Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Wenstrup-Moore
University of Cincinnati, 2002, Women’s Studies
University of Strathclyde, 2006, Social Research
I was the first ever graduate with a BA in WSTU from UC!
How were you involved with URGE?
I attended the Gloria Steinem Leadership Institute in the 2002 and just fell in love with the infectious activism and work that then Choice USA did. I then was a Fundraising Intern over the summer of 2003 in the DC office.
What do you do now and how have you brought a reproductive justice frame to the work you do?
I’m the Senior Social Strategist and Community Manager at Barefoot Proximity in Cincinnati, Ohio. I just moved back to Cincinnati after living in Glasgow, Scotland for 11 years. While reproductive justice isn’t necessarily at the forefront of my work, social media has been an amazing tool to educate and spread the movement.
What skills or knowledge did you learn from URGE that you use in your current work/life?
I think the most important thing I learned was just how important a supportive team around you is. Having people who truly believe and trust in you will help you succeed. The people around you really do matter and having people who value what you value and are committed to the work. For me it is important to be passionate about what I do and when you love what you do and truly believe in it you’ll thrive.
What are your top priorities in politics and/or reproductive justice?
Women’s bodies are actively under attack in Ohio and for me my number one priority is ensuring that the two remaining abortion providers in South West Ohio remain open and continue to provide life-saving reproductive health care to women in Greater Cincinnati.
Second, I have a 5 1/2 year old son and a 1 year old daughter; moving from Scotland back to the USA I don’t want them to not have the same bodily autonomy here that they had there. In Scotland birth control is free and I actually helped roll out a holistic sexual health education that started from kindergarten! I want to make sure that my children are given access to not just health care, but also education.
Who inspires you?
One of my biggest inspirations is my friend Vanessa, who’s raising awareness for transgender issues. She is raising her daughter Ellie exactly the same way I’m raising my daughter and doing everything in her power to show that Ellie is a little girl just like any other little girl, she just happens to not biologically be born female. Ellie is so lucky to be surrounded by unconditional love and support but we know that isn’t the case for many transgender children and teens.
As a mother, it is of the upmost importance to me that we teach our children that love is love and people are people. Not everyone is the same (that would be boring) but everyone is important.