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Posts Tagged: activism

We Won’t Go Back: Raising Youth Voices in Reproductive Justice

History was recently made in Ohio when over 300 people rallied at the capitol in Ohio for reproductive rights. I was fortunate enough to attend the We Won’t Go Back rally at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio with my Choice USA chapter (and a fellow Choice USA blogger!). At this rally, I was very inspired by the high attendance, chants and calls to action to vote and change the political climate around abortion rights in Ohio. I felt lucky to be in the presence of America’s pro-choice superstars, such as Ellie Smeal of Feminist Majority Foundation. I kept thinking of how fortunate I was to be part of something so historical and important for my generation. However, I observed something funny about the representation of the reproductive justice movement throughout… Read more »

“We Wont Go Back Rally” at the Ohio Statehouse

Today in Columbus Ohio at 11:30am, women and men from across the state will meet at the Statehouse to hold a rally. The “We Won’t Go Back Rally” is a speakout against “all the extreme attacks on women’s health” that have been happening in Ohio. For those of you who don’t know, the budget that was passed this summer was a major blow to reproductive rights. The anti-choice provisions which were sneaked into the budget include defunding Planned Parenthood, directing money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to Crisis Pregnancy Centers,  (Crisis Pregnancy Centers are notoriously coercive ) and forcing doctors to lie to their patients about abortion. So far an abortion clinic in Toledo has already been forced to close.

Abortion Access Month: Improving Access in 5 Easy Steps

September is an important month for reproductive justice activism. Besides the fact that it’s my birth month, it also happens to be Abortion Access Month. This September also marks the 38th year of the dreadful piece of legislation called the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment makes it extremely hard for low income people to access abortion care. Roe is law of the land but you wouldn’t know it with all of the 1,100  abortion and reproductive health restrictions laws introduced all over the country in 2011 alone. 2011 was “The Year of Abortion Restrictions” but 2013 may end up with even more anti-choice laws on the books. A recent Toledo closing of an abortion clinic is among the latest casualties I am seeing here in Ohio as a result the… Read more »

Making Reproductive Justice Truly Intersectional: Takeaways from #solidarityisforwhitewomen

Like many a Twitter addict, I spent a good part of last week tweeting about intersectionality (or the lack thereof) in feminist movement. The #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag started by the fabulous Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) has garnered outstanding coverage, including a great piece written by Kendall for The Guardian. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen Creator, Mikki Kendal, Speaks About Women Of Color, Feminism (VIDEO) http://t.co/tkG447o03c — HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) August 13, 2013

Steubenville, Rape Culture, and Male Responsibility

This post is part of a series celebrating Choice USA’s Bro-Choice Week of Action. For more information, please visit our website and take the Bro-Choice pledge.  In the aftermath of Steubenville, pundits and reporters have been discussing the different factors that drove the perpetrators to commit such a terrible crime. Some have suggested that it was a lack of parental involvement. Others have wondered if teen drinking is to blame. One factor that has not been discussed in great detail – and one that our society is reluctant to ponder – is our cultural definition of masculinity. One of the ways privilege functions is that we don’t question the socialization of those with power. For instance, when white men commit violent acts of terrorism the news media classifies them as “lone gunmen” who… Read more »

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I’d like to spend my last few posts recognizing some of the greatest influences that inspires me to be an advocate for social justice. I’d like to take this opportunity to shed light on someone near and dear to so many men and women of my community – Jana Mackey. This one carries a trigger and a tissue warning. Jana Mackey was a graduate of my school, The University of Kansas, with a degree in Women’s Studies and went on to attend the School of Law. She was a robust advocate for women’s rights and volunteered much of her time to working with sexual assault and domestic violence centers here in Lawrence. She was a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, which I currently have the opportunity… Read more »

The South And Marriage Equality, Part III: The Intersecti​onal Blueprint Of A Movement

From abolition to the civil rights, the American South has been the battleground for many social justice movements. When a place’s past is an intricate mural depicting so many hard-won struggles against various oppressions, it’s impossible to approach any ongoing conflict with anything but an intersectional perspective, acknowledging that all resistance to social change has originated from a common ancestor: Patriarchy. Working against patriarchy means not only working toward LGBTQ rights, but also those of women, the poor, and people of color. “Working on other issues that aren’t necessarily ‘gay issues’ may actually help to bridge whatever perceived divides there are between people of color and white gay folks. I say ‘white gay folks’ because they are “the members of the queer community most likely to be unaware of and… Read more »

Thoughts On Creating Change, Part II: Let’s Map Our Desires!

In my previous post on The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual conference, I wrote about the ways large gatherings like Creating Change help sustain LGBT activism, including queer reproductive justice activism. On the second day of Creating Change, these dialogues surrounding our bodies came to a head when I attended Sex Justice: Mapping Our Desire, an institute which lasted from dawn until dusk. According to the conference program, the session was designed to “focus on our desires: How we have shaped them and how they have shaped us. In this space, we can begin to consider: ‘What is just sex? How can my personal claiming of my desire foster more just sexual communities? Where do I begin?’ I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into. But… Read more »

Heart Beats in the Heartland

This past Monday I had the opportunity, along with 25 other students across Kansas, to express my concerns regarding a piece of legislature that has been introduced once again concerning abortion restrictions. – HOUSE BILL No. 2253, Introduced by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs. After having lobbying trainings the day before, we set out to Topeka with one mission: to defeat this bill before it even gets introduced. Knowing this highly unlikely, we came equipped with confidence and personal anecdotes. Each group according to geographic location was divided into smaller groups to meet with their representatives. Some of these meetings were scheduled and some we just dropped in. From a few of their reactions they didn’t know what hit them when 10 of us walked through the door… Read more »

21 Things

For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about how to write this post. I knew that Love Your Body day was coming up (October 17th), and I knew that I needed to say something on the issue, but it’s been difficult for me to accept my own feelings while still maintaining an image I’m proud to represent. Over the past 21 years there have been so many things that have inspired me while at the same time having just as many struggles within myself and society. I want to take this time to celebrate 21 things that have had an impact on my view of my body, myself. 1.Let’s start at the (near) beginning: A young girl steps in front of the camera. Before caring what she looked like…. Read more »