Meet Our Keynote Speaker, Jennifer Barnes!

LegislateTHIS! is our annual statewide day of action and advocacy where you can expect to hear from key leaders about pertinent public policy issues and educate our policymakers at the GA Capitol about the reproductive justice agenda.

We are just a mere hours away from the 10th Annual LegislateTHIS! taking place tomorrow, THURSDAY FEB 23, from 9:00am – 2:00pm, at Trinity United Methodist Church, and are doubly honored to have Jennifer Barnes as the Keynote Speaker who, among many things, recently delivered an unflinching indictment on the state’s negligent housing practices at SPARK’s hearing with the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus on the HIV epidemic in Georgia.

For the 2017 legislative session, SPARK invokes Kimberlee Crenshaw’s work on #Intersectionality, and calls on YOU to carry on in the tradition of grassroots community leaders, like Jennifer, who believe that we can speak truth to power and hold our elected representatives accountable through the collective power of #ReproductiveJustice.

Register for the 10th Annual Legislate THIS! today.

Thank You!

SOI 2017 is a wrap!

SPARK Organizing Intensive (SOI) February 19, 2017 at the Troy Moore Library at Georgia State University

Posted by Spark Reproductive Justice Now on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

 

The SPARK Organizing Intensive (SOI) engages an intergenerational cohort of reproductive justice and sexual health advocates through collaborative intensive political skill development for comprehensive and sound reproductive justice policies in the Southeast. As a lead up to Legislate This!, the SOI is geared towards supporting and empowering people of color, while centering the experiences of Black Women and queer & trans youth of color. The training is an opportunity for both new and experienced organizers and activists to dig deep on pressing issues that affect our communities across identities, gain concrete organizing and campaign building skills, and directly organize and support community events and projects throughout 2017.

This year, the training was held at the Troy Moore Library at GSU and we were joined by Devin Barrington-Ward, a long-time supporter and lobbyist for SPARK as well as Sable Nelson, Esq., the Policy and Advocacy Program Manager at SisterLove, Inc.

SPARK thanks you all for your attendance and encourage you all to make your voices heard as advocated and allies in the fight for reproductive justice!

Resist Trump & Kill The Gag!

Trump’s global gag rule is a grotesque expansion of a failed, deadly policy that prohibits foreign organizations that receive U.S. global health assistance from providing or even discussing abortions with patients. This rule now threatens access to safe abortion and other basic health care for millions of people around the world.

We know that this egregious attack on the health and lives of women and other people who depend on U.S.-funded health programs for their care is just the first of many attempts the Trump Administration will make to strip away our sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Fight back and say NO to the global gag rule, NO to abortion bans. Not now, not ever!

Commemorate International Women’s Day and the day of the Women’s Strike on Wednesday, MARCH 8, with our national partners by marching to the White House to protest the Global Gag Rule.

11:00am: Gather in Freedom Plaza
11:30am: March to the White House
12pm: Protest in Lafayette Park

Questions? Email mcanu@genderhealth.org.

Interested in getting involved outside the D.C. area? Join the movement on Twitter using the hashtags #TrumpGlobalGag and #NoAbortionBan.

Steering committee members include Advocates for Youth, Catholics for Choice, CHANGE, Feminist Majority Foundation, In Our Own Voice, National LGBTQ Task Force, and NAPAWF.

Any attack on abortion rights is an attack on all of us.

A message from our lobbyist, Devin Barrington-Ward

Did you know that pregnant women serving time in correctional facilities in states like Georgia are shackled and handcuffed while they give birth to their child?

Check out this letter I co-wrote with Dr. Krystal Redman, Executive Director of Spark Reproductive Justice Now to members of the Georgia General Assembly about this horrible practice!

This practice continues in Georgia despite the fact that doctors and criminologist alike have labeled the practice both unnecessary and unsafe for mother and child, especially consider the fact that there has never been a reported case of a pregnant women escaping custody during labor.

Spark and I believe that we must dismantle the prison industrial complex to truly save Black women, however we realize that Georgia has recently been on a path of making significant reforms to the criminal justice and prison system in Georgia, however if these reforms do not ban shackling pregnant women during labor then these reforms are illegitimate because they do not center the experiences of Black women who make up the bulk of Georgia’s female prison population.

