In response to yesterday’s election victories for reproductive autonomy in Ohio, Virginia and around the…
From September 22-26, the In Our Own Voice team hosted movement partners and friends for our 2023 National Policy Summit, Reimagining Policy in Pursuit of Black Reproductive Justice in Washington, D.C. Over the course of four days, we gathered to celebrate, build our community of Black leaders and energize each other to continue fighting for Reproductive Justice both in states and nationally. Here’s a look at what happened at our summit. That’s some big energy, indeed.
US AND OUR CREW: DAY 1
Day one was full steam ahead! We welcomed our partners with sessions to get aligned on our legislative priorities by looking ahead at the 2024 elections, reviewed our 2023 Black Reproductive Justice Policy Agenda, and grounded ourselves in the current state of Reproductive Justice in the United States. We were joined by incredible speakers, including now-Senator Laphonza Butler, Muthoni Wambu Kraal, Loretta Ross, and Dr. Toni Bond.
RUN THE WORLD: DAY 2
Our partners are from all across the country, so we brought the focus to states on day 2. We helped organizations plan their state-specific policy priorities and agendas and gave them the tools to plan their own state advocacy days. We heard from our partners and Next Generation Leadership Institute Fellows about their plans and strategies for 2024.
OUR POWER: DAY 3
We stepped into our power on day three by getting ready for our day of federal advocacy. We discussed the importance of talking to our legislators and hosted workshops on what policies we’d be advocating for and how to effectively tell your story. In Our Own Voice and 11 partner executive directors met with two White House staff members, Steve Benjamin, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement for The White House, and Erica Loewe, Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for Public Engagement at The White House, where we discussed how the Biden administration can continue strong engagement with Reproductive Justice organizations. We ended the day by preparing ourselves for our meetings at the Capitol and giving partners a peek into what our day would look like.
TAKING ACTION: DAY 4 ON THE HILL
We ended our summit on Capitol Hill practicing everything we preached at the summit. In our nearly 30 meetings with legislators on the Hill, partners talked through some of their state-specific priorities including abortion access, improving maternal health outcomes, and voting rights.
Our 2023 National Summit was a huge success, and we cannot thank our partners enough for all the hard work they put into our movement. Being surrounded by so many powerful Black women, girls, gender-expansive people, and our allies left us feeling energized and ready to get into some good trouble. We cannot wait to keep fighting alongside all of you!