by Nourbese Flint, Black Women for Wellness
Film, television, digital media, art all have an impact on how we both perceive the world as well as establishing social and political norms. A recent study out of USC’s Annenberg Hollywood Health & Society program, showed that after participants watched a television show inclusive of trans people in a positive fashion, they were more likely to have a positive attitude towards trans people. Furthermore, the more depictions in films and television of trans people increased more positive attitudes about trans people, unlike depictions in the news, that had no effect. This study, along with many others examining music videos to movies, show the power of entertainment on our cultural norms. With this in mind, Black Women for Wellness Action Project and Courage California launched an innovative campaign with the goal of normalizing abortion care using a Reproductive Justice framework. Through combining traditional advocacy with pop-cultural mix media, we’ve designed a unique strategy to both organize and inform a large audience about issues impacting reproductive health access that centers girls, women, birthing people, and femmes of color.
The campaign includes A short speculative fiction horror about fake women’s health clinics, a digital and social media campaign, print/transit media campaign, and policy advocacy. Grapefruit, the title of our short film follows a group of friends in an attempt to get an abortion. Drawing on real-life experiences and stories of people seeking abortions, grapefruit uses fiction to subtly talk about the real-life obstacles to getting an abortion. Using the horror genre – the story examines the terror people can inflict on people who are in a vulnerable situation.
Because of COVID-19, we had to go back to the drawing board when it came to the premiere of the movie. Instead of a star-studded in-person premiere, we shifted to a dynamic webinar that showcased creative artist, activist, our State elected official, and experts like Marcela Howell, president of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, who could both speak to the reality of abortion access before and after COVID-19 as well as the intersection of media and activism.
Moving forward, we plan to roll out our digital campaign, You Deserve Better, as a way to organize and educate our communities about abortion access.
To learn more about the campaign visit youdeservebetter.us