Following up from their ‘Health Care Reform and Latina Reproductive Health’ event in August, the women of the Minnesota LAN put together an amazing and enlightening event on September 17, 2009 tackling the issue of Immigration as a Matter of Reproductive Justice & Domestic Violence and Reproductive Justice. NLIRH helped facilitate the Immigration as a Matter of Reproductive Justice workshop, but without the charisma, enthusiasm, and engagement of the women present it would not have been nearly as successful or fun. Casa de Esperanza collaborated with NLIRH in facilitating a great workshop on Domestic Violence and Reproductive Justice as well. Not only was the day of workshops educational, but also inspiring and motivating to those present to witness the degree of commitment the MN LAN has to reproductive justice.
As an organizer, it was truly a great experience to be able to capture the moments where women come together for a cause and helped educate one another on issues so prevalent in the Latino community. It is exciting to witness the MN LAN come together and not talk about these issues, but also begin a plan of action to bring issues like these in the forefront on a state and federal level through advocacy. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the next time I visit the Twin Cities!
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Two weeks ago, Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of Choice USA and I visited Denver, Colorado as part of the Southwest Partnership. Following our convening in March of this year, our visits with the Southwest Leaders in the region are an opportunity for us to re-connect with them and check-in about the reproductive justice organizing work that is taking place locally. We met with staff from Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) and also with members of the LUZ Reproductive Justice Think Tank.
We are always inspired by the reproductive justice organizing being done on the ground across the country, and in Denver it is no different. Folks there are using reproductive justice to build across movements and create a powerful base to fight local laws and policies. COLOR’s most recent campaign is the Campaign for Accountable Public Schools, which was created to promote the youth, family and community voice as key stakeholders in the educational system.
LUZ Reproductive Justice also recently screened a this video about their coalition and their innovative approach to reproductive justice organizing in Denver.
We are definitely excited about the work being done in the region and will continue providing updates as the months progress!
–Maria Elena Perez, Director of Community Mobilization
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‘Vamos echarle ganas y seguir adelante’ (Let’s give it all we’ve got and keep moving forward) are the words that embody the attitudes of the Texas Latina Advocacy Network organizing for reproductive justice in the Rio Grande Valley, TX. Their momentum cannot be deterred, despite the many challenges faced while trying to bring about change in the communities of “the Valley.”
In August, my colleague, Liza, and I visited the Valley. From being a guest at a radio station to attending a community meeting under the shade of a trailer, I witnessed their work and saw how it transcends through the hearts and minds of the women and children they educate and empower on a daily basis. Their community organizing efforts combine aspects of direct interaction with women on the ground to advocacy efforts. Their advocacy efforts extend from getting transportation services to the colonias to getting more funding for promotoras in The Valley, both being crucial to achieving reproductive justice.
Working in communities that that most people do not even know exist, says a lot in and of itself, but with the efforts and passion of the activists in the Valley, I have no doubt that this will soon change and their voices and needs will be heard and met.
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