Movement Building

Making Movement With Our Stories: Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice

September 8, 2010

As the summer wound down and legislative season ramped up, two of our grant partners, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, along with California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, teamed up to host the First Annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice. Over Facebook, Twitter, and on their own blogs, NLIRH gathered and published stories from their members and extended community about the kinds of power they have over their own reproductive and sexual lives -- and the times when they didn't get the care and information they sought out. We asked Miriam Perez and Maria Elena Perez of NLIRH to tell us more about their collaborative, online storytelling campaign. Third Wave: What was the inspiration for using blogging and social media as a central part of the RJ Week of Action? Miriam Perez: For the Latina RJ Week of Action we wanted to elevate the dialogue that is already happening across online communities about reproductive justice from a Latina perspective. We wanted to do so in a coordinated and organized way, so folks across the RJ community (and the blogosphere in general) could sense the breadth and depth of our issues and perspectives. We also just really wanted to get folks talking to each other, and about their stories -- specifically, this time, their "contraception story." We know Latinas have unique experiences when it comes to contraception, sex ed, interactions with providers. We wanted to spend a week pushing those stories to the top and bringing them into the spotlight. The conversations on Facebook in response to five questions we were asking (one each day) were probably the most successful and direct conversation builders, and we also had over 20 blog posts about the week of action across the web. Third Wave: What's been the biggest takeaway or success from the RJ Week of Action? Maria Elena Perez: The biggest takeaway has been the power of social media and blogs to raise awareness around an RJ issue. The Week of Action was a success on the ground as well, but the coverage we got through the blogosphere was more than we expected. Next year with more time and planning, we want to involve more groups. Also, I can't stress enough how instrumental Miriam was to our success with the blog carnival and all the coverage there. She really leveraged her relationships as a blogger to get other Latina bloggers on board to blog about this and then coordinating the interns' blogs. Miriam, works as a consultant with us on our e-communications efforts and by working with her, we've been able to elevate our blog. In the past, before the week of action, interns' blog posts have been cross posted on RH Reality Check, which was really exciting to see. Also, for Facebook we had an intentional strategy of having staff and interns respond to the questions. We weren't getting much dialogue on our page and we decided asking questions would generate some traffic, but more importantly having staff and interns participate. We've seen on other pages, once folks from the org and others comment, other people feel more inclined to do so. Something small but definitely made a difference with the dialogue happening on Facebook. People like questions and also feeling like they are getting to know the organization (and people there).

