Trust Black Women

Trust Black Women is a national coalition that came together in 2010 to respond to attacks upon Black women around using contraception and obtaining abortions.  BWRJ was a founding organizational member of this national coalition of Black women’s reproductive justice organizations and individuals around the country who came together to take a stance against the demeaning anti-choice abortion billboards that were erected around the country and to defend reproductive justice for Black women and girls.

BWRJ centered its 15th anniversary fundraiser around the film, “For Colored Girls” as a part of a nationwide fundraising effort of the Trust Black Women Partnership and used it to not only raise money, but to frame the issues in the film as reproductive justice issues.  BWRJ bought out a theatre of 144 seats.  Held on November 18, 2010, the evening included a panel discussion with activists and experts from various issues helping to create dialogue about the reproductive justice issues facing women.

Chicago became one of the locations in March, 2011.  BWRJ quickly acted to pull together a strategy group of approximately nineteen local reproductive justice and ally organizations to respond to the billboards.

In April, 2011, BWRJ made a presentation to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and as a result, the Commission issued a press statement against the billboards.  In May, 2011, the Chicago Commission on Human Relations passed a formal Resolution against the billboards.

Trusting Black Women

BWRJ co-hosted four Black Women’s Speak Outs on the south and west side.  Each of the speak outs, except for the third, have been extremely well attended with approximately 30-50 attendees each.  The third speak out at the Grand Cross Park was cancelled due to inclement weather and lack of participation.  Thanks to the support of one of the strategy members, Affinity Community Services, the first speak out at the Chicago Park District-Jackson Park, was recorded on WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified.  (Listen here).  The fourth speak out at Austin Town Hall included participation from State Senator Don Harmon and State Representative Camille Lilly.

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About RJTheologian

I have worked in the women's movement at nonprofits for almost 20 years. The focus of my work has been reproductive and sexual health. I was one of the founding mothers who coined the phrase "reproductive justice" in 1994. This has become a framework that has literally taken the women's movement by storm, helping to create the space for women of color to work on issues of reproductive and sexual health from positions of leadership and expertise. After working in this movement for so many years, I decided that the time had came for me to step out of the way and support the next generation of women of color leaders in doing the work. I am on to new horizons, pursing my academic studies and women and gender and theology. I will always be supportive of the work being done in the reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice movements. However, being outside of the day-to-day workings of a nonprofit organization gives me the opportunity to be a "Peripheral Movement Sista!!"
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