Echoing Ida Writers Talk Reproductive Justice at CLPP 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Taja, Amber, Bianca, and Jazmine being fierce at CLPP 2014
This past weekend, seven Idas traveled to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) conference. This year was the 20th anniversary of the conference focused on shifting our movement from abortion rights to social justice, with a particular focus on the reproductive justice framework and intersectionality within the movement. For some Idas this was their first time attending, but others were veterans to the conference, but for all, it felt like a family reunion. Over three days, the Idas were able to share their expertise with conference attendees through panels, performances, and deep conversations about our beautiful visions for the future.

Jazmine, Bianca, Ashe Helm-Hernandez
As the participants arrived on Friday night, Jazmine Walker and Bianca Campbell shared their experiences with cross-movement organizing in the South. They spoke about the policies impacting poor families and how accessing healthy foods, health care, and the right to vote is getting increasingly difficult. In particular, health care access is difficult for youth, queer folks, and poor families because of policies that are pushing them even further to the margins.

Taja (right) performing
The opening plenary was lively with brilliant speakers and partners from the Strong Families movement including, Jessica González-Rojas of National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Monica Simpson of SisterSong, and the mother of reproductive justice, Loretta Ross. Our own Ida Taja Lindley pumped up the crowd with her beats and rhymes performing the Colored Girls Hustle Hard anthem with Colored Girls Hustle! She later spoke on a Saturday evening panel to explain how theater can be used as a tool for organizing around reproductive justice.

Malika speaking on the
disparities in the ACA
Through out the weekend, the Idas spoke on panels sharing their thoughts, intelligence, and experiences working, organizing, and changing the world through reproductive justice. Jasmine Burnett co-hosted a workshop on White allyship and what it looks like to step out of white privilege and truly show up in solidarity. Amber J. Phillips joined her Advocates for Youth team to educate students about challenging abortion stigma on their college campuses through the 1 in 3 campaign. Jazmine Walker again shared her expertise on food justice, worker’s rights, and creating sustainable systems for people living in poverty.

Renee, Jazmine, and Jasmine
“Sisterhood is powerful,” Jasmine Burnett said while sitting on a panel with Loretta Ross on ensuring contraceptive safety for people around the world. She beautifully explained how our US policies like the Hyde Amendment are translated into international policies like the Helms Amendment, and impact the access people around the world have to reproductive health care. Malika Redmond also shared her experience organizing in families in the south, and how the policies of the Affordable Care Act have opened up access to health coverage for many, a number of the poor, people of color, and young people are still left without support – especially in states that have refused Medicaid expansions. And Renee Bracey Sherman live-tweeted it all!
Taja and Amber do the 'church hug'

The three whirlwind days at CLPP were filled with empowerment, deep thinking, creativity, and beautiful sisterhood…and a few ‘church hugs! Several said that it felt like a reproductive justice family reunion. The future of the movement is bright, and the Idas are excited to be part of it.

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