In Pittsburgh, New Voices for Reproductive Justice is lifting up and celebrating Black voices on issues like race, gender, and environmental justice.
The organization is dedicated to dismantling patriarchal anti-Blackness using tools and programs that focus on voter engagement, community organizing, and leadership development in Pittsburgh and throughout the state.
Three key strategies
Increase voter registration and ensure that Black women and gender-expansive people have the information and knowledge they need to cast their vote on behalf of themselves, their families, and their communities.
Provide training, workshops, and events that support a communal and shared commitment to create a future where Black women and gender-expansive people enjoy lives free from violence, abuse, and neglect.
Create and support youth projects that equip the next generation of advocates, policymakers, activists, and change makers, including expanding Black girls, femmes and gender-expansive people’s understanding of reproductive justice.
Black Women, Green Future
One of the organization’s most unique leadership development programs is Black Women, Green Future, which supports and promotes Black women and femmes who are environmental justice leaders acting upon a share vision.
“Reproductive and environmental justice are linked,” explains Hannah Litchfield, External Affairs Manager. “For example, environmental degradation has a profound impact on Black birthing people and their children’s quality of life. We like to point out that your first home is the womb, but it’s not your last.”
Recently, the organization held its annual Black Women, Green Future awards ceremony where it celebrated five Black leaders for their environmental justice work.
Reach out! You can follow New Voices for Reproductive Justice on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @newvoicesrj. The organization’s website also includes information about abortion access.
What you can do right now: Vote and educate yourself
Hannah encourages all Black women and gender-expansive people to educate themselves about candidates that support body autonomy. “Find out which candidates believe in the right for people to make their own bodily choices,” she says. “Also, if you’re not registered to vote, please register now. It’s never too early.”
Hannah notes it’s equally important for Black woman and gender-expansive people to educate themselves on reproductive justice — and have conversations about reproductive rights with family members and significant others. “This movement has been around since the 1990s and was founded by Black women experts,” she states. “Learn about it, support it, and continue the work.”