Until last week, I bet many of my readers had never heard of New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice or New Voices of Cleveland. Until I was connected to the Cleveland group by author and former Shaker Heights resident Lisa Factora-Borchers, I hadn’t either.
And while I had heard of SisterSong, the National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, for a few years, I didn’t really know them, and I had never taken the time to familiarize myself with their work.
My loss – big big time. Which no longer has to be yours if you’ve never heard of SisterSong either.
It is thanks to this tour de force of an open letter by SisterSong Executive Director, Monica Simpson, published at RHRealityCheck.org that I owe this new level of awareness and education. And I’m very grateful.
The letter addresses Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Specifically, and here I’m stealing the description from Preterm Cleveland Ohio, the letter celebrates and recounts for the reader:
the importance of naming and honoring the history of the reproductive justice framework, and all the powerful, brave women of color, indigenous women, LGBT folks, and people whose hard work went and goes into articulating RJ!
To understand why this letter was necessary – and it was necessary, you need to read it. But, as noted in the brief description above, it is (another) clarion call about the marginalization of women of color and work by women of color in the area of reproductive justice. (A response from Cecile Richards is published there too.)
I’ll confess upfront: I didn’t know of at least 80% of what’s in Monica’s letter. That’s not just embarrassing, it’s ignorant. But thanks to Monica and the incredible cadre who signed on to her letter, none of whom are under any obligation to educate me or anyone else – ever, I am in fact now far more knowledgeable about a whole lot of important information, and I’ve discovered many new sources from which I can learn more, and hopefully can ally with and support as they give me opportunities to do so.
For their advocacy, for their tenacity, for their courage, eloquence and drive in the face of many more headwinds than I’ll ever know, all on behalf of reproductive justice, SisterSong, the National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective is today’s A Woman A Day.