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A Discussion About Violence Against Women: It’s More than What You Think

A Discussion About Violence Against Women: It’s More than What You Think

SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
Jessica Pinckney, Vice President of Government Affairs

In Our Own Voice: The Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda along with Planned Parenthood Federation of America co-hosted an issue forum, “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Destiny” at the Congressional Black Caucus annual legislative conference. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) served as an honorary co-host of the event that explored the cultural and political consciousness around violence against Black women, girls, and femmes.

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Black women applaud new bills to support reproductive justice and immigrants’ rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 12, 2019

Contact: Tavia Hartley (212-255-2575 or tavia@caminopr.com )

Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell

WASHINGTON — This week, three important bills to advance human and civil rights were introduced in the U.S. Congress. Yesterday, the EACH Woman Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Barbara Lee and in the Senate by Sen. Tammy Duckworth. The EACH Woman Act would ensure coverage — by private and government insurance — of all pregnancy related health care, including abortion.

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2018 Earth Day — black women are leading the fight against environmental racism

BY MARCELA HOWELL AND JANETTE ROBINSON-FLINT, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS — 04/22/18 10:30 AM EDT

Environmental policy in the age of the Trump administration and Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proved to be devastating, with a long list of first year actions designed at dismantling basic protections. These actions range from rolling back Obama-era regulations that tackled climate change to limiting funding to our communities attempting to address environmental risks.

Historically, low-income communities, predominately communities of color, have faced the most severe burdens of environmental hazards that are made worse as the government takes huge steps backwards in regulations.

As the nation watches the EPA’s actions, Earth Day should not only be a day to celebrate our planet and protect our natural environment, but should also serve as a harsh reminder of how environmental racism continues to burden black communities, specifically black women.

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January Is a Month to Recommit to the Struggle for Reproductive Justice

Opinion:”We have come a long way. We’ve made gains against impossible odds. We have much to celebrate and much more to do.”
by Marcela Howell, January 16, 2018

With the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade—the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion—and the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March quickly approaching, this is a good time to reflect on the state of women’s rights and the lessons we’ve learned over the last year.

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Black women applaud TIME’s Person of the Year 2017

Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – TIME Magazine has named “the silence breakers’ as its 2017 Person of the Year, celebrating those who championed the #MeToo movement and came forward publicly to name and condemn sexual assaulters.

Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement:

“What a difference a year makes! Last year TIME’s Person of the Year was a sexual predator. This year, the movement of women to stop sexual assault and harassment have earned the title. These brave silence breakers have shattered the system that allows abusers to prosper. The power of our collective voice is proving its strength as we witness the ostracization of powerful men.

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Black Women Are Still Fighting for Our Lives Even if GOP Health Care Bill Fails

Republicans have now tried and failed three times to pass health care bills that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act — and potentially cut access to health care for millions. We’ve seen the introduction of hundreds of new reproductive health restrictions and insistent efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. In the midst of the GOP’s attack on women’s health, Charleena Lyles was killed by police. She was a pregnant Black woman who called the cops to her home for protection only to fall victim to their bullets. This is the unique kind of challenge black women face where health and state-sanctioned violence intersect. 

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Resisting Hate Is An American Value

Marcela Howell, Executive Director, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda

Next week, two things will happen. On January 16, we will celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision of equality and activism. Then four days later, on January 20, we will see Donald J. Trump become the 45th President of the United States.

For many of us, this second event is a tragedy – a step backward to a time in America’s history when white hostility and violence directed at people of color was an everyday occurrence. In truth, those days aren’t in our past—certainly not when that hate is being stoked by the next President.

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The Reintroduction of the EACH Woman Act, A Show of Strength and Unity

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2017
Contact: michelle@blackrj.org

Washington, D.C.–Today In Our Own Voice applauds the leadership and commitment of Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), along with 102 other members of Congress, for reintroducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. With the reintroduction they have made it clear that we will not go back, we will be bold and we will end Hyde so that all families have the opportunity to thrive.

Marcela Howell, Founder and Executive Director for In Our Own Voice: NationalBlack Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, had this to say:

“The EACH Woman Act ensures that all women, regardless of insurance, income or zip code, are able to make the life decisions that are best for themselves and their families. The bill removes the barriers that perpetuate stigma, shame and fear about abortion.

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Step Forward: Opening the Dialogue on Sexual Violence and Black Girls

By Nourbese Flint

In a classroom at Gardena High School, just outside of Los Angeles, a group of young Black women and women of color stand in a row and listen to a prompt: “If you don’t think young men respect you, step forward.” Each of the young women takes a step.

“If you’ve ever decided not to wear something tight or short because you thought men may talk to you or about you when you walk down the street, step forward.” Again, the young women all take a step.

Sexual harassment disproportionately impacts young Black women and women of color of all sexual orientations. Harassment can include physical, mental and emotional abuse, ranging  from a stare that makes a girl feel unsafe to objectifying remarks to unwanted sexual contact. As one high school student explained: “Sexual harassment to me is tearing down anyone, really. Physically, by touching; mentally, by calling them [sexualizing] names.” 

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