Activists and organizations across the country fight every day to protect and advance reproductive health, rights, and justice. Partner Profiles highlights their experiences. Send suggestions for advocates or organizations to be featured in Partner Profiles to Jenny Dodson Mistry at jmistry@nirhealth.org.

Kwajelyn Jackson

Kwajelyn Jackson is the Community Education and Advocacy Manager at Feminist Women’s Health Center (FWHC) in Atlanta, GA. She manages a variety of community and advocacy-related projects, from policy advocacy to community outreach and volunteer management. Kwajelyn spoke with the National Institute about FWHC’s community and legislative advocacy to support the passage of the Georgia Strong Families Resolution. In 2016, their focus will be on grassroots organizing and community education.

Paula Harris

Paula Harris is a public defender and board member of the Pittsburgh chapter of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. She has been a clinic escort for over thirty years, and currently volunteers with both Allegheny Reproductive Health Center and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. Paula spoke with the National Institute about why she escorts and how Pittsburgh’s buffer zone law has impacted protester activity and improved patient access to abortion clinics.

Senti Sojawl & Emily Zahn

Senti Sojwal is a reproductive justice activist who has worked with NARAL Pro-Choice New York and Hampshire College’s Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) annual conference. Before moving to South Korea as a teacher, Senti volunteered with NARAL Pro-Choice New York as an undercover investigator into New York crisis pregnancy centers.  Emily Zahn is the Field and Organizing Coordinator at NARAL Pro-Choice New York. Senti spoke with the National Institute, NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s sister organization, about her experiences posing as a pregnant woman at crisis pregnancy centers and the negative impacts of these facilities, and Emily shared ways people can volunteer and ensure their voice is heard.

Karen Yang & Rebecca Turner

Karen Yang and Reverend Rebecca Turner are the Program Coordinator and Executive Director, respectively, of Faith Aloud, a St. Louis-based organization devoted to eradicating religious stigma associated with abortion and sexuality. They spoke with the National Institute about the role of religious communities and leaders in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement, and the Medically-Accurate Sexual Health Education for Missouri (MASHE for MO) campaign, which aims to bring comprehensive sex education to the school districts with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STIs.

Update: Faith Aloud has since closed down, but their clergy counseling line is now offered as part of Backline.

Tannia Esparza

Tannia Esparza is a queer Xicana who serves as the Executive Director of Young Women United, a reproductive justice organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She spoke with the National Institute about the 2013 Respect ABQ Women campaign, which successfully defeated Albuquerque’s proposed twenty-week abortion ban, and Young Women United’s role in the campaign.

Diane Roseman and Megan Smith

Diane Roseman is a volunteer abortion counselor who has fought for reproductive justice causes for over 20 years. Megan Smith is the founder of the Repeal Hyde Art Project, a community art installation that raises awareness and creates dialogue about the Hyde Amendment. Diane and Megan both also work with the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion (EMA) Fund. They spoke with the National Institute about their successful advocacy efforts through the EMA Fund to win passage of a 2013 Cambridge City Council resolution supporting public funding for abortion care and about the importance of local advocacy for abortion coverage.

Cherisse Scott

Cherisse Scott is a reproductive justice leader and the founder of SisterReach, Tennessee’s only reproductive justice organization. She spoke with the National Institute about her organization and its role in advocating for stronger comprehensive sex education in Memphis, as well as the importance of the reproductive justice framework, particularly in the South.