We Are Here. We Are Strong. We Matter.

During the 2014 FYRE Media Justice Camp, 10 youth of color came together from three Southern states to develop short films and blogs that touched on various issues important to them as Queer and Trans youth of color living in the South. One group chose to use their stories as Black Queer youth to highlight the disproportionate amount of violence faced by Queer and Trans people of color and women of color.

From the Missouri Grand Jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, to Marissa Alexander having to accept a plea deal to avoid a lengthy prison term for daring to defend herself in the face of domestic violence – our media has become inundated with countless examples of violence perpetrated against people of color, particularly Black communities.

During this time, we feel that it is important to amplify and center the voices of queer and trans youth of color in the fight against systemic oppression. Please listen, share the stories of these amazing young leaders, and join us as we continue to fight for justice in the South and a future free of violence.

Remember Trans Power. Fight for Trans Lives!

Today, Thursday, November 20th, marks the National Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) dedicated to honoring and lifting up the names of those members of the trans community whose lives have been taken due to racist, sexist, transphobic, and tramsmisognyst violence.

As a member of Strong Families, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW is lifting up trans women of color as living and powerful members of our families, communities and movements and reaffirming our commitment to fostering a Southern RJ movement grounded in the beliefs that individuals and communities should have the resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about their bodies, genders, sexualities, and lives.

SF Remember Trans Power BazantWe share this original art by Micah Bazant with you as one way to lift up the power and resiliency of trans women of color. Micah says about the piece:

“I created this piece with input from the TransJustice group at Audre Lorde Project. We wanted an image that continues to reframe TDOR as a time to honor the living as well as the dead, keeps pushing LGBTQ communities to center trans women of color, and draws attention to the criminalization of trans women of color by the police. We also wanted to celebrate love and support between trans feminine people of color of different generations and gender expressions.