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She’s Shaking the Table: Liberation through Pride and the Next Generation Leadership Institute

She’s Shaking the Table: Liberation through Pride and the Next Generation Leadership Institute

As we close out Pride Month and reflect on the second anniversary of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, it’s vital to revisit the intricate connections between Black queer history and Reproductive Justice. The tapestry of Reproductive Justice is richly interwoven with the legacies of Black queer women and gender-expansive people who have long demanded justice for themselves and future generations. Now, more than ever is the perfect time to be reminded of the importance of shaking the table in the name of reproductive liberation.

Historically, Black queer women and gender-expansive people have been at the forefront of advocating for bodily autonomy, access to healthcare, and the right to choose. Activists like the Combahee River Collective understood that Reproductive Justice goes beyond the right to abortion; it encompasses the right to have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities with the economic resources needed to provide a safe space. The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has had profound implications on reproductive rights across the United States. This decision has disproportionately affected Black queer individuals who already face significant barriers to healthcare access.

In the spirit of those who have come before us, it is imperative to continue shaking the table! Black queer activist organizations, including our partners at Spark: Reproductive Justice NOW! continue to persist in their advocacy for comprehensive and inclusive Reproductive Justice, highlighting our most marginalized community members. Similarly, In Our Own Voice empowers the next cohort of leaders to continue our Reproductive Justice foremother’s legacy through the Next Generation Leadership Institute. HBCU changemakers are equipped with the tools and knowledge to address pressing RJ issues that impact the most marginalized communities. With this, fellows within the Next Generation Leadership Institute developed cross-movement-building programs, including hosting a Trans Day of Visibility, celebrating Transgender and Non-binary individuals’ joy, and highlighting discrimination that the community faces. Fellows within the institute often educate their peers on the intersections of reproductive health education, noting that sex is not a binary act. Additionally, fellows from the institute continue to engage in cross-movement building education through attending conferences and workshops, like the Creating Change Conference, and connecting with other LGBTQ-focused campus and community organizations. Similarly, the Programs and Training staff are eager to continue supporting and advocating for change at the federal level by attending the HHS Pride Summit, where leaders in the field discuss groundbreaking changes that the efforts of President Biden’s Administration have made.
The interwoven tapestry of Black queer history and Reproductive Justice is a testament to the resilience and strength of Black women and gender-expansive people. As we reflect on the Dobbs Supreme Court decision and the ongoing fight for Reproductive Justice, let the legacy of Black queer activists inspire us. Now is the time to shake the table, equipping the next generation of Reproductive Justice leaders and continuing the fight for justice for all Black girls, women, and gender-expansive people.

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