reproductive justice framework to the work you do? Today, I’m a Senior Program Director with ConwayStrategic, a queer- and woman-owned communications firm based on Washington, D.C. I’ve spent the last decade working for reproductive justice for… Read more »

The 2017 Reproductive Justice Leadership Intsitute

We started the school year off as we usually do, with 5 state-based reproductive leadership institutes! We had so many new advocates convene in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, and Kansas to learn more about reproductive justice and how to apply it to every single thing we do as advocates for true justice for all. Take a look at some of our favorite shots from RJLI season!  

Executive Director Kierra Johnson to Step Down After 10 Years of Visionary Leadership

The Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE) Board of directors today announced that Kierra Johnson will be stepping down as Executive Director.  After 17 years at URGE, and 10 as Executive Director, Kierra will depart at the end of this year to become the Deputy Executive Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force. “It’s been a joy and an honor to be Executive Director of URGE for the past 10 years and work alongside such amazing young people and dedicated staff,” said Johnson. “There is renewed energy in the reproductive justice and progressive movements and, because of the work we’ve done to center young people, especially young people of color, our movement is fortified with well-trained and highly capable leaders and activists. While it is hard to leave this… Read more »

Alumni Spotlight: Ashley and Paul Brink

Ashley Brink School: Wichita State University Grad year: 2014 Majors: Sociology, Women’s Studies, Psychology, Criminal Justice How were you involved with URGE? I was the President of our chapter at WSU from Fall 2012 through Spring 2014. At the time, the national group was called Choice USA, and I had the opportunity to affiliate our campus group called Feminists on Campus Uniting Students (FOCUS) with Choice USA. It was an incredibly important step for our group, and the support that we received from the national organization allowed us to expand our presence on campus significantly. What do you do now, and how do you bring a reproductive justice framework to the work you do? Reproductive justice is everything that I do. I am currently a Traveling Health Center Assistant with Planned Parenthood of… Read more »

Congratulations to our 2017 Graduates!

We’re taking a moment to acknowledge our graduating members from across the country! We can’t wait to see where the end up next, and how reproductive justice will play a role in their lives. Read on to see what some of graduates will be up to.   Name Gabrielle Winger School Bowling Green State University What did you study in college? Apparel Merchandising How did being a student activist with URGE impact your experience in college? Being a student activist with URGE, starting with my involvement with the feminist organization on campus that lead into my involvement with URGE, played a huge role in shaping both my politics and activism during my college career. I can’t imagine navigating my undergraduate career without being introduced to URGE. This year, my senior year, I was able… Read more »

Alumni Spotlight: Justina Trim

School: Georgia State University-Atlanta, GA Grad year: May 2015 Major: Sociology with a concentration in Race and Urban Studies Minor: Psychology 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… Read more »

2017 Advocacy Days

Since the election of Donald Trump, social justice advocates have had their already-hard work cut out for them. From the Muslim ban to ICE detentions to the global gag rule, the new administration has worked at every turn to undermine civil rights and liberty. Luckily, all of these attacks on decency have only spurred people to action. Town halls and lobby days nationwide have been blowing up, and groups like Indivisible and Young Invincibles have encouraged thousands of everyday citizens to become local activists for their neighbors and friends. In that same vein, our 2017 advocacy days took 5 statehouses by storm, advocating against abortion restrictions and in favor of sexual assault protections, comprehensive sex education, and sanctuary cities. Ohio In Ohio we had more than 50 activists who were ready… Read more »

We Were There: URGE at The Women’s March on Washington & Beyond

The Trump Administration was less than 24 hours old when we took to the streets with millions of others for the Women’s March on Washington and in four other states. With Trump’s Administration taking the first steps towards dismantling every protection we stand up for, we’re remembering the importance of solidarity and mobilizing together. Washington, DC The nation’s capital was overflowing with Women’s March supporters throughout Inauguration weekend. Over 1000 buses registered for permits, bringing hundreds of thousands of activists to Trump’s doorstep to protest hate. URGE was there in full force, with staff and students from Ohio in attendance. Friday’s pre-march (un)Happy Hour, co-hosted with United We Dream and NAACP Youth and College Division, was a success! 200+ march supporters spent Inauguration evening making signs of protest, dancing, and listening… Read more »