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 2014, The Overbrook Foundation awarded grants to the following organizations in recognition of their important work to expand Reproductive Justice.
Promoting the Reproductive Justice Perspective through Youth Mobilization and Engagement - $40,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
Advocates for Youth believes that all young people have the right to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. To that end, it advocates for policies and champions programs that help meet young people’s rights to honest sexual health information, confidential and affordable sexual health services, and equitable opportunities to meet their full potential. The organization actively nurtures a pipeline of diverse and empowered young leaders, assisting them to take action and mobilize their peers in support of youth sexual health and rights. Advocates also supports the capacity of partner reproductive justice organizations to integrate communications, policy advocacy and youth mobilization/engagement into their work, especially at the state level.
Activist Research Conference - $10,000
For more than 40 years, the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) has conducted and supported groundbreaking research on feminist social justice. The Center is planning a May 2015 symposium on “Activist Research” for individuals and organizations working on women’s reproductive justice and related issues. The goals of the conference are: (1) To strengthen the coordination of activist research among the individuals and organizations conducting research on women’s reproductive justice and related issues; and (2): To support the development an interconnected gender analysis across issues.
U.S. Program - $35,000 (second 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 (first payment of a two-year grant)
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. Consequently, it is an expanding political agenda, one that enables reproductive justice activists to connect with new allies, incorporate compelling new issues, and effectively work towards a vision in which reproductive rights and justice are recognized as universally accepted human rights.
General Operating Support - $40,000 (first payment of a three-year grant)
CoreAlign is the first national effort to proactively bring together diverse people working on reproductive issues — advocates, activists, providers, researchers, funders and the not-yet-affiliated — from all levels — local, state and national. CoreAlign envisions a future where all people have the resources, rights and respect they need to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives. To realize this vision, CoreAlign’s mission is to build a network of leaders who work together innovatively toward winning the policies, and creating the culture and conditions that support all people’s sexual and reproductive lives.
General Operating Support - $35,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
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. At the local level, Forward Together builds the power and leadership of low-income Asian youth in Oakland, CA, to bring change to their communities. Nationally, Forward Together builds the collective organizing capacity of grassroots groups through Strong Families, a movement building initiative to secure respect, resources and recognition for all families, especially those with the least resources who are most attacked by conservative policies. They include families of color, low-income families, single parent families, LGBTQ families, immigrant families, and young families.
General Operating Support - $75,000 (second 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 Groundswell Fund encompasses three grantmaking programs: The Catalyst Fund: Resources for Women of Color in Reproductive Justice, the Reproductive Justice Fund, and the Community Midwifery Fund. Through these programs, Groundswell has helped to move over $12 million in new resources to women of color led grassroots organizing efforts across the U.S. in the past five years, with nearly half of its grantees led by young people under the age of 30.
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 (second 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 also reframing the public debate about abortion from one focused only on threats to abortion to one that recognizes threats to and shared interests of all women and families.
General Operating Support - $38,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the nation’s only multi-issue, progressive organization dedicated to advancing the movement for social justice and human rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the US. Through base-building, community organizing, policy advocacy, research, and strategic alliances, NAPAWF envisions a world when AAPI women and girls are politically powerful, visible and recognized as critical to progressive social change movements.
General Operating Support - $30,000
Third Wave Fund is the only national fund that supports and strengthens youth-led gender justice activism— focusing on efforts that advance the political power, well-being, and self-determination of communities of color and low-income communities in the US. The Fund partners with institutions and individual donors, investing resources in under-funded regions and social justice youth movements.
General Operating Support - $25,000
Formerly Choice USA, URGE mobilizes and provides ongoing support to the diverse, upcoming generation of leaders who promote and protect reproductive freedom. URGE envisions a world where all people have agency over their bodies and relationships, and have the power, tools, and knowledge to exercise that agency. It is an advocacy and leadership development organization, with a 21-year track record of success running national, state, and local campaigns with young people. URGE’s goals over the next year are to build a strong base of young reproductive justice advocates by training young people to engage in reproductive justice advocacy and organizing; engaging young people in reproductive justice advocacy at the local, state and national levels; and framing dialogues and influencing policy and/or culture change work around reproductive justice issues.
University of Oklahoma Women’s and Gender Studies Program’s Center for Social Justice
Take Root Conference - $10,000
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 also hosts the annual Take Root Conference. 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 Southern and Midwestern states. This region’s unique cultures and concerns shape activists’ focus on and approach toward achieving reproductive justice. This conference offers an opportunity to explore that perspective 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 (second 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.