FYRE Media Justice Camp 2016 Extension & Announcement

We are extending our FYRE Media Justice Camp applications until THIS Thursday, June 23rd. This program centers the voices and experiences of Queer & Trans individuals and focuses on Reproductive Justice and Social Justice related issues effecting our Queer and Trans communities of color as well as our black communities. Given our goal of connecting the stories and experiences of queer and trans youth of color and young black women, we are opening space to include young Black women allies and advocates (18-30) who have an understanding of the intersections of Reproductive Justice and Queer Liberation.

Apply here.

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SPARK Stands with Women in the Fight for Reproductive Justice and Health Equity

By Shayla Robinson

In 2016, it should be an undeniable fact that restrictions around reproductive health services for women, including access to abortion care and health coverage, serve as a detrimental barrier to full health equity across the nation. From national bills, such as the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits insurance providers from covering abortion services for state and federal employees, as well as bans Medicaid coverage of abortion services, to the most recent attacks on reproductive health centers, including Planned Parenthood Centers; all of which are prime examples of systemic barriers that prohibit reproductive justice and freedom. The lack of access to healthcare and full comprehensive coverage for women, especially in Georgia, represents a serious challenge to women’s bodily autonomy and ability to make choices for herself and her family.

The current political climate highlights how these issues surrounding access to healthcare and reproductive services affect Georgia women. It is estimated that over 600,000 women in Georgia do not have adequate health coverage, owing in part to the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Such a failure only further increases the disparities in health and reproductive services available to vulnerable populations of women, such as women of color, Black women, women who have low-income, and queer and trans women. Lack of adequate health care only exacerbates other issues related to sexual and reproductive health, such as the high rates of maternal mortality in Georgia, with 30 deaths occurring per every 100,000 births. Unsurprisingly, these issues affect women along racial and socioeconomic lines, with low-income women of color bearing the brunt of the inequity.

Determining whether or not to have an abortion is never simple because no circumstance exists within a vacuum. Our communities’ make these decisions based on the economic opportunities, health insurance status as well as family and social support. Lack of access to services and coverage increases the complexity of the circumstances and robs women of their agency. Thus is why there is a need to focus statewide efforts on closing the coverage gap and center on Medicaid expansion activities, as well as, changing health care policy in Georgia.

Lack of comprehensive reproductive health services and education can also be seen in the state of Georgia’s funding of crisis pregnancy centers, otherwise known as “fake abortion clinics,” as opposed to funding licensed, medical clinics that provide vital health and reproductive services to women. Not only do these “fake abortion clinics” being endorsed and funded act as decoys and barriers to abortion care services, later abortion care services have also been banned in the state. Georgia, along with Florida, served as one of the only Southern states that provided outpatient abortions after 20 weeks. After the ban, which prohibited abortions after twenty weeks from fertilization, the rate of women who received abortions services after twenty weeks dropped by forty percent.  Women are increasingly forced into making decisions that do not serve or represent their needs.

Given that over 84% of women become mothers before the age of 40, it is important that women not only have adequate comprehensive sexual and reproductive and healthcare, but social and economic resources to ensure that they will be able to care and provide for their children. This is why SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW stands with Black women, women of color, queer and trans women. We stand with all women.  Ensuring that all women have equitable access to adequate health services will ensure that women will be able to thrive and make choices for themselves and their families, not out of desperation, but based on what is truly best for their lives.

Meet Shayla Robinson!

We are pleased to welcome Shayla Robinson to the SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW family as our new Program Specialist/Organizer!

Shayla RobinsonShayla Robinson is a Southern same-gender loving femme woman. She graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Women’s Studies and Art History. At UGA, she served as the Co-President of Triota, the Women’s Studies Honor Society and was an LGBT Resource Center Ambassador. These engagements allowed her to become more involved with her community, where she was able to promote diverse perspectives and viewpoints and foster a safe space for LGBT people of color. In the fall, she will begin her Master’s in Women’s and Gender Studies at Georgia State University. She is interested in pursuing scholarship related to Afrofuturism and Black Feminist Thought, especially Love Politics, as well as a career that focuses on social justice and liberation for all marginalized groups.

