In Our Own Voice

New report outlines action agenda for interlocking issues of reproductive, racial, criminal justice

For Immediate Release:
June 27, 2017
Contact: Amy Lebowitz, Camino PR
amy@caminopr.com / 212-255-2575

Report briefing puts human face to Black women’s reproductive justice challenges

WASHINGTON — Today, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda launched its groundbreaking new report on the state of Black women and reproductive justice. The report offers firsthand accounts of the lived experiences of Black women, giving voice to issues including abortion access, the Affordable Care Act, maternal health and equal access to contraception.

“We held listening sessions with Black women across the country,” said Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice. “This report documents the real-life barriers to reproductive health that Black women face and examines the impact of these barriers on our lives.”

The report, “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Voices: The State of Black Women and Reproductive Justice,” exposes how both political parties give short shrift to the needs of Black women. One party consistently fails to address police violence against Black people even as we witness yet another Black woman — Charleena Lyles — being murdered in front of her own children.
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Black Women Denounce Killing of Charleena Lyles by Seattle police

Statement of In Our Own Voice Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, June 18, 2017, Charleena Lyles was shot dead, in her
own home, by two white, Seattle police officers, who responded to her report of a burglary.
Lyles was a 30-year-old Black woman. Her four children were in the apartment and may have
witnessed the shooting and her death. The officers report that Lyles, after calling them for help,
threatened them with a knife. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own
Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement:

“Charleena Lyles called the police for help and ended up murdered by the very people she
looked to for protection. Her name is added to the seemingly endless list of Black women and
men killed by police violence. Like always, Black communities will await the results of an
investigation to determine whether anyone will be charged with her death.

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