Please call State Representative Alan Powell, Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security at 404-463-3793 and demand that a hearing be held on this important legislation!

 

– Devin Barrington-Ward, SPARK Lobbyist.

 

Join us at The 10th Annual LegislateTHIS! on Thursday, FEB 23, to learn more about Georgia’s shackling laws and other pressing policy issues that affect our communities.

Register NOW! http://bit.ly/2kHYdD2

Queer South Rise UP!

There’s less than 24 hours left to register for SONG’s Queer South Revival happening in Highlands, NC, from March 3-5.

What can you expect?

In March, we’re bringing together 100 members who want to turn up with SONG both locally and regionally. Whether you are a new SONG member or Forever SONG family, if you want to move strategies, organizing, culture, and action in lockstep with the SONG formation then this is the membership gathering for you. Together we’ll imagine and enact on possibilities and plans to protect and defend our communities and to build sanctuary for southern towns and cities so we can live free from fear.

 Head on over to www.southernersonnewground.org to learn more.

The Weekend Countdown Starts… NOW!

There’s only 5 days left to register for the SOI Advocacy Training & Brunch taking place this Sunday, FEB 19, from 1-4PM at the Troy Moore Library.

The SPARK Organizing Intensive (SOI) engages an intergenerational cohort of reproductive justice and sexual health advocates through collaborative intensive political skill development for comprehensive and sound reproductive justice policies in the Southeast.

As a lead up to the Legislate THIS! advocacy day, the SOI is geared towards supporting and empowering people of color, while centering the experiences of Black Women and queer & trans youth of color. The training will provide an opportunity for both new and experienced organizers and activists to dig deep on pressing issues that affect our communities across identities, gain concrete organizing and campaign building skills, and directly organize and support community events and projects throughout 2017.

Read our 2017 Legislative Brief.

As we prepare for a drastic shift in our political environment, it is increasingly important to focus on building our power and our voices as a community.

Register for the SOI Advocacy Training NOW!

Black Queer History – Miss Major

COURTESY OF MISS MAJOR via SF Weekly – Miss Major at the Ark of Refuge in the 1990s

It is impossible to sum up Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, BKA Miss Major, and her importance not just to the trans-liberation movement but to human progress as a whole. She has been a vocal and revolutionary leader of prison reform, even at the risk of her own safety, and in what can only be described as a miracle, survived the systematic and unrelenting violence of living in a white supremacist capitalist patriarchy for a fierce 76 years!

And yet, here we are 48 years after the Stonewall riots (in which she participated), 17 years after the formation of TGI Justice (where she was amongst the earliest employees), and $118,000 dollars short of her retirement fund.

What will you do to help honor this bastion of human civilization?

Georgia Black Caucus Hearing

In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, SPARK and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus will be hosting a public hearing co-sponsored by SisterLove, Inc tomorrow, Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 1:30PM in Room 415 of the Paul Coverdell Legislative Office Building at the State Capitol.

Georgia is one of 32 states that place an undue criminal liability on people living with HIV and SPARK, along with our community partners, has been working as part of a national task force, THE GEORGIA COALITION TO END HIV CRIMINALIZATION, to address the HIV epidemic in the South and help modernize HIV laws.

Join us at the hearing and learn more about how you can lend your voice to the movement.

This is the first in a series of events for our Speak Justice Take Action programing.

Up next is The SOI Advocacy Training And Brunch, taking place on Sunday FEB. 19,

and our education day at the State Capitol, Legislate THIS!, slated for Thursday, FEB. 23.

What does RJ mean to you?

We have plenty to celebrate this year, including Dr. Krystal Redman’s appointment to the Fulton County Schools Health and Physical Education Department’s Health Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of community stakeholders within our district and will have a hand in crafting sex education material prior to it being implemented in classrooms around metro Atlanta.

SPARK applauds Dr. Redman for being an invaluable asset to the Atlanta community and invites you to let us know how you think we should impact Fulton County’s efforts to improve the education of our future leaders.

Read more about what we have planned for the month, and tell us what #RJmeans to you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.