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When You Live a Reproductive Justice Life

“In Our Own Voice is the safest place for a Black leader of a Reproductive Justice organization to be.” Dazon Dixon Diallo, founder and president of SisterLove, Inc.

I was thrilled to be among Black women leaders who shared their collective vision for the future during four inspirational days in September. We began with a leadership retreat, followed by a public conference themed “Living a Reproductive Justice Life: The Health and Well-Being of Black Women” attended by more than 125 people, and two days of sharing and strategizing in our annual Summit for Policy Change.

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Living a Reproductive Justice Life

Living a Reproductive Justice Life

SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
Marcela Howell, Founder and President/CEO In Our Own Voice

For the past five years I have been convening eight Black women’s Reproductive Justice (RJ) organizations and activists to develop strategize focus on policy shift, leadership development, and movement building. Our overall goal in this work is to lift up the voices of Black women leaders to address policies that impact our lives.

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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

MARCH 12, 2019

Contact: Tavia Hartley (212-255-2575 or )

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


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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