Almost 40 years since Roe v. Wade, American women and their families continue to face a wide range of reproductive challenges. These challenges are intensified in communities of color, where economic inequalities, health disparities, and racial prejudice all play a role in compounding the pressures facing women seeking to maintain their health and the health of their families. Using a multi-issue Reproductive Justice approach, many organizations are working with a broader group of allies to win reproductive rights battles that previously were unwinnable.
In 2013, The Overbrook Foundation awarded grants to the following organizations in recognition of their important work to expand Reproductive Justice.
General Operating Support - $40,000
Advocates for Youth champions policies and programs that help youth make informed, responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. It provides information, training, and strategic assistance to youth-serving organizations, policy makers, youth activists, and media in the U.S. and low and middle-income countries. Advocates for Youth is not a reproductive justice organization, but sees itself as a strong ally to such organizations. With support from Overbrook, Advocates will partner with reproductive justice organizations to bolster their capacity to advocate for the reproductive and sexual health needs and rights of youth. It will also work to ensure that the voices of young women of color and the reproductive justice movement are included in the larger reproductive and sexual health movement’s conversations, campaigns, strategies, and programming.
U.S. Program - $35,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
The Center for Reproductive Rights uses the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. For 20 years, the Center has been fighting to build a robust body of law that will hold governments accountable for safeguarding every woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her reproductive health and future, free from intrusion, coercion, or discrimination. The Center’s U.S. Program is designed to advance reproductive rights and access to reproductive healthcare for all women, particularly young women, low-income women and women who belong to marginalized communities that are most at risk from reproductive rights violations and restrictions.
General Operating Support - $30,000
Civil Liberties and Public Policy is a national organization that educates, mentors and inspires new generations of activists and leaders through campus-based education, real-world advocacy practice, and skills development to build a stronger, more diverse movement for reproductive freedom and social change. Civil Liberties and Public Policy uses reproductive justice as the lens to examine a broad range of social justice issues. Through inter-related leadership development projects, Civil Liberties and Public Policy will provide trainings for new activists, explore new campaigns, strategies and analysis at its annual conference, provide critical summer support to organizations through its internship program, and create a network of young leaders who can collaborate and support one another.
General Operating Support - $40,000
CoreAlign, a “think and do” tank, is building a network of leaders working innovatively to change policies, culture and conditions that support all people’s sexual and reproductive decisions. The reproductive health, rights and justice movements need an inclusive, coordinated strategy that key stakeholders develop together for making this agenda politically feasible and realizable. CoreAlign will create a network of leaders aligned around a shared vision. It will build space outside of organizational constraints for people to collectively strategize, coordinate, and inspire each other. In these spaces, people will have the opportunities to explore and undertake an alternative model of leadership based on curiosity, generosity and leaning into risk. Offering spaces for people from all sectors to come together and develop long-term strategies, the initiative will foster experimentation, division of labor, and culture change that build the infrastructure and strategies needed to win.
General Operating Support - $30,000
Forward Together is a multi-racial organization that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change. Its mission is to ensure that women, youth and families have the power and resources they need to reach their full potential. By developing strong leaders, building networks across communities, and implementing innovative campaigns, Forward Together is making its mission a reality. In 2010, Forward Together launched Strong Families, a national initiative to secure respect, resources and recognition for all families, especially those with the least resources. These include families of color, low-income families, single parent families, LGBTQ families, immigrant families, and young families. In an effort to strengthen and continue building the Strong Families initiative, Forward Together will use four core strategies to achieve its mission: 1) changing policy to benefit the majority of families 2) building strong cross-sector alliances that work collaboratively; 3) activating a culture shift; and 4) mobilizing individuals and communities.
Training, Technical Assistance & Mentoring: A Road to Rights Based Advocacy in Human Trafficking - $20,000
Since 2001 members of the Freedom Network USA have worked to uphold and enforce the human rights principle that all human beings have the right to live free from forced labor, slavery and servitude. Freedom Network members provide direct legal and social services and engage in advocacy at the local, national and international levels on behalf of trafficked persons. Freedom Network members develop local, national and international networks and partnerships with immigrant rights, worker rights, human rights and reproductive justice organizations in order to ensure that exploited trafficked and enslaved persons are freed, able to enforce their legal and human rights, receive justice, gain access to appropriate services and have the opportunity to fight for change.
Catalyst Fund - $50,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
Groundswell supports a stronger, more effective U.S. movement for reproductive justice by mobilizing new funding and capacity building resources to grassroots organizing and policy change efforts led by low income women, women of color and transgender people. The Catalyst Fund was created to increase resources to women of color-led efforts in the Reproductive Justice (RJ) arena to build a more diverse, effective and organized constituency for sexual and reproductive health and rights with the power to advance policy change. In 2013-2014, the Catalyst Fund will advance three critical strategies: 1) to generate new general support resources for women of color-led RJ work; 2) to provide capacity building support to grantees; and 3) to evaluate and document the impact of grantees on policy and systems change.
General Operating Support - $20,000
The Human Rights Project for Girls works to make U.S. young women and girls a human rights priority. Based in Washington D.C., the Human Rights Project for Girls will transform survivors into advocates, policymakers into champions, and journalists into watchdogs – so that every girl may possess the right to be safe and live a life free of violence and exploitation. Its human rights work will focus on the following goals: 1) advance public policy that protects young women and girls; 2) increase public awareness on issues affecting vulnerable young women and girls through social media campaigns; 3) continue to foster partnerships with international human rights and women’s rights organizations; 4) dismantle the sexual violence to prison pipeline; 5) end domestic child sex trafficking; and 6) empower girl survivors to foster a new generation of leaders.
General Operating Support - $40,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) works to secure the human and civil rights, health, and welfare of all women, focusing particularly on pregnant and parenting women, and those who are most vulnerable to state control and punishment – including low-income women, women of color, and drug-using women. NAPW combines the methods of legal advocacy, local and national level organizing, and public education. Through these strategies, NAPW wins cases, prevents new punitive policies from being adopted and expands the base of reproductive justice activists. It is reframing the public debate about abortion from one focused only on threats to abortion to one that recognizes threats to and shares interests of all women and families.
General Operating Support - $30,000
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the nation’s only multi-issue, progressive organization dedicated to advancing social justice and human rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) women and girls in the U.S. Through community organizing, policy advocacy, research, and strategic alliances, NAPAWF envisions a world where API women and girls are politically powerful, visible and recognized as critical to progressive social change movements.
University of Oklahoma Women’s and Gender Studies Program’s Center for Social Justice
Take Root Conference - $7,500
The University of Oklahoma Center for Social Justice, an initiative of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, promotes gender justice, equality, tolerance, and human rights through local and global engagement. It will host Take Root’s fourth annual conference in 2014. Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice conference provides a space for engagement on reproductive justice for students, academics, practitioners, advocates, and community members in mid-western and southern states. This region’s unique cultures and concerns shape its advocates’ focus on and approach toward achieving reproductive justice. This conference offers an opportunity to explore that perspective, develop new leadership and engage with new possibilities. Take Root also works toward highlighting the relevance of the red state regional perspective in national reproductive justice discourse to bridge existing gaps.
Gender Justice Program - $35,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
Western States Center’s mission is to expand and serve the movement for social justice in eight-states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Alaska. The Center’s Gender Justice Program operates within a human rights framework, linking issues of reproductive justice, gender oppression, LGBTQ equality, and family security. The Center’s work emphasizes that these are not issues to be avoided—but fundamental human rights around which progressive organizations should engage. It builds the capacity of local social and racial justice groups to incorporate a commitment to gender justice as a part of their organizational frameworks, public stances and campaign priorities.