We Are BRAVE
Dear justice ally,
We are pleased to share We are Brave: Race, money, and abortion access with all our allies in the social justice movement.
We created this political education curriculum because social justice movement leaders asked us to. In 2013, we had a series of conversations with leaders of state-based and national racial justice, immigrant justice, and economic justice organizations. We asked leaders:
- Do you think abortion access for low-income women is part of a broader justice agenda?
- Are your members and leaders negatively impacted by restrictions on abortion access?
- Would it be a good idea to broach conversations about abortion access with your members and leaders?
We heard a resounding yes to all of these questions. And at the same time, we heard that there was a need for political education curriculum that could support organizations in broaching conversations that could potentially lead to a stronger, bolder, and braver movement that includes low-income access to abortion as part of our shared vision of justice. The debate over issues of reproductive health and rights polarizes our communities and movements, and we have yet to find a unified progressive voice. It is no accident that reproductive health and rights issues are often the ones progressive coalitions will agree to take off the table to prevent division. Cloaked in stigma and shame, abortion has been a deliberate wedge used to divide communities who struggle deeply with autonomy, sovereignty, and gaining political power.
This impasse within our movements where we are unable to grapple with abortion care and coverage seriously ignores the realities of our constituents’ and members’ lives. It leaves unremarked and unaddressed the ways politicians and fundamentalists are curtailing the ability of women, especially women of color to govern themselves, their families and communities.
But we, and the leaders we spoke with, believe it’s possible to overcome this impasse and We are Brave is one tool to help us do that. This three-part toolkit supports justice organizations to build a shared understanding of abortion as one aspect of reproductive and sexual health; to explore abortion access through the lens of racial, economic and immigrant justice; and to suggest possible pathways toward action.
Our highest hope is that these conversations move us to further collaboration toward a just and brave world.
Kelley Weigel, Western States Center
Eveline Shen, Forward Together
Jessica González-Rojas, All* Above All and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Kierra Johnson, All* Above All and United for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE)