Over the past several months, I’ve been focusing on creating a cohesive fusion between what I provide for clients: education and action planning using the Reproductive Justice (RJ) framework, education and training on program evaluation, and using design thinking to create programs and services for women and girls of color.
I became a Generative Fellow through CoreAlign’s Generative Fellows in March 2016 where my primary interest at the time was on developing a method for evaluating RJ programs and services.
Evaluation is an ever-evolving field, but since my first Fellows retreat in March, I’ve grown more interested in design thinking and how it can be used as a new entry point into the Reproductive Justice movement. As a result, I switched my project’s focus during my final Fellows retreat in September.
I’ve reached out to nonprofit professionals, community leaders, students, teachers and more, whom I hope this toolkit will be used by. I asked them about their struggles in applying the RJ framework into their professional and personal lives, and their struggles in articulating this framework to others. Also, in working with former and current clients, I’ve noticed something else: What people think Reproductive Justice looks likes isn’t really Reproductive Justice at all.
Why is that? Some work in environments that are more “Reproductive Health” or “Reproductive Rights” without a focus on intersectionality (one of the core principles of Reproductive Justice). This makes it hard to promote a framework that’s not acknowledged in the space, that’s not acknowledged, or is acknowledged but there will need to be a major shift in order for RJ to be centered.
And when you’re developing programs and campaigns that aren’t grounded in solid program theory and mutual collaboration, it won’t matter how well you know the RJ framework and what to include it in what you do.
Enter the Reproductive Justice Action Toolkit. (…or something like that. This is the name I’m going with for now.)
This toolkit focuses on a 3-part system: 1) A strong foundation in RJ, 2) solid program/campaign development, and 3) collaborative and engaging evaluation activities.
It’s my hope that this Action Toolkit will serve as a go-to reference for nonprofits, schools, community groups, and government agencies on creating collaborative and impactful Reproductive Justice programs and campaigns in their communities.
And I need your feedback! I’ve created a survey to get your opinion on what crucial elements you feel should be included. Share your feedback and let me know what you think. My goal is to begin piloting this toolkit with nonprofits, community groups, and more in late Winter 2016-early Spring 2017. As a token of appreciation, when you complete the survey, you’ll receive The Revolution Starts with Me! the self care zine I developed with my co-facilitator Adaku Utah.