New Medicaid Tools from SPARK Correlate with Yesterday’s Primary Results

Nia Mitchell, MPH, CPH

Nia Mitchell, MPH, CPH – SJTA Field Director

By Nia Mitchell, MPH, CPH

Georgians voting on the Democratic Party ballot overwhelmingly voiced their support for Medicaid expansion during yesterday’s primary election. Preliminary results show that over 88% were in favor of federal tax dollars being returned to Georgia to fund Medicaid expansion.

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW is excited to debut four factsheets with contributions from the Atlanta Chapter of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) highlighting the importance of Medicaid expansion on African American Women and LGBTQQ African Americans in Georgia.

Although more than 300,000 Georgians obtained health insurance through the federal healthcare exchange, more than twice as many are without health insurance because Governor Nathan Deal refused to expand Medicaid.  Additionally, he signed two House Bills (i.e., HB 990 and HB 943) that create legislative barriers to getting healthcare coverage to uninsured low-income Georgians.  NDWA Press Conference & RallyHB 990 shifts the power to expand Medicaid from the Office of the Governor to the legislature and HB 943 prevents “any state or local governments, agencies or employees” from advocating for Medicaid expansion or creating a health insurance exchange. It also prohibits state organizations such as the University of Georgia, which has one of the largest navigator programs in the state, from running health insurance navigator programs.

Not only did Governor Deal undoubtedly demonstrate that he does not care about the health and well-being of Georgians, but he acted in a way that was in complete opposition to how Georgians felt about the issue.  According to the 2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll (GSSP), almost 60% of Georgians opposed the decision to decline Medicaid expansion. This disagreement was higher among women (64.9%) and African Americans (82.9%).

As the SPEAK Justice Take Action Field Director, I, along with the SPARK team are listening to the stories of those continuing to be impacted by the coverage gap and fighting fiercely for all Georgians to have access to the health security they deserve. You can join this fight by

Stay informed, and share the information by downloading these free materials on how Medicaid Expansion will benefit uninsured, low-income African American women, and LGBTQQ African-Americans.  And, check out the Medicaid Counter demonstrating how much revenue is lost each day Georgia does not accept the Federal funding to expand the program.

Infographic - Making the Case for Medicaid Expansion for African Americans in Georgia  – Currently, there are 594,600 African Americans uninsured in Georgians.

Why Medicaid Expansion Matters to African American Women in Georgia – More than a quarter of the 838,000 uninsured women in Georgia are African American.

Why Medicaid Expansion Matters to LGBTQQ African Americans in Georgia – The African-American LGBTQQ community is less likely to have health insurance than non-LGBTQQ African-American.

Benefits of ACA for African-American Women and LGBTQQ African-Americans – Because of the ACA, more African American women and LGBTQQ African Americans have health insurance, cannot be discriminated against by health insurance companies, and have access to preventive services with no out of cost pocket.

You can download these tools and more from our “Resources” page.

Apply NOW to the 2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp!

2014 FMJC Post CardCamp Dates: July 24-27, 2014
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Priority Deadline : Friday, June 13th – Applications reviewed on a rolling basis after the deadline. Space is limited.

The FYRE Media Justice Camp is a dynamic 4-day/3-night gathering of Southern lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, and questioning youth of color (LGBTQQ), ages 18-25, reimagining and creating media for our resilience, our lives, and our communities.

This year, we’re amplifying the voices of LGBTQQ Youth of color through social media and blogging! Participants will engage in interactive skill shares about reproductive justice, media justice, and artivism while gaining the skills needed to create liberatory media.

You must be able to attend the camp in its entirety to be accepted. To apply, please complete the 2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp online form. Please answer each question to the best of your ability. We thank you for your interest in this amazing gathering and look forward to reading your responses.

Nia Mitchell Named New Speak Justice Take Action Field Director

Nia Mitchell

Nia Mitchell, MPH, CPH

Greetings Community,

On behalf of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, I am pleased to announce Nia Mitchell, MPH, CPH, as the new Speak Justice Take Action Field Director.  Nia joins the SPARK team effective immediately.  Raised in Georgia, Nia brings a dynamic set of public health and grassroots organizing experiences deeply rooted in reproductive justice values.

For the past ten years, Nia has coordinated a number of leadership development and health promotion programs for communities of color (i.e., immigrant and refugee, LGBTQ, women, youth) in Atlanta, GA. She has also participated in and led civic engagement activities on several racial and reproductive justice issues (e.g., abortion access, comprehensive sex education, interpersonal and state violence, school to prison pipeline, sterilization abuse). In 2012, Nia received a Master of Public Health from Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). While at MSM, she organized events on health disparities impacting LGBTQ people of African descent, and worked with the Phoenix Foundation, Inc. to develop a sexual health program for HIV-positive gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in the Old Fourth Ward community. Additionally, she was awarded funding through MSM’s Center for Community Health & Service-Learning to implement a reproductive justice program for young women at North Clayton High School in College Park, GA and Mays High Schools in Atlanta, GA.

Prior to assuming the position at SPARK, Nia was an Evaluation Fellow with CDC’s Office of Women’s Health and the Office of Health Equity in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. She worked with the offices on planning and implementing evaluations, and developing an “easy-to-use” toolkit for community-based organizations evaluating women and girls’ health programming.

As the Speak Justice Take Action Field Director, Nia leads SPARK’s program department including our newly formed integrated voter engagement campaign efforts.

“I am honored to serve as SPARK’s new Speak Justice Take Action Field Director.  As a former volunteer and supporter, I am excited to lead the organization’s leadership development and civic engagement activities to ensure that those most impacted by reproductive oppression have the opportunity to make the healthiest and safest decisions regarding their bodies, families, and communities.”

Please join the Board and staff as we welcome Nia Mitchell, MPH, CPH, to the SPARK team.

All the best,

Malika Redmond, MA
Executive Director