January 2020
Marcela's Voice
Election season is here!
QUESTION: Are you heading to the voting booth with a Reproductive Justice-frame-of-mind?
A recent Washington Post poll shows that African Americans are  deeply pessimistic  about their place in the United States. The poll also revealed their fears about their children’s future. The majority believe that the Trump Administration has “taken hatred against people of color, in general, from the closet to the front porch.”
The relentless attacks on the human rights successes of the last decades – from attacks on religious freedoms,  health care abortion access , and voting rights – have us all feeling pessimistic. Now, more than ever, we must use our voting power to ensure that the voices of Black women are heard by ALL candidates and elected officials.
Make sure your voice is heard by joining our  I AM A VOTER  campaign!
I AM A VOTER is a voter engagement initiative to rally Black women voters around the issues that impact our lives and the lives of our families. Alongside our  partner organizations  in eight states, we are encouraging voters to cast their ballots in every election (local, state, and federal) lifting up the following issues:
  • Reproductive Justice
  • Affordable Healthcare
  • Quality Education
  • Clean Water
  • LGBTQ+ Liberation
  • Voting Rights
  • Ending Discrimination
We know that when Black women vote, change happens. In 2018 Black women showed up at the polls during the midterm elections in record numbers and made an impact that changed the course of politics. We must continue to make the same impact in our communities every day.
Make your voice heard – VOTE!
Marcela Howell
Founder & President
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda
See What We've Been Up To
In Our Own Voice at Creating Change 2020
In Our Own Voice was pleased to sponsor the  Creating Change Conference in Dallas, TX this month, hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force. We spent time getting to know conference attendees who visited the exhibit space while promoting our I AM A VOTER campaign to mobilize Black women voters around issues that impact us most. Some issues that came up for folks at Creating Change were voter suppression, workplace discrimination, and the criminalization of sex work. Be sure to check out our Creating Change 2020 Facebook album.
Our Senior Policy Manager, Lexi White co-facilitated one of the day-long institutes (DLI) offered at Creating Change titled "Queering Reproductive Justice." The DLI provided insight on why it is so important for the larger Reproductive Justice movement to include the LGBTQ community in their advocacy and vice versa. Emphasis was on the reality that we will only win battles for both LGBTQ liberation and Reproductive Justice when we work together and learn from each other. Co-facilitating with Lexi was Rev. Deneen Robinson from our partner organization The Afiya Center! Their sessions focused on expansive and inclusive sex education, and sex work, liberation, and healing.
Following Our Fellows
Dillard University Fellow Kaylan Tanner attended the  Creating Change Conference  with us . Kaylan served as the lead facilitator for the “Give us the Ballot! Organizing the Campus Vote” workshop. This workshop promoted voter mobilization and education, and creative ways to engage college students to get out the vote. Given the recent attacks to diminish the democratic voting process for marginalized communities, including young adults and LGBTQ+ voters, it was important that Kaylan bring together campus leaders to analyze their campus culture around civic engagement and strategize on how to prevent voter suppression in their communities.

Kaylan says her most significant takeaway from the “Give us the Ballot! Organizing the Campus Vote” workshop was learning from workshop attendees about how to make voting more accessible for students with disabilities. Participants discussed accommodating students with disabilities by connecting them to the Disability Support and Services Center on campus and creating braille voter cards for blind students.
The Next Generation Leadership Institute is designed to provide a leadership pipeline specifically for the Black women’s Reproductive Justice movement. The Institute is a two-year paid fellowship program that serves as a formal pipeline for training activists on Reproductive Justice and the intersectional issues that impact the lives of Black women, femmes, and girls. Fellows are selected from HBCUs and are trained in advocacy, community organizing, and strategic communications to become young leaders in the Reproductive Justice movement.
Our Partners In Action
Join SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW for the Organizing Intensive Training & Brunch
Interested in making a change in your community, but not sure how to get started? This Intensive Training hosted by SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW will give participants the opportunity to learn about organizing for Reproductive Justice, talking to your legislators, gentrification in Atlanta, and policies to be on the lookout for this legislative session.

Join SisterReach for the annual Black Folks Day on the Hill
On February 5, 2020, SisterReach will take to Capitol Hill in Nashville, TN to talk to legislators about the laws that impact Black Tennesseans. Spread the word by sharing the registration link and the Facebook event to your friends, family, church community, and organizations. Help SisterReach #BlackouttheHill!
The Afiya Center Presents: Texas Black Women Rise Up 2020
The Afiya Center hosts this summit every other year in Dallas, TX to inform, educate, and empower those interested in learning more about Reproductive Justice and how it influences and impacts every facet of our lives. This year's theme is Exploring the Future of Reproductive Justice.

They are also accepting workshop proposals until February 10, 2020.