Statement from Marcela Howell, president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s…
National ‘Living a Reproductive Justice Life’ campaign provides platform for Black women to share their lived experiences
WASHINGTON — This International Women’s Day, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is encouraging Black women to share how they are “Living a RJ Life.” In Our Own Voice President and CEO Marcela Howell says that living a RJ life means committing to justice every day.
“We face seemingly insurmountable barriers every single day — white supremacy, misogyny, a global pandemic,” said Howell. “But we don’t give up; Black women, femmes and girls demand equity, justice and peace. The act of surviving is, in and of itself, an act of rebellion for Black women. Demanding our right to survive and thrive is Living a RJ Life.”
The Living a RJ Life campaign raises awareness about Reproductive Justice (RJ) and encourages Black women, femmes and girls to support each other and speak out for their rights. The campaign also centers the RJ movement, founded by Black women and women of color, on women of color.
In Our Own Voice defines Living a RJ Life as:
- Raising our voices and demanding that elected officials and community leaders vote in favor of policies that positively impact our communities.
- Having full bodily autonomy and having the resources to provide for ourselves and our family.
- Having the freedom to express your gender and sexual identity in the way that feels most authentic to you.
- Being able to love whomever our heart calls us to.
- Being gainfully employed and paid a living wage.
- Raising our children in safe communities free from over-policing and environmental dangers.
During March, Women’s History Month, Black women, femmes and girls are encouraged not only to live a RJ life but to share what that means to and looks like for them by sharing their stories in videos that are posted on the organization’s website.
“We encourage Black women, femmes and girls of all ages to celebrate each other, share insights and engage in self-care during the month of March,” said Howell. “We need to get ready for a year of fighting hard to gain new ground for Reproductive Justice and Black women’s rights.”
In Our Own Voice also plans to launch a Black Women Reproductive Justice PolicyAgenda next month, which will serve as a roadmap to ensure that Congress and the Biden Administration are developing legislative policies that support Black women’s rights. The Black RJ Policy Agenda will also help educate the Biden Administration on the importance of the RJ human rights framework.
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national reproductive justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women at the national and regional levels in our ongoing policy fight to secure reproductive justice for all women and girls. Strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc. SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.