“I am excited to join the SPARK team because reproductive justice is an issue that touches all members of marginalized communities, and I want to utilize my talents for the betterment of marginalized communities in the South, and creating a more inclusive home for all LGBT+ folks of color who want to live and love in the South,” states Shayla.

We are honored to have Shayla as a member of our team and know we will accomplish great things together! Join us in welcoming Shayla Robinson and wishing her the best in her journey with SPARK.

Her Radiant Light Honors Revolutionary Warrior Women

Her Radiant LightJoin SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW & SisterSong tomorrow for Her Radiant Light, a candlelight vigil honoring and celebrating the lives of 16 tremendous, revolutionary, warrior women.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, we hope to create a collective space for lifting, remembering, and healing to restore our collective spirits and connect us to the resilient, freedom-seeking women who are no longer with us.


Event Details

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
7:30PM – 8:30PM
Brownwood Park
602 Brownwood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316

Facebook Event

Thank You!

LT2016 Group Photo

Thank you to everyone who came out to the 9th Annual LegislateTHIS! This day would not have been possible without your continued support of SPARK and dedication to realizing Reproductive Justice in Georgia and the South!

Across Generations Pt. 2 to follow the 9th Annual LegislateTHIS!

Across Generations Pt. 2Join SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW on February 18th at 6:30PM at “Across Generations Pt. 2”, an inter-generational panel of local organizers, elders, and artivists honoring Black History Month. We will discuss Black Queer & Trans organizing in the South focusing on the theme “Liberating Our Bodies, Our Communities, Our Futures.”

This event will follow the 9th Annual LegislateTHIS! and continue the powerful conversation we hosted in October 2015 during LGBTQ History Month.


Event Details

Thursday, February 18th, 2016
6:30PM – 8:00PM
Phillip Rush Center Annex
1530 DeKalb Ave Ne, Atlanta, GA 30307

RSVP on Facebook

This event will replace our monthly Kick It with SPARK and is open to all, prioritizing space for LGBTQQ youth of color (16 – 25) to socialize, build community, and find resources.

Register NOW for the 9th Annual LegislateTHIS!

LT2016-PosterThe 9th Annual LegislateTHIS! is one week away!

Join us on Thursday, February 18th for a day of powerful community mobilization and legislative advocacy as we work towards policy and culture shifts to liberate our bodies, our communities, and our futures!

The day will open with breakfast at 9AM, followed by a legislative advocacy training with visits to the GA Capitol, and a keynote by the dynamic Mary Hooks, Co-Director of Co-Director of Southerners On New Ground.

In order to build towards the world that SPARK envisions, we need your support. Don’t miss out, RSVP on Facebook and register TODAY!

Event Details

Thursday, February 18th, 2016
9:00AM – 1:00PM
Trinity United Methodist Church
265 Washington Street SW

Facebook Event

Parking is available in the Government Center Parking Deck located south of the church. Parking validation available for event attendees.

Last Chance to Dig Deep for Reproductive Justice in 2015!

Update 12/31/2015

Tonight marks the end of 2015 and our end of the year giving campaign. As we count down to the New Year, we ask that you dig deep and give big to ignite reproductive justice in the South!


 

Thanks to you, SPARK’s work to build and sustain a powerful reproductive Justice movement in Georgia and throughout the South is stronger than ever.Through your tax-deductible gifts to SPARK, you help us to build new leadership, change culture, and advance knowledge to ensure individuals and communities have resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about our bodies, genders, sexualities, and lives.

As we look to 2016, we need your support to ensure this critical work. Help SPARK change in the South. Make your gift today!

