ANITA: Speaking Truth to Power

ANITASPARK Reproductive Justice NOW is honored to be co-sponsoring a screening of ANITA, a powerful new documentary exploring the life and legacy of Anita Hill, will open in Atlanta on Friday, April 4, at the Regal Tara Cinemas 4. Join Spark Reproductive Justice Now for a special screening and Q.A. with Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall.

ABOUT THE FILM

An entire country watched transfixed as a poised, beautiful African-American woman in a blue dress sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. That October day in 1991 Anita Hill, a bookish law professor from Oklahoma, was thrust onto the world stage and instantly became a celebrated, hated, venerated, and divisive figure.

Anita Hill’s graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still today. She has become an American icon, empowering millions of women and men around the world to stand up for equality and justice.

Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, ANITA reveals the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power. Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, the film is both a celebration of Anita Hill’s legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side that fateful day 22 years ago. Anita Hill courageously speaks openly and intimately for the first time about her experiences that led her to testify before the Senate and the obstacles she faced in simply telling the truth. She also candidly discusses what happened to her life and work in the 22 years since.

Join Our Team: Apply to be the Speak Justice Take Action Field Director!

Organization Mission and Overview

Founded in 2007, SPARK is a vibrant statewide reproductive justice organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. SPARK advocates for sound sexual and reproductive health policy by ensuring the perspective and leadership of women of color, young parents, and LGBTQQ youth of color are part of the reproductive justice movement. We foster a collaborative model of advocacy, leadership, collective grassroots organizing and action, voter engagement, and discourse for reproductive justice.  Our mission is to collaborate with individuals, communities, and organizations to grow and sustain a powerful reproductive justice movement in Georgia and the South.

SPARK incorporates leadership development, media justice training, and civic engagement programs for women and young queer people of color through our three core programs: Fierce Youth Reclaiming and Empowering, Women of Color Organizing and Public Policy Initiative, and Speak Justice Take Action.

SPARK is a small team of committed, dynamic and smart people who work hard, laugh easily and are eager to attract, develop, and support leaders like you in creating social justice. Find out more about us at www.sparkrj.org.

Position Overview

The Speak Justice Take Action Field Director is a senior level full-time position with benefits leading the Speak Justice Take Action Program. Speak Justice Take Action (SJTA) is SPARK’s signature longstanding program led on the principle that civic engagement and direct mobilization are vital to making and sustaining real change in our communities. The Field Director is charged with garnering public support for reproductive justice by organizing, implementing, and evaluating field plans to win on our campaign issues along with networking and connecting with social movement partners. The position will contribute strategic and political analysis and work closely with the Executive Director and field team to build coalitions and alliances with strategic partners. The role understands comprehensive campaigns, field operations, youth empowerment, and adult education methods to develop culturally appropriate capacity building activities and civic engagement opportunities for partners both locally and in the field.  This position will require a minimum of 25% in-state travel.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Speak Justice, Take Action Program: Work includes developing political education curriculum, facilitating workshops; creating and implementing a recruitment strategy to grow the program; doing leadership development with program participants; implementing evaluation systems; and handling logistics functions; responsible for organizing signature “Legislate This!” day of action.
  • Campaign planning and implementation: Develop and support campaign to expand Medicaid in Georgia; support on-going campaigns as they emerge, helping SPARK take meaningful and strategic action
  • Relationship Building and Management: Builds relationships with key partners including allied social justice organizations in the civil rights, criminal justice, women’s, LGBT, and youth movements across the state; identify places of collaboration and shared action; leverage relationships to increase support for RJ campaigns; represent SPARK at coalition meetings
  • Evaluation: Create and implement consistent evaluation as part of program development
  • Administration and Fundraising: Perform core administrative duties for position including budget management, reporting, and logistical support; assist with fundraising duties as assigned

QUALIFICATIONS

  • BA/BS minimum Masters level or higher preferred
  • Personal qualities of integrity, understands the importance of credibility with community partners, and dedication to the mission of SPARK
  • Stellar communication skills: including strong writing, social media engagement, and motivational public speaking ability
  • Licensed driver with experience traveling throughout the state of Georgia successfully working with rural and urban communities on voter engagement and social justice issues.
  • 3+ years previous community, labor, student, faith-based or related organizing experience
  • Politically savvy, creative intellectual with seasoned experience working in a fast-paced small non-profit environment on progressive campaign issues in a conservative state.
  • Successful experience with 3+ years leading and managing diverse staff in a collaborative format with ethnically, culturally, and gender diverse populations prioritizing multiracial transgender inclusion
  • Computer skills: working knowledge of campaign databases including the Voter Activation Network, Word processing, spreadsheet, excel and multimedia presentation software
  • English fluency required; other language(s) desirable (Spanish)
  • Familiarity with 501(c)3 and non-profit management
  • Ability to work independently and in a team
  • Ability to work long hours, including nights and weekends

SALARY & BENEFITS

The salary for this position will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience.  SPARK offers full medical benefits package, including vacation and medical leave.

LOCATION

The candidate must be located in or willing to relocate to Atlanta, GA.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The application deadline is Monday, April 14, 2014.

