SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW Affirms the Agency of Black Lives on the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW celebrates the spirit of this victory, even in the face of federal and state-based attacks to restrict women’s access to abortion care.

As an organization that works to improve access to reproductive healthcare for Black women and queer and trans youth of color, Roe has helped to affirm the bodily autonomy of women in our communities. Black women are three times more likely than white women to have an unintended pregnancy, four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, and are more likely to raise their children in poverty. Access to abortion remains vital to the lives of Black women and families to protect our health and well-being.

“SPARK’s commitment to ensuring that Black women have access to the resources they need to lead self-determined lives extends to all forms of healthcare – including abortion,” says SPARK board member Tonya Williams. “We will continue to fight so that Black women can make liberatory decisions about our bodies, our health, and our lives.”

On this day, we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the protections assured by the Roe v. Wade decision.  We stand with those who are fighting back attempts to corrode those protections. And we celebrate the victories we have won, and those to come.

One Contribution, TWICE the Impact. Give to SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW Today!

Give Today!

Dear Friends,

As SPARK looks to 2015, we need your support to continue to build and sustain a reproductive justice (RJ) movement in the Deep South. SPARK’s work is critical in developing Southern based RJ leaders from marginalized communities to advocate for policies and practices that empower young families throughout Georgia to lead on key reproductive rights and health issues and foster sustainable change. Importantly, SPARK amplifies the voices of queer and trans youth of color and young women of color that are often overlooked in our struggles for justice.

And with the support of a generous donor, every dollar contributed to SPARK by Midnight on December 31st will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000!

Your financial contribution to SPARK will provide the necessary support we need as we continue to implement our longstanding and successful programming:

  • Speak Justice Take Action Program educates our constituency on the legislative process and offer policy analysis using a queer political frame. From advocating for proactive anti-shackling legislation to closing the coverage gap, our “Legislate THIS!” Day of Action brings our community members to the Georgia State Capitol to lobby our elected officials and empower youth leaders to share their stories.

 

  • Fierce Youth Reclaiming & Empowering Program and FYRE Media Justice Camp provides Queer and Trans youth of color with the skills and resources to generate their own media and strengthen their communities through peer support and community based-research published through blogs, editorials, social media, and television and radio interviews to combat mainstream narratives that overlook our communities.

 

  • SPARK Organizing Intensive trains queer and trans youth of color and young women of color on RJ issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, community mobilization, and strategic communications to foster the potential and leadership within our movements.

This important work would not be possible without your continued and generous support. SPARK is one of the few organizations in the Deep South that actively organizes local communities and pushes for policies that improve the lives of black women and LGBTQ youth of color. Your single contribution will have TWICE the impact in 2015. Please give and join with us in affirming: Our lives matter. Our families matter. Our communities matter.

Yours in the struggle,

Board of Directors
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

Change Starts with Just a SPARK of Justice. Give Back Today!

Gving Tuesday HeaderDear Friends,

We are at an important crossroads when it comes to the health and rights of Black women and Queer and Trans youth of color in the state of Georgia.

During the 2014 Legislative Session, House Bill 990 passed, adding yet another barrier to closing the coverage gap for low-income uninsured Georgians by requiring that Medicaid expansion meet the approval of the State legislature. Compounding this loss, conservative leadership was re-elected to every constitutional office during the 2014 mid-term elections, and marginalized communities, particularly Queer and Trans youth of color, continue to be denied access to media to tell their own stories of reproductive oppression.

Thanks to the support of reproductive justice advocates like you, SPARK is able to fight back, giving a voice to Black women and Queer and Trans youth of color, that are often overlooked. In order to continue our efforts, we need your help!

SPARK is the only organization in the Deep South that actively organizes local communities, mobilizes activists, and advocates for policies that improve the lives of Black women and Queer and Trans youth of color. Our programming develops leaders from marginalized communities to participate in the legislative process; trains media spokespersons to tell their own stories, offers political analysis; and mobilizes diverse leaders throughout the Atlanta area to support policies and practices that ensure reproductive freedom for all.

  1. Our Speak Justice Take Action Program allows us to educate our constituency on the legislative process and offers policy analysis using a queer political frame. Through this program, we have developed leaders from marginalized communities to speak to the Georgia legislature and administrators about women’s health, reproductive justice, and the health coverage gap, criminalization of women and families, and voting rights. This year, we hosted our eighth annual “Legislate THIS!” Day of Action bringing 59 community members to the Georgia State Capitol, lobbied 20 representatives, and empowered 4 youth leaders to share their stories.
  1. Our Fierce Youth Reclaiming & Empowering Program and FYRE Media Justice Camp (FMJC) allows us to provide Queer and Trans youth of color with the skills and resources to generate their own media and strengthen their communities through peer support and community based-research published through blogs, editorials, social media, and television and radio interviews to combat mainstream narratives that overlook our communities. In our 2014 FMJC, we hosted 10 Queer youth of color and produced 3 blogs and 3 short films on the coverage gap, abortion, and violence experienced by Queer and Trans youth of color.
  1. SPARK’s Integrated Voter Engagement Program has been highly successful. This program centers around educating women of color voters and their families across the greater Atlanta area on issues ranging from education, community violence, and police misconduct to health care. SPARK also empowered voters to share their health care access stories in light of the coverage gap caused Georgia’s shameful refusal to participate in Medicaid expansion. Through our Integrated Voter Engagement Program, SPARK touched 4,273 voters and their families through door knocking, telephone canvassing, and a direct mail campaign. In addition, we targeted outreach to LGBTQQ youth of color voters via a Twitter chat.

As we move into 2015, SPARK recognizes that the work that we do is pivotal to building and sustaining a reproductive justice movement in the South. We know that our efforts can inspire new grassroots leadership, stand in solidarity with and support the small cadre of organizations during similar work in Georgia and throughout the Southern region, and show the powerbrokers in Georgia that the best way to make sustainable change starts with just a spark of justice.

We stand firm in our commitment to work with our partners to make a difference in our communities regardless of the conservative super-majority that makes up the Georgia legislature. Failure is not an option!

Please join us by signing on to our team of Sustaining Donors today. Give to ensure that reproductive justice in the South can inspire change throughout the nation.

Thank you for your commitment and support.

Sincerely,

Heidi Williamson, Board President
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW