About BWRJ

Reproductive Justice for Black Women and Girls

In 1996, Toni M. Bond Leonard and Winnette P. Willis co-founded the only organization in Illinois devoted to the reproductive and sexual health of Black women: Black Women for Reproductive Justice (BWRJ).  Formerly known as African American Women Evolving, Inc. (AAWE) , BWRJ’s mission was to help Black women and girls realize reproductive justice.  BWRJ sought to build a grassroots constituency organized to collectively affect changes in the public and private institutions and policies that prevented from obtaining optimum reproductive and sexual health.

IDEA- Identify, Develop, Educate & Advocate

BWRJ’s overall goal through its health education component was to educate Black women and girls about basic reproductive health issues.  BWRJ’s believed that women and girls need to have a basic understanding about their bodies in order to be clear about the areas of policy and advocacy that needed changing.  The organization’s co-founders understood that there was an ongoing need to help women and girls understand basic things like their menstrual cycles, family planning, pregnancy options, self-breast care, etc.  In addition to providing health education directly to women, BWRJ responded to the demand from women to learn how to share health education information with other family members and friends.

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