A Message From SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! – The Equality Act

The Equality Act
February 25, 2021

Today, Thursday, February 25, 2021, the United States House of Representatives is set to vote on the Equality Act. The Equality Act is a bill that would legally ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This bill would be an amendment to the already existing federal civil rights laws to include the aforementioned protections as well as prohibiting such discrimination in public places, on transportation and in government-funded programs.

Although many states have established anti-discrimination legislation, many of these laws have left the queer, Trans and gender diverse communities vulnerable to discrimination. This long overdue legislation is a necessity in the protection of our folks’ basic human services. The Reproductive Justice movement is rooted in the belief that all individuals and communities should have the resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about their lives. If passed, The Equality Act will bring us one step closer to a reality in which this is possible.

In Georgia we are currently facing HB 276 — “a bill that would make it illegal for Trans girls and women to participate on sports teams with their cisgender peers. This is one of many similar bills filed in state legislatures across the country as part of a coordinated attack on the rights of Trans and gender diverse people in the U.S.” (SPARK HB 276 Statement). The passing of The Equality Act could potentially put a halt to bills such as Georgia’s HB 276, guaranteeing through law that these blatantly Transphobic bills do not have a standing in our society. 

The full text of The Equality Act is available here.

A Message from SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, Inc. – Insurrection Response

Insurrection Response
January 8, 2021

It goes without saying that this week’s insurrections were the inevitable culmination of a country that protects the interests of white supremacy. Georgia’s capitol building saw a similar demonstration, and we can’t help but note the stark contrast between the response to this incident and the uprisings this summer. To witness coordinated, armed combatants determined to protect the interests of white supremacy surge around the nation protected by police officers and goaded by the president is an affront to Black people who have been victims of and witnessed state violence perpetrated against them, particularly Black queer and Trans folks who have been murdered by the state. This insurrection is a response to the perceived threat to white supremacy and its interests. As we inch towards liberation, it is clear that the goals of Reproductive Justice and Queer and Trans liberation go against those of the harmful, oppressive systems in which we currently live. 

This incident and the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare the fact that the current capitalist white supremacist system that we live in is untenable. Despite the impending change in administration, demonstrations of this nature will not stop. The oppressive systems that we live within continue to exist. It is a system that is harmful to all of us and pervades most if not all facets of our lives. At this moment, rage is acceptable, despair is acceptable, fatigue is acceptable; complacency is not. This is a moment where we must center the needs and safety of Black queer and trans folks particularly as they are disproportionately murdered by the state. SPARK will continue to center these voices and work to abolish these systems and affirm Reproductive Justice and Queer Liberation. We recognize that true power lies within the people and communities organizing and strategizing against harmful policies and systems. Now more than ever is a time to find your community, organize, and care for one another.

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, Inc is a grassroots organization that builds community and fights for the liberation of all Black, brown, and indigenous people of color. We uplift and honor those working for justice across the nation and will continue to advocate for our communities. To learn more about SPARK, organizing, and legislative advocacy, you can attend SPARK’s Organizing Intensive on January 30.

There is NO Black Liberation Without Queer & Trans Liberation!

SPARK is a Black-led Reproductive Justice organization that centers our work in Queer and Trans liberation. We know that without Queer and Trans liberation, there is no Black liberation.

There can be no Reproductive Justice when Black womxn are criminalized, Black trans and non-binary people are marginalized, and Black parents cannot see their children grow in peace.

It is imperative that we continue to challenge the erasure of Black womxn, and Queer and Trans folx in the conversations and actions around police violence, brutality, and killing of ALL BLACK LIVES.

JusticeNOW2020 Early Bird Registration deadline has been EXTENDED!

In recognition of the impact that COVID-19 has had on our personal lives, work lives, mental and physical states, the JusticeNOW2020 team has decided to extend our Early Bird Registration deadline to Friday, May 1. We hope that this extension will give you more time to sort out your future plans and relieve a small portion of any stress that these uncertain times have caused.

Like us, I’m sure that you all were saddened to hear that our friends at CLPP had to cancel their dynamic and movement-building annual conference. But, we are excited to announce that in true Reproductive Justice form, we are working with CLPP to shift some of their planned conference sessions to JusticeNOW2020. We are looking to combine the spirit and community that CLPP has built over the past 34 years with JusticeNOW2020’s cross-movement space.

We hope to see you all at JusticeNOW2020 in November and we are looking forward to reconnecting and sharing a physical space post-social distancing.

Please visit www.justicenowcon.com for more information about the conference.

TOMORROW! Queering Wellness!

Spark Reproductive Justice NOW! and Osatyam present Queering Wellness: A Healing Series.

Join us in our second session of the Queering Wellness Series, titled “Meditation.”

Queering Wellness is a series focused on transmuting oppression-based trauma for queer folks in Atlanta through a series of whole self-nurturing practices. The series consists of 3 sessions, each building upon the skills of the last to guide folks in tailoring a more complete personal wellness practice.

Meditation is a way to calm the mind and find your center.

This second session is an exploration into meditation. Come comfy & ready to practice. Food & tea provided.

**Queer and Trans folx will be prioritized at this event, but all are welcome**

Queering Wellness is a series! Stay tuned into SPARK and Osatyam for more information about the rest of our sessions!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Letter from Jasmine Cummings, Community Organizer

Dear Friends and Partners of SPARK,
As of February 1, 2019 I will no longer be working for SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! I am beyond grateful for my time with this organization and the many opportunities and relationships that have flourished. Forever an Organizer, I will continue my work in community and look forward to all we will accomplish together!
For questions and inquiries about any of our SPARK programs please contact Randi Gregory, randi@sparkrj.org
I have truly enjoyed my experience with SPARK and am looking forward to all of the wonderful things they have in store!
Yours in liberation,
Jasmine

SPARK Responds to the Trump Administration’s Latest attack on the Trans Community

Atlanta, GA, Thursday, October 25, 2018
Policy affects our everyday lives, whether it be legislation written to help uplift our bodies and experiences or policies put into place to discriminate against our bodies. This week, The Trump Administration has been considering redefining gender as a biological, undisputable condition defined by assigned gender at birth and genitalia. As a Trans Woman, I was not shocked by the actions of this administration especially being a person living in a society that erases my experiences; I do believe that it still hurts to be reminded how hateful and problematic this administration can be.

Spark Reproductive Justice NOW!, Inc (SPARK) vehemently opposes and will do all in our power to dismantle the everyday oppressions and policies, like this one, that attempt to erase and harm Trans, GNC, and Intersex folx. Trans, GNC and Intersex people deserve to live their lives autonomously, free from fear, and free from the shackles of everyday oppression.

Spark Reproductive Justice NOW!, Inc is a grassroots organization that builds community and fights for the liberation of all bodies. We urge you to stand with Trans, GNC, and Intersex communities by attending SPARK’s monthly Trans Leadership Initiative (TLI) meetings, as well as our upcoming week of events around Trans Day of Remembrance.

Kelli Goode
Trans Leadership Coordinator
SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!

SPARK’s Trans Day of Remembrance Sunday Brunch- https://bit.ly/2D7UgA8
Southern Fried Queer Pride TRANS PWR Fest 2018- https://bit.ly/2O78IJT

For more information about SPARK and our Trans Leadership Initiative visit www.sparkrj.org

Get Ready for Legislate THIS!

SOI introduced you to legislative advocacy; now it’s time to apply what you’ve learned at Legislate THIS!, our annual statewide day of advocacy and action. Come chat with your legislators about important public policy issues. Hear from Rep. Park Cannon, who has been a tireless advocate for Reproductive Justice. This is your chance to make your voice heard!

REGISTER HERE!

SPARK’s 2018 SOI is Here!

SPARK’s 2018 Organizing Intensive is Saturday, February 3. Here you will have the opportunity to learn about organizing for Reproductive Justice, talking to your legislators, gentrification in Atlanta, and policies to be on the lookout for this legislative session.

This is an excellent opportunity to heavily engage with pressing issues that affect our communities. As we experience this drastic shift in our political environment, it is increasingly important to focus on building our power and our voices as a community. This will also be an important lead up training in preparation of SPARK’s LegislateTHIS! annual advocacy day at the GA State Capitol. You’re not going to want to miss it!

Sign Up HERE!

Email agbo@sparkrj.org or randi@sparkrj.org with any questions.