A Message from SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! —Texas Abortion Ban

September 3, 2021

As a Reproductive Justice organization that fiercely and unapologetically advocates for unrestricted access to abortion for anyone who wants it, SPARK strongly opposes the six-week abortion ban that went into effect in Texas earlier this week. This ban is an unconstitutional affront to reproductive autonomy, and will force many people to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. 

Like all barriers to abortion access, the Texas ban will have a disproportionate impact on People of Color – particularly Black and Indigenous folks – as well as queer and trans people, low income individuals, people with disabilities, and those who experience multiple forms of marginalization due to systemic and interpersonal hierarchies of oppression. Where you live, who you are, or the amount of money you make should never determine whether or not you get to make the significant and life-changing choices about your body and reproductive future. 

The Supreme Court had the opportunity to intervene and block the ban from going into effect, but they chose to blatantly ignore existing constitutional precedent and do nothing. In our overwhelmingly conservative judicial system, we can no longer rely on the rights promised by Roe v. Wade. In Georgia and the entire Southeast, we need to continue to fight tirelessly in our communities and state legislatures to protect and increase abortion access. Although the Texas ban going into effect is a significant step in the wrong direction, we cannot let it lead to discouragement and inaction. Instead, we need to use our anger and solidarity with people in Texas as a tool to strengthen the Reproductive Justice movement. 

SPARK will continue to advocate against all barriers to abortion access that are introduced in Georgia, and create opportunities for our base members to make their voices heard. We urge you to directly support people in your community by donating to your local abortion fund, or to funds in Texas that continue to provide vital resources to people seeking abortion care there. When the government fails to provide the things we need to thrive, we need to take care of each other. 

 

In solidarity, 

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!

SPARK Statement on the Atlanta Homeless Union Demands and City Response

July 9, 2021

SPARK stands in solidarity with the Atlanta Homeless Union in their demand for housing, healthcare, water, and a seat at the table. These demands represent central tenets of Reproductive Justice – we all need access to safe places to live, clean water, comprehensive healthcare, and a say in the policies that govern us in order to make liberatory decisions about our bodies, lives, and futures. 

Due to systemic and interpersonal structures of oppression, economic insecurity is correlated along lines of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogynoir. Our base members in particular face a heightened risk of experiencing housing insecurity, especially at a time where access to affordable housing has reached the point of crisis in Atlanta. We demand that our city leadership use taxpayer funds to address the tangible outcomes of structural inequality by increasing access to necessary resources – including creating long term housing options. 

We strongly oppose the Atlanta Police Department’s decision to sweep the Atlanta Homeless Union’s encampment and make a series of arrests on Monday. The criminalization of housing insecurity does nothing to address the root of the problem, but is instead an attempt to hide the existence and humanity of unhoused people. Arresting people for the circumstances of housing insecurity does not keep our communities safe. Instead, we need access to resources, safety from police violence, and decreased surveillance in order to thrive. The Union deserves a platform to safely exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of being further victimized by APD and the criminal legal system. 

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