For many Black women, 2021 has been a year of fighting for what’s been stolen or taken from us. That list includes voting rights, abortion access, and the right to live free from racism and discrimination. In a recent Intersections of Our Lives poll, 84 percent of women of color say that experiences with racism have impacted their lives. It appears as if dismantling white supremacy and fighting discrimination will be ongoing in 2022.
One way to battle racism is by working with lawmakers to implement policies that will help Black women and their families thrive. This year, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda proudly released the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda along with co-collaborators Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice, and SisterLove, Inc. The Agenda is an innovative, proactive policy agenda created in collaboration with more than 30 Black women’s organizations and Reproductive Justice activists. It is the most comprehensive policy vision for Black communities to date. 
This holiday season, help us continue our advocacy work by donating to In Our Own Voice. Your reoccurring or sustaining gift could have a life-changing impact on Black women and their families:
  • A gift of $50 per month allows us to expand our capacity-building support to smaller state-based Black RJ organizations.   
  • A gift of $20 per month supports our voter education and outreach to Black women voters on RJ-related issues. 
  • A gift of $10 per month enables us to provide training opportunities for future RJ leaders through our Next Generation Leadership Institute.  
  • A gift of $5 per month allows us to promote our Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda to other justice movement organizations.
We are grateful for the support you have provided to us over the years, and we ask that you give what you can to help us continue our work in 2022. 
Wishing you peace, justice, and equality in the New Year!
Marcela Howell
President & CEO
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda
In Our Own Voice State Enhancement Initiative Request for Proposals
In Our Own Voice is excited to launch a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Reproductive Justice State Enhancement Initiative: Organizational Development and Capacity-building, Policy and Advocacy Programs. This State Enhancement Initiative will provide grants to emerging Black-founded, Black-led Reproductive Justice organizations in 2022.

The initiative will support a maximum of five state or locally-based Black Reproductive Justice organizations and will include: 
  • Up to three grants in the amount of $35,000 
  • Up to two grants in the amount of $60,000 
  • Over one to two years; the first fiscal cycle begins Feb 1, 2022- January 31, 2023. Renewals for year two will be contingent upon deliverables, review, and approval. 

For more information about eligibility criteria, as well as the grant application and proposal narrative template, visit our websiteProposals are due no later than Friday, December 31, 2021. Applications can be submitted here.

Share this information with leaders at Black-led organizations in your networks who may be interested and eligible to apply. Contact lexi@blackrj.org with any questions.
Menstrual Products for Middle Schoolers event planned by Dillard University Fellows Amaya Ronczyk and Kalaya Sibley.
2021: A Year of Achievement
In Our Own Voice is committed to highlighting the achievements of the Next Generation Leadership Institute fellows. These students work diligently to champion Black women, femmes, girls, and gender-expansive individuals year-round. Throughout 2021 fellows hosted various campus events to advance Reproductive Justice on their campuses. These forums tackled topics such as period poverty, consent and safe sex practices, maternal mortality, and trans equity.
In total, twelve campus events were held this year.
Transgender Remembrance Day Candle Vigil, planned by Hampton University Fellow Amber Wynne
In 2021 our fellows reached more than 500 students and gave away 4,500 menstrual products to alleviate period poverty.
On-campus Menstrual Product Giveaway, hosted by Howard University Fellows Madison Harris and Chanice Lee.
Woman to Woman event, hosted by Lincoln University Fellows Nina Clinton and Shalae Matthews.
In Our Own Voice is proud to partner with organizations that work 24/7/365 to advance Reproductive Justice on a state level. Take a look at our partners in action:
Dickson v. The Afiya Center

The Afiya Center worked relentlessly on the ground in Texas to fight against the state’s extreme six-week abortion ban that became law earlier this year, filing a lawsuit that eventually combined with 13 other individual cases challenging the abortion ban. On Dec. 9, a state judge ruled the ban unconstitutional, saying it should not be enforced in court — a victory worth celebrating.
California Momnibus Act

Black Women For Wellness (BWW)/Black Women For Wellness Action Project (BWWAP) cosponsored five bills during the 2021 legislative cycle, four of which were either signed into law or won through the budget process. Most notably, on Oct. 4, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 65, the California Momnibus Act into law. The legislation addresses the maternal mortality crisis in California and advances equity in birthing outcomes.
Unmuting Fibroids

BWHI co-launched several nationwide campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness, educate, and find solutions for Black women and girls, including Unmuting Fibroids — a multi-disciplinary group of health, policy, and cultural leaders in a closed roundtable discussion to understand and address the barriers that stand in the way of improved outcomes for women living with uterine fibroids.

New Voices for Reproductive Justice, In Our Own Voice, and 22 organizations that work to ensure Reproductive Justice for Black women filed an amicus brief in Allegheny Reproductive Health Center vs. Pennsylvania DHS. The brief outlines that Black women and girls live long, healthy, and joyful lives – goals that are impeded when Medicaid restrictions relegate Black women and girls to second-class citizenship in health care.
Repro Justice Week: Abortion Access In the South 

SisterLove held an educational Facebook Live about abortion access in the South, hosted by SisterLove Policy and Advocacy Program Manager Aimee Registe and If/When/How Law and Policy Fellow Akayla Galloway. The Live discussed the potential consequences of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Amicus Brief 

SisterReach helped inform the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization amicus brief filed by several Reproductive Justice organizations. The brief outlines the essential right to bodily autonomy, including abortion access in Mississippi and beyond.
Fighting Back Against Anti-Trans Legislation

In response to the several anti-trans bills that were introduced in Georgia, SPARK committed itself to legislative advocacy that fights against the passage of these bills.
Decriminalizing Sex Work in Louisiana

Women With A Vision championed HB 67, a bill to decriminalize sex work in Louisiana. This legislation was heard by the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) on May 4, 2021. Though the bill was not voted out of committee, momentum around this campaign continues, and leading sponsor Representative Mandie Landry has voiced interest in pursuing a Task Force strategy moving forward.