In 2016, your end of the year donation will fund:

  • Speak Justice Take Action – We will continue the important work of making the legislative process accessible to our communities utilizing our signature queer political frame. We will host our 9th Annual LegislateTHIS!, advocating to close the coverage gap and empower our community leaders to share their stories and lobby our elected officials at the Georgia State Capitol on key reproductive justice issues. Click here to hear from participants at our 8th Annual LegislateTHIS!
  • Fierce Youth Reclaiming & Empowering – As we close out the year having hosted our 5th FYRE Media Justice Camp, we will continue providing Queer and Trans youth of color with the skills and resources to generate their own media and strengthen their communities through peer support and leadership development using reproductive justice and queer liberation. Look out for the return of Kick It with SPARK in January 2016!
  • SPARK Organizing Intensive – In 2016, we will kick off the 2nd cohort of our Queer and Trans youth of color and Women of Color reproductive justice, issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, community mobilization, and strategic communications training to foster the potential and leadership within our movements.

This important work would not be possible without your continued support! You help us to empower Black Women, Queer & Trans youth of color, and Women of Color to critique media, strengthen their leadership and political power, and fight for reproductive justice in the South.

Make your end of the year tax-deductible donation now and join us in our call to SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW for our bodies, our communities, and our futures!

Dr. Krystal Redman
Executive Director


SPARK A Change Group Photo

Thanks to you and our sponsors, SPARK A Change was an amazing success and a beautiful time! Check out the images from the evening captured by Mike EdenCandra Umunna, and The Steele Frame.

Couldn’t join us? It’s not too late to make your end of the year gift!

[FLASH SALE] SPARK A Change is TODAY! Get Your Tickets NOW!

Tonight, we kick off the first SPARK A Change: A Fundraiser & Celebration!

For the next 7 HOURS, we will be discounting all event tickets! Use discount codes “reprojustice10” to receive $10 off Student/Community tickets and “reprojustice20” to receive $20 off all General Admissions tickets at checkout!

Tonight will feature performances from local poets, musicians, and dancers – Amber Makayla, camil williams, Jasmine Green, Grace Nichols, and Sabia Nayeli – with DJ Canvas bringing their signature chilltrap hiphop beats to carry us through to a liberatory dance party!

Online ticket sales end at 5PM. Take a moment and purchase your ticket NOW! We look forward to seeing you tonight!

To learn more about our performers, click the image below.

Performers


Help us promote the SPARK A Change flash sale with these sample messages!

Facebook / Instagram

#SPARKAChange is TONIGHT! For the next 7 HOURS, SPARK is offering a discount on all tickets. Use “reprojustice10” for $10 off Student/Community tickets and “reprojustice20” for $20 off all General Admission tickets! Buy your ticket NOW and support liberatory RJ work in the South! www.sparkrj.org/change #SPARKAChange ‪#‎ReproJustice

Promo Image

Twitter

#SPARKAChange is TONIGHT! Use “reprojustice10” at checkout to get $10 off Student/Community tickets! http://ow.ly/UVvRd #ReproJustice

#SPARKAChange is TONIGHT! Use “reprojustice20” at checkout to get $20 off all Gen Ad tickets! http://ow.ly/UVvRd  #ReproJustice

Promo Image


This event would not be possible without our amazing sponsors!

Sponsors

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, LyfeStyle Homes, National Network of Abortion Funds, Civil Liberties & Public Policy, Lambda Legal, National Asian Pacific American Women’s ForumForward Together, Planned Parenthood Southeast, and Benetta Standly

Dear Amber Rose and SlutWalkers . . . Past, Present, and Future

By Maylot Mulugeta

On Saturday Oct. 3rd, you, alongside many other feminists and feminist organizations SlutWalked down the streets of Los Angeles. In the face of a lot of hate and institutionalized oppression, in regards to our bodies, our sexuality, and our expression, you stood with dignity and unapologetic strength. Using the innovative idea of two fierce and bold organizers Heather Jarvis and Natalie Brouse, you created a space that was both radical and inclusive. A space that was for and by women — a space for reclaiming and for refusing.

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