Archive for March, 2011

Podcast: This Year’s Reproductive Health & Justice Initiative

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Grant Partners, 2010 RHJI Podcast
From left: Paris Hatcher, Maria Elena Perez, Claire Simon, Gabriel Foster

Here at Third Wave, we are inspired on a daily basis by the courage, creativity, and power of our grant partners across the country. Together they are organizing and building a more powerful movement for reproductive health and justice. This movement will ensure reproductive health and rights for young people, and give them the resources and tools they need to confront the racism, poverty, gender-based violence at the root of inequality.

For a quick introduction to some of their work this year, listen to to this recent podcast featuring members of four of our grant partner organizations:

Podcast - Reproductive Health and Justice Initiative

(Or, direct download here.)

Why Comprehensive Sex Education is Part of Ending Violence in Schools

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Gender JUST is a grassroots organization that seeks to build power and develop leadership among queer youth of color by organizing for racial, economic, and gender justice. Gender JUST has worked successfully within Chicago Public Schools to implement policy changes to ensure that all young people receive a safe and affirming education. With Third Wave’s support, Gender JUST will apply their successful organizing strategy towards winning comprehensive sexuality education and increased access to health resources for queer youth of color in Chicago.

In this video, Sam Finklestein, an organizer with Gender JUST, explains why comprehensive sex education that includes all students is a critical part of ending violence in schools. He also discusses their leadership development model for building young people’s power to make this kind of change in their own community.

No More Lives Erased: Young Women United’s Call to End Violence

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Young Women United (YWU) is a Third Wave grant partner organization working to end violence against women with a two-fold campaign: calling attention to the deaths of young women in their community in New Mexico, and holding the media and public officials accountable for the ways these women’s lives and power are erased, even in death. In the wake of the mass shooting at Rep. Gabrielle Gifford‘s town hall in Arizona, YWU’s director Adriann Barboa shares a powerful remembrance and vision for “an America to be as good as these women needed it to be:”

Two years ago today, in a story that shook me to my core, a woman walking her dog found a femur in the desert. She alerted the police, who began a three-month dig, covering a vast area of the mesa near my home. The police found the bodies of 11 women, one of whom was four months pregnant. Many of the women were close to my age and grew up here like me. Were brown like me. Had struggled here, like me.

But when these women were found dead, President Obama did not come to town. There was no jam-packed memorial to mourn their lives cut short. What we had instead were devastated families whose greatest fear had been realized when their daughters’ remains were discovered on the mesa.

As the story unfolded, terrible sounds echoed in my ears. Not the sounds of shovels in the desert, but the sound of these lives being erased. Not only through death, but through the official description of the events. The women were not brave heroes who faced histories of poverty, abuse and trauma with the best tools they could find. They were “addicts.” And because they used drugs, many earned money the best way they could—by selling sex. And so they were “prostitutes.” The authorities thought the story could begin and end there: bodies found, case closed. 11 more prostitutes dead. Done.

Read the rest of Adriann’s call on Young Women United’s website and learn how to support their campaign to end violence and strengthen young women’s power.


Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Thanks to everyone for coming out last Thursday to our second ever last night’s feminist party!

Ever seen a Reproductive Justice photobooth?

Check out your great photos on Facebook and on Flickr.

We look forward to more silly radicalism with you all in the future!

If you’d like to share them with friends who couldn’t make it, you can direct them to the slideshow at

Many thanks again and hope to see you in a few months for the next “last night’s feminist party.”