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Meet the HBCU Students Fighting for Reproductive Justice

During In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda’s Reproductive Justice Week of Action (RJWOA) earlier this month, four Next Generation Leadership Institute fellows participated in an Instagram Live panel to share how they are fighting for Reproductive Justice on their campuses and beyond. Learn more about their experience and watch the Live panel below. 

Asia Brown, Spelman University 

I had the immense pleasure of serving on a panel discussion with my fellow Next Generation Leadership Institute Fellows, discussing how we are each mobilizing and organizing on our respective college campuses. I was able to discuss the work that the Spelman fellows have done surrounding Black maternal mortality, sexual assault within the Atlanta University Center, and period poverty, including our upcoming free menstrual product giveaway for students. I am so grateful for this opportunity to speak about my activism on campus, and I was incredibly inspired by the amazing work of the other fellows. 


Madison Harris, Howard University 

Participating in the Instagram Live panel for RJWOA was one of my favorite activities in my fellowship thus far because it was an opportunity to partner and participate with other fellows. We have all been in this program since 2020 but have never really had the chance to interact with one another due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I was thrilled that I could participate in an event with fellows from different universities. I enjoyed that all of us fellows could speak to what specific problems we are addressing on our campuses and find out more about the issues students are facing at other HBCUs. With the ongoing protests at Howard University, I feel like our student body is ready to learn more about activism and take action. I’m excited to help them with that journey by offering up more information on Black reproductive health and justice. 


Shalae Matthews, Lincoln University 

The Instagram Live panel took me out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad that I was able to participate because it taught me it’s never too late to discuss an issue — even as it’s ongoing. I’m inspired to continue educating students on my campus about sexual harassment and creating innovate ways to address period poverty to ensure students always have access to the products they need. 


Amber Wynne, Hampton University 

The Future of Reproductive Justice is BRIGHT! During the IG Live panel, I was amazed and in awe of the work that the fellows have done and plan to do on their campuses, ranging from eradicating period poverty to educating students on sexual assault on campus. We are creating safe spaces and starting conversations that are fundamental when fighting for systemic change at our institutions. Our conversation also proved that HBCUs are not a monolith and all HBCU students don’t have the same experiences. I am beyond proud of the work that fellows are doing, even if it feels small now, because we are playing a part in the larger movement for Reproductive Justice. 



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