By Xuanzi Jia (ACRJ EMERJ Intern)
I am a student at Smith College and am spending part of my summer as an intern at ACRJ. My days have been filled with a variety of tasks and I’ve only been in Oakland for less than three weeks. However, I was honored to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Forward Stance Leadership Initiative and EMERJ convening that ACRJ hosted from June 8th to the 11th. I was able to take in many of the lessons that were taught about the connection between the mind and body and how our physical stance can increase our awareness and ability to act strategically. The two sets of two-day meetings were rather intense, but quite fulfilling in a spiritual and personal way. I had initially promised myself that I would be sponge-like and soak in all of the experiences and information that were being shared, which ended up being the case for the past week.
Many of the personal and organizational stories during the meetings and convening colored the way (in a positive way) in which I was seeing the Reproductive Justice Movement on a national scale. All in all, it gave me new perspectives about the RJ movement and the fact that it is necessary to garner a variety of resources to further the cause and mission. Witnessing the amount of energy, dedication, and personal efforts that activists were putting into the movement only reassured my own personal beliefs in the non-profit world. The entire four day journey was, for me, rather personal and emotional. Needless to say, I was pleased to have been able to be a part of something that brought together so many leaders in the local, state, and national RJ movement. What a week it’s been!