A complete application will include a cover letter, resume and writing sample. Applications are preferred via email to info@sparkrj.org. Place “Speak Justice Take Action Field Director” in the subject line. Applications may also be sent to SPARK RJ Now, Attn: Hiring Committee, P.O. Box 89210, Atlanta GA 30312.

No phone calls please. If you have any questions, email info@sparkrj.org.

SPARK is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the bases of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or any other non-merit based factor.

Download this Job Announcement: SPARK Field Director Position

Young Invincibles Care About ObamaCare

By Quita Tinsley

National Youth Enrollment Day

Visit getcoveredamerica.org for more info!
Photo Credit: Synergy By Design

February 15th is “National Youth Enrollment Dayfor the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” In fact, this is the last day one can enroll in the marketplace in order to get a health policy that will go into effect by March 1st. As a youth leader of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, a health justice advocacy organization in Atlanta, GA, I am excited to tell other youth about signing up for health care tomorrow. Yet, National Youth Enrollment Day means so much more to me.

In the popular debate about health care, TV analysts often describe young people as aloof to the massive issue of health care reform. They dismiss our lack of enrollment as not desiring health insurance because most of us are “healthy.” They argue that Millennials don’t care about Obamacare and call us the “young invincibles.”

Perhaps the passive viewer buys what these pundits say and never question why they aren’t talking to young people. Why they aren’t asking Millennials if they want affordable health care. This is wrong, and young people deserve to be heard. As a young, queer, Black woman living in the South, on the eve of National Youth Enrollment Day, I will share my story with you.

While enrolled in college in 2010, I was covered under my mother’s health insurance policy. A factory worker, my mother was one of the few blue-collar, low wage workers to have health insurance coverage. During a “temporary” lay-off her employer, without her knowledge or consent, canceled her health insurance policy leaving us both without coverage. Unfortunately, we did not discover this fact until a $400 medical bill arrived from one of my doctor’s visit. This might not seem like a large sum, but for my mother struggling to make ends meet with a daughter in college, this was huge. Shortly thereafter, she was permanently laid off by her employer, and we have both been without health insurance.

My story is not unique. African Americans are 55 percent more likely to be uninsured than White Americans and account for 20 percent of the uninsured in the US. Nationally, 6.8 million African Americans eligible for coverage are uninsured with 55 percent (3.8 million) having family incomes 100 percent below the Federal Poverty Line. 3.2 million (47 percent) are young adults ages 18 to 35, and of this figure, 1.3 million (41 percent) are women.

The figures are staggering. And yet, while we fight to live long, healthy lives – overcome health disparities and their causes – insurance companies are fighting for their bottom-lines pressuring consumers into more expensive insurance plans and concealing the benefits of the ACA. Let’s be clear, when a multi-million dollar company says they can’t afford to provide health care to their employees, what they are actually saying is that saving a buck and turning a profit means more to them than the safety and health of their workers.

Unfortunately, this behavior is all too common and is mirrored by our elected officials. Instead of rallying for our best interests, many have tried their best to halt the promise of the ACA, even going so far as to shut down the Federal government to prevent its implementation and rejecting key measures of the policy that could save the lives of millions. As of February 7, 2014, 25 states (Georgia included) have opted to not expand Medicaid eligibility, denying health care coverage to the estimated 1.7 million young African Americans ages 18 to 34 that would be eligible for Medicaid coverage if all states participate in the ACA’s Medicaid expansion program. In a state home to 631,000 uninsured African Americans, Governor Deal’s decision to reject federal subsidies and not expand Medicaid is mindboggling.

Furthermore, naysayers attribute low-enrollment of young adults in the health care marketplace to the eventual failure of this health care reform. While simultaneously blocking low-income young people from receiving coverage. How can the policy live up to its potential when those most in need are being denied access? An estimated 500,000 African American young adults have already received coverage under a provision of the ACA that allows youth to stay on their parent’s insurance plan until age 26.  But what about the 40 percent of LGBTQQ homeless youth? Where do they turn for health care coverage?

The ACA has provided a needed foundation for establishing competent, quality health care in the US, however, there is much more work to be done to ensure that the millions living without coverage can have access to care. As our elected officials roll the dice on our health care and our lives, we have to use our collective power to put pressure on our local governments and demand that they take action to expand Medicaid.

Yes, I am a youth — one of many living in the South who care about our health destiny.

Join us and SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday, February 20th for our 7th Annual LegislateTHIS! statewide day of action and lobby event as we stand for Medicaid expansion and health justice for all!

Visit www.getcoveredamerica.org to find local “National Youth Enrollment Day” events in your area.

Quita TinsleyQuita is a self-described ‘city girl, with small town roots.’ She is a graduate of Georgia State University (the real GSU) with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, a concentration in Public Relations and minor in Sociology. Due to the power of capitalism, she moonlights as a recruiter for a staffing agency in Metro Atlanta.

She was a participant in SPARK’s 2013 FYRE Media Justice Camp and a former Communications and Programs intern. She’s a femme, a feminist and a woman of color. She believes in the power of storytelling and validation of lived experiences. She hopes to continue fighting oppression and uplifting silenced people, all while wearing a stylish bow and lipstick.