Posted in: Actions, COLOR, Movement Building, NLIRH

Reflections on Third Wave Grant Partner Reports

May 30, 2012

Part I As an intern at Third Wave, I have been working on a project that involves reading through all the end of year reports from our 2010 grant partners (reporting on their work throughout 2011). I am taking this opportunity to reflect on some of the innovative approaches of Third Wave grant partners, some of the challenges grant partners face head-on, and what makes Third Wave's relationship to grant partners so unique and especially catalyzing. First, let me give you snapshots of four groups that really jumped out at me (not because they are any more special than the other groups, but because their work resonated with me, personally): St. James Infirmary is an organization providing services to sex workers in the San Francisco area. I was impressed with their commitment to providing high quality primary care, reproductive healthcare, gender transitioning, HIV/STI/TB/Hepatitis testing, STI treatments and vaccines, counseling, syringe access & disposal services, support groups & trainings, and especially with their effort to attack the stigma surrounding sex work. They launched a bold media campaign, “Someone You Know is a Sex Worker,” which ran on the sides of public buses. It showed San Francisco that sex workers are everyday people whose rights are human rights, and that sex workers do real work and deserve labor rights. Brown Boi Project’s approach toward Gender Justice from a “masculine-of-center” position seems, to me, truly revolutionary: “We work for Gender Justice by re-envisioning the power imbalance between traditional notions of masculinity and femininity. We hold institutional systems, other masculine people, and ourselves accountable for its accompanying privileges. We draw on a gender inclusive framework that shapes non-oppressive masculinity rooted in honor, community, and empowerment of feminine identified people, especially women and girls.”(2010 report) In addition to shifting the conversation, they created a health guide, “Freeing Ourselves,” which has been presented in numerous venues and distributed across the country, as well as in Israel, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, and the Ivory Coast. In an effort to cultivate this movement and draw upon the experiences of masculine-of-center young people, BBP provided leadership training to 46 young Brown Bois from all across the country in 2011. Justice Now is a human rights organization striving for a world without prisons, and working to end gendered violence within the prison system. In particular, they are doing amazing work in collecting stories and testimonies to bring to light forced sterilization within prisons, and are linking this to historical patterns of eugenics in this country. I found the two interviews and other short pieces produced by Justice Now and uploaded to Vimeo to be very powerful.  But I am equally impressed with the radically grassroots nature of their organization: their volunteers are all people in prison documenting abuse and organizing from within, and the majority of their board of directors is currently imprisoned or recently released. Young Women’s Empowerment Project is run by and for girls (including trans girls!) who are involved in the street economy. They recently carried out a participatory action research project called "Girls Do What We Have to Do to Survive," which found that girls and queer youth involved in the sex trade are systematically denied help from those institutions meant to serve and protect them (police, health services, social services, etc.). The research also found that this institutional violence towards street youth compounds their experiences of individual violence, wounding them even more. One of the outcomes of this research was the creation of a “Street Youth Bill of Rights," which YWEP is pushing to have adopted by as many service providers as possible. Since, as YWEP also discovered, "resilience is the stepping stone to resistance"(2010 report), they are doing their best to take care of themselves. YWEP declares: "For young people in the sex trade in Chicago, this campaign is not solely about access to services but is about gaining the power and skills to be able to name and change the circumstances that define our lives. Social justice for girls and young women in the sex trade means having the power to make all of the decisions about our own bodies and lives all the time."(2010 report) These four groups, as well as the rest of Third Wave's grant partners, are at the front lines of gender justice work.  They are attacking structures of oppression and violence at their very base, fighting to bring about a systematic change.  Next week I will explore some of the challenges Third Wave's grant partners face in the course of this fight.

Posted in: Blog, Brown Boi Project, Criminalization, Grant Partners, Movement Building, Participatory Research, Philanthropy, Reproductive Justice, St. James Infirmary, YWEP

Snapshots from Third Wave Convening in New Mexico

November 9, 2011

Last month, Third Wave joined the Reproductive Justice Network in New Mexico for three days of feminist activism, coalition-building, and social justice fun. Third Wave's External Relations Manager McKensey, Program Director Alex, and Program Associate Rye met up with some of Third Wave's grant partners, including Young Women United, Media Literacy Project, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Check out the photos from Convening below!

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Simone of Jahajee Sisters, Deesha of SAFER, and Stephanie of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health before a field trip.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Cole (Brown Boi Project), Ashley (Khmer Girls in Action), Andrea (Media Literacy Project), Monie (Young Women United), and La'Tasha (New Voices Pittsburgh) saying goodbye.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Media Literacy Project's Jessica leading an activity.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

Rye (Third Wave) and Liz (Young Women United) wrapping up a convening activity.

Reproductive Justice Network members convene in New Mexico.

All Reproductive Health Justice Initiative convening participants at the final farewell!

Posted in: Grant Partners, Leadership, Movement Building, Reproductive Justice

So-Called “Freedom Rides”

December 10, 2010

GRITtv examines the conspiracy tactics of the conservative anti-choice movement and the dangerous racist, sexist and classist implications of their attempt to limit reproductive health options for the people with the least access to health services.  Check out GRITtv Digs documentary series, Conspiracy Tactics, on just this topic. The most recent installment on this topic is an interview with Loretta Ross from SisterSong and Lynn Paltrow from National Advocates for Pregnant Women about the so-called "Freedom Rides" against abortion. Take a look:

More GRITtv

One of our amazing grant partners, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW has been organizing in the face of these Freedom Rides which intentionally use the language of racism and  Civil Rights to increase the criminalization of black women. Read more about what SPARK's been up to here!

Posted in: Blog, Criminalization, Healthcare, Media, Movement Building, Reproductive Justice, SPARK

Third Wave Executive Director Mia Herndon Honored as Moves Power Woman

November 9, 2011

Mia Herndon in Moves MagazineWe are proud to announce that Third Wave's Executive Director Mia Herndon will be the recipient of a New York Moves Magazine Power Women award. Moves is celebrating Mia's longstanding commitment to social justice, her inspiring vision, and her courageous leadership. Moves Magazine's Power Women Awards honor "a collection of some of the most fearless and influential women of the day. These are women of substance who have made an incredible impression in their respective fields and an impact on their environment." Mia will be honored alongside 26 other powerful women in media, business, the arts, and education.  For a full list of honorees, click here. Past honorees include Nadine Strossen, first woman president of the American Civil Liberties Union, actresses Famke Janssen and Laura Benanti, and concert pianist Elaine Kwon. This award recognizes Mia for her leadership in the social justice field and for her role in cultivating young feminists nationwide. As the only national, feminist foundation supporting the visions of young women, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth, Third Wave is vital to amplifying the voices of these progressive activists. Since 2001, Mia has been a key part of Third Wave's success, ensuring that these young activists have the skills and opportunities to lead efforts for social justice in their communities. Tweet your congratulations to Mia (@3Wave) and the other Moves Power Women using the #CongratsMia and #PowerWomen hashtags.

Posted in: Blog, Media, Movement Building

We’ve Launched our 2010 Annual Report to Kick-Off our 15th Anniversary!

February 28, 2012

We're kicking off the celebration of Third Wave Foundation’s 15th Anniversary Year by sharing our most recent annual report, which documents an incredible year of supporting young leaders in social justice. Thank You! This report shows the ways everyone in our community came together to make this work possible. Because of your energy, commitment and partnership Third Wave was able to: ● Fund 23 feminist youth-led organizations that are developing leaders and organizing young people to transform their communities. ● Support the collaboration of 20 reproductive justice organizations to identify the issues that are immediate threats to the well-being of their communities, and the strategies to confront those threats. ● Provide trainings in financial planning during tough economic times to 25 organizations and blogging for social justice to five grant partner organizations. ● Give funding for emergency abortions to more than 500 young people in need across the United States and Puerto Rico. Download the annual report here.  

Posted in: Blog, Feminism Was Here, Grant Partners, Leadership, Movement Building, Our History, Reproductive Justice, Youth Organizing

What It Really Takes: Your Stories of Abortion Access

June 14, 2011

I had to think about ALL of these things on the list. I rode a bus, didn’t have insurance or that much cash, didn’t want my up right right wing roommate to find out, didn’t have a cell phone that worked outside of it being plugged in the wall. If I would have had to go my ex couldn’t really go with me as he worked and I barely started at the job I had. I had to look up that information on someone else’s computer being careful to delete the cookies…it was just easier that way and on top of that I was a rape victim like 5 months before all of that. My period was late 2 months…it was the stress of moving and knowing I was in a situation I regretted and having to stay in it.
We're heartened and inspired by the way our infographic, "What It Really Takes To Get An Abortion," has led to so many of you sharing your own perspectives on abortion access on your blogs, on Twitter, and Facebook. Your stories make it easy to see how we all have a stake in reproductive justice. Here's just a few: fffigures:
GOP, doesn’t it say something that no matter how difficult and expensive you make it, people are still getting abortions?
anti-choice lines up the hoops for you to jump through in the hopes that the clock will run out and you will become unable to have an abortion. Any one of these things could be considered reasonable by themselves, but all of them together will be difficult for many people. On top of this add the mandatory waiting periods, the enforced visit to a Crisis Pregnancy Center to be preached at, and whatever else they come up with next. It’s basically harassment, every bit as much as the protesters lined up outside every clinic.
This is abhorrent and ridiculous. When every single person is truly the owner of his/her/their own body, America, you give me a call.
Some folks also added more information worth sharing widely: kalemason:
add to this:
  • Counseling and/or receiving state mandated information (varies from state-to-state).
  • Somebody to take care of children (if the patient has them) because they are not allowed in many clinics.
  • A driver to take the patient home after any procedure with sedation and/or narcotics
For reference, an ultrasound at 19 weeks was $900+ for me. It was for a wanted pregnancy, and it was done in a hospital, but even simple medical procedures are expensive. So yeah, a sonogram can be a huge barrier if it’s state-required— those few hundred dollars can double (or more) the cost of an abortion.
Do you have a story about abortion access in your own life? We'd love to share it here.
  • On Twitter and Tumblr, you can tag it #whatitreallytakes.
  • Or, tag Third Wave Foundation in your post on Facebook.
Some more great coverage you can share: Want to ensure abortion access for all? Make a gift to Third Wave so we can best support activists who are working for reproductive health & justice.

Posted in: Community, Movement Building, Reproductive Justice, What It Really Takes