In 1962, Malcolm X said, “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman”. Nearly 60 years later, this quote still holds true. In fact, in a new poll released by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, only 18 percent of respondents said they thought it was a good time to be a Black woman in America.

The poll, which surveyed Black adults, is very rare in this country. In most surveys, Black people make up only five or 10 percent of the actual respondents. Our survey was 100 percent Black men and women. And this wasn’t the first time we highlighted the voices and experiences of Black Americans across the country. In 2017, In Our Own Voice commissioned the first national survey of Black adults and a lot has changed since then. We have faced a global pandemic and seen a renewed call to address racial inequity, police brutality, white supremacy, and systemic racism.

According to the survey results, over half of the respondents stated that George Floyd’s murder compelled them to go to the polls in 2020. More than 70 percent said they voted in the 2020 election because they felt “their lives depended on it”. In fact, some of the specific comments that were shared by people who said they felt their life depended on the election include, “I felt like there was a war on Black people with the police departments of America and the KKK coming back into existence,” and someone else said, “It feels like African Americans have targets on their backs."

Our new polling data explores Black Americans’ experiences, views, policy priorities, and how their lives have been affected over the last four years. The goal of the research is to provide a resource for policymakers, media, advocates, and other parties who want to better understand the priorities of Black adults in America and the effects of policy decisions on their lives.

Together, we can work toward a nation that respects, protects, and acknowledges the humanity of Black woman and our families. Join us in this fight! Please download and review the most recent results from our national survey of Black adults. Additionally, In Our Own Voice, along with Black women leaders from two of our partner organizations, hosted a webinar to dissect and discuss the polling data, you can watch the webinar recording here

Marcela Howell
President & CEO
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda
Intersections of Our Lives Women of Color Poll Webinar
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice will host the Intersections of Our Lives Women of Color Poll Webinar on July 29 at 2 P.M. EST. The webinar will serve as a virtual briefing for congressional staff and allies on the findings of a new nationwide poll that sought to learn more about what motivated Black, Latina/x, and Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women to vote in the 2020 election and the issues they care about most. 
Radio One Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda Event
Join In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell, Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice Co-Founder Toni M. Bond, PHD, and SisterLove, Inc. Founder and President Dazon Dixon Diallo for a discussion about the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda on July 29 at 7 P.M. EST on RadioOne's Praise 104.1 FM. You can find the discussion on Facebook, YouTube, and PraiseDC.com.
Assessing Equity in Federal Government
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda recently submitted a comment for the record to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a Request for Information (RFI) on assessing equity in federal government agencies and the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda. Along with the RFI and the Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda, In Our Own Voice provided information and several recommendations regarding equity assessments and strategies, and stakeholder and community engagement, describing approaches and methods for accessible and meaningful agency engagement with Black women, femmes, girls, and gender-expansive people. We also suggested federal agencies intentionally engage with the lived experiences of Black communities by prioritizing funding and economic investment, as well as representative research and data collection to holistically address racial and gender disparities in health and well-being.
Tell Congress to Pass a Spending Bill Without Hyde
For the first time in decades, the House Appropriations Committee has committed to sending a Hyde Amendment-free Appropriations bill to the House floor. The Hyde Amendment is a racist policy that has prohibited federal health insurance programs from covering abortion care. Reproductive Justice advocates have been at the forefront of the fight and we will continue to educate Congress about the disparate impact Hyde has on Black women, femmes, and gender-expansive people. Please take a moment to send a letter to you Representative urging them to pass the spending bill.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health
The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is scheduled to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health this fall, which challenges a Mississippi law that forbids abortions after 15 weeks. The case will consider whether a pre-viability abortion ban is constitutional. This will be the first pre-viability ban case SCOTUS has heard since Roe v. Wade and has the potential to severely limit the Roe decision. A decision is not expected until Spring 2022, but In Our Own Voice will continue to provide updates as the case progresses.
Rolling Out the Welcome Mat
In Our Own Voice welcomes Jennifer Rose Jacoby as our new Vice President of Government Affairs. Jennifer previously served as a Senior Federal Policy Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights where she led the Center’s federal maternal health legal and policy work. She regularly worked with congressional, White House, and agency staff to develop legislation and policies to end the U.S. maternal health crisis disproportionately impacting Black birthing people. Jennifer has provided testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and remarks at congressional briefings and before the Black Maternal Health Caucus.

Over the past three years, she has also worked on a range of reproductive rights issues, including abortion coverage, Medicaid, immigration, and Indigenous Peoples rights and health. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College and received her juris doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Jennifer is a member of the NY and DC bar. Help us welcome Jennifer to the team — she will start on Aug. 2. 
Summer is starting to wind down, but that isn't stopping the Next Generation Leadership Institute fellows from elevating the Reproductive Justice movement for Black women, girls, and femmes through summer internships. In May, we showcased a few of the fellows who secured intern positions at various organizations.
Read, in the Next Generation Leadership Institute fellows' own words, how their summer internship experiences are shaping their RJ advocacy.
Communications Intern, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda
I had the pleasure of working for In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda this summer. It has been a dream come true working in the communications department. This experience has given me a taste of what my job can be like post-grad from Howard University. This internship has allowed me to work on graphic design projects and marketing research. I also developed a Reproductive Justice reading list for subscribers of the organization.

As my internship draws to a close, I'm confident that I have grown as a professional. The exposure to the field of communications has been an excellent experience, and I couldn't have learned from a better organization.
Government Affairs Intern, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the Government Affairs Team at In Our Own Voice. I researched and tracked legislation, drafted executive summaries and memos, and assisted with the launch and rollout of the Black RJ Policy Agenda. I've learned a lot about what goes into making policy recommendations to Congress and how to get our community engaged in advocacy.

I hope to use this experience as I continue my fellowship with the Next Generation Leadership Institute so that I can get more students on my campus engaged with Reproductive Justice work!
Intern, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. 
This summer, I had the privilege of interning with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF). This experience has been eye-opening. On Mondays through Thursdays, I am placed within the office of a Congressional Black Caucus member, and on Fridays, I intern from the D.C. office of Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia, who represents the district where my university is located. I also participate in professional development training. I have met with members of the leadership team at the CBCF, as well as the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus, and have had opportunities to participate in workshops for resumes and memorandum writing skills. 
Get Smart B 4 U Get Sexy

Black Women for Wellness is offering HIV prevention education! Join them to learn more about tools to protect yourself from HIV like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and how to get the HIV prevention services you need anytime from anywhere using your phone or computer. To learn more, complete their quick contact form and a Black Women for Wellness staff member will contact you!
Interns and Volunteers Needed

Black Women's Health Imperative is looking for dedicated Black women's health advocates to serve as interns and volunteers.
New Voices Is Hiring

New Voices for Reproductive Justice is hiring for positions, from community organizer to project team member, in Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.
Pearl's Pantry

SisterLove, Inc.'s Pearl's Pantry is a community resource program for Memphis families in need. Clothes and food items are available for the entire family.

Also published in The Washington Informer, The Afro, California News TimesLos Angeles Sentinel, The Seattle Medium, The Chicago Crusader, and Post News Group.