"Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling" February 2nd, 2013
Co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
The conference was hosted by:
First Unitarian Church of Dallas
Every other year, the General Assembly of the UUA chooses a topic for a Congregational Study/Action Item; the 2012-2016 CS/AI is Reproductive Justice. Resources and a curriculum are available, and congregations are encouraged to explore actions appropriate to their locale. Beyond abortion rights and contraception, Reproductive Justice includes issues of class, race, economic status, and even physical location, and others that affect parenting.
The workshop started off with an overview of Reproductive Justice, followed by a short background of the struggle for rights in Texas, including a presentation by one of the early organizers of the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
There were facilitated discussions at lunch on a variety of RJ questions followed by a short reporting session afterwards.
The afternoon panel discussed the current state of affairs and the workshop will then divided into breakout groups on education, activism/lobbying, and resources.
What is Reproductive Justice
Reproductive Justice has a much broader scope than contraception and abortion, including class, race, economic status, and physical location, and other factors that influence choices about conceiving and raising children.
Reproductive Justice Videos
These three videos help set the stage for the discussion:
Reproductive Justice: A term originally coined by organizations that promote the rights of Native women and women of color, reproductive justice is a concept that links reproductive rights with social justice. The reproductive justice movement arose in the late 1980s as an attempt by these organizations to expand the rhetoric of reproductive rights that focused primarily on choice within the abortion debate and was seen to restrict the dialogue to those groups of women they felt could make such a choice in the first place. In addition to advocating as do traditional reproductive rights platforms for the access of women to birth control, reproductive justice provides a framework that focuses additional attention on the social, political, and economic inequalities among different communities that contribute to infringements of reproductive justice.
"We believe Reproductive Justice exists when all people have the social, political and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions about our gender, bodies, sexuality and families for our selves and our communities."
"...coined in 1994 by women of color at the Cairo conference (officially the International Conference on Population and Development), some of whom went on to use that term later that year for an ad campaign by “Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice” that called for the Clinton Administration to honor its promises from Cairo in terms of its new health care plan. Three years later some of these women and many others founded SisterSong as a collective network of women of color organizations, and they have subsequently been the leaders in promoting the idea of Reproductive Justice."
10:00am An Overview of Reproductive Justice - Maia Cudhea
Panel 1: The struggle for rights in Texas - Pat Davidson, Vivian Castleberry
11:55am - 1:05pm Lunch (in Channing Hall) We will have a variety of burritos, including vegan versions.
Lunch will include facilitated discussions on a variety of Reproductive Justice questions and will be followed by a brief reporting session.
Panel II: Current State of Affairs Reproductive Justice. Panelists: T.B.A. Our remaining panelists are being brought together by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and will be announced shortly.
2:00 - 3:00 Breakouts on education, activism/lobbying, and resources.
3:00 - 4:00 Reports & Closing
Speaker Update: Vivian Castleberry was not able to attend the workshop and activist Lucina Martinez joined our afternoon session.
Vivian Anderson Castleberry has been called the "Godmother of the women's movement in Dallas." She is a member of the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, a pioneer and award-winning journalist responsible for some of the first press coverage in Dallas of issues like child abuse, birth control and prostitution. The documentary "Trailblazing Texas Women" included her in their profiles and she is part of the Oral History Project on Women Journalists.
Castleberry has continued her activism through several organizations she has helped found, including Peacemakers Incorporated and, with attorney and longtime women's rights advocate Louise Raggio, The Family Place, the first women's shelter in Dallas.
Maia Cudhea is Adjunct Professor of Women's Studies, University of North Texas, M.S. Sociology, and has been teaching for the Department of Women’s Studies at University of North Texas since 2009, including courses from Feminist Theory to Global Reproductive Policies & Politics. In addition, she coordinates Academic Support Services for student-athletes at UNT.
Her background is in Sociology, but her research contributions range from studying the status of women in Anthropology to sustainable Interior Design. She serves as a volunteer Board member for the Texas Equal Access Fund. A former YRUU-er, she grew up in Community UU Church of Plano, TX.
Pat Davidson was one of the early organizers of the landmark Roe v. Wade case. She is a long-term member of First Unitarian Church of Dallas and in the fall of 1968 was one of seven women who started a study group working on women's choice issues.
Gillian Parrillo is with the Dallas League of Women Voters and the Texas Civic Engagement Table. She was in the first wave of women who broke the corporate ‘glass ceiling.’ As Group President for Sterling Software, Inc., she was responsible for a $200M+ worldwide organization. During her 14-year tenure, Gillian held positions in Washington, D.C., London, U.K., Sacramento, CA., Paris, France, and Dallas, Texas.
Gillian now devotes herself full-time to trying to make the world a better place by registering and educating voters, lobbying national politicians on social issues (especially related to women), volunteering on political campaigns and coordinating a coalition of Dallas non-profits to maximize social impact. In 2012 she headed up National Voter Registration Day in Dallas registering more than 2000 voters at 60 local high schools utilizing more than 200 volunteers. It caused quite a stir!
Lucina Martinez is an immigrant rights activist whose work focuses on the intersections of gender and sexuality. Part of her work includes creating an online safe-space for undocumented LGBT immigrants through QUIR – Queer Undocumented Immigrant Rights. She studied Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio and currently lives in Dallas.