PrEP & PEP education for ALL!

Earlier this year, SPARK worked with GA Representative Park Cannon and the Georgia Department of Health (DPH) to introduce House Bill 454 – a measure that would require facilities that receive HIV prevention and treatment funding from the DPH to share information about PrEP and PEP with their clients even if they received an HIV-negative test result. Our goal was to increase awareness about PrEP and PEP, two proven and effective methods of preventing HIV infections. We are happy to announce that the bill has been ratified and is currently being implemented at facilities across the state!

Join us in celebrating this achievement and in thanking Rep. Cannon for her dedication and revolutionary service to our communities. We were incredibly encouraged by the bipartisan support the bill received and intend to follow this success with with an appropriation bill calling for more funding for HIV prevention and treatment related activities.

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.

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

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.

Let’s Meet At The Crossroads Of Reproductive Justice

 

Legislate THIS! is our annual statewide day of action and advocacy, with this year’s session taking place on Thursday, February 23, 2017. You can expect to hear from key leaders about pertinent public policy issues and educate our policymakers at the GA Capitol about many of our obstacles that meet at the crossroads of reproductive justice.

Read our 2017 Legislative Brief.

In celebration of the momentous 10th annual session, SPARK invokes Kimberlee Crenshaw’s work on Intersectionality, and calls on YOU to carry on in the tradition of grassroots community leaders who believe that we can speak truth to power and hold our elected representatives accountable through the collective power of Reproductive Justice.

Doors open/breakfast served at 8:30AM at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Register for the 10th Annual Legislate This! here.

View and share the event on Facebook and EventBrite.

THE CROSSROADS OF REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE

Before it was a buzzword, intersectionality was a term that black women and queer and trans people of color used to identify shared experiences that are now largely recognized as part of a broad-scale system of domination used to subjugate our communities.

First coined in 1989 by American civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, intersectionality not only gave a name to the systems of oppression, but also lit a path of resistance in its recognition of our collective power to demolish these systems and rebuild an inclusive model of governance.

Learn more about intersectionality here.

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.

#WERUNTHIS Takeover Day at the GA Capitol!

Crossover-Day-2015-IGJoin SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW in partnership with SisterSong, SisterLove, and the Feminist Women’s Health Center on Crossover Day as we host #WERUNTHIS Community Takeover Day at the GA Capitol!

March 13th – Crossover Day – is the last chance a bill has to move from one legislative chamber to the other to have a chance at becoming law. Starting at 10:00AM EST we will gather in the GA Capitol South Rotunda for a full day of popular education teach-ins and grassroots lobbying to support proactive reproductive justice legislation that reflects our communities in Georgia for the 2015 Legislative Session!

For more information, please contact Taliba Obuya at taliba@sparkrj.org.


Reflections on the 8th Annual Legislate THIS!

On February 19, 2015, SPARK Reproductive Justice Now gathered for our 8th Annual Legislate THIS! – A day of action and lobbying at the Georgia Capitol. Under the theme “From the Grassroots, to the Gold Dome,” community members, organizational leaders, activists, and allies joined together to raise our collective voices in solidarity and brought our fight for reproductive justice and proactive policy that centers the needs of our communities – Black Women, Queer & Trans Youth of Color, and Young Mothers – to the Capitol. Watch as SPARK leaders and lobby participants reflect on their experiences and speak on the importance and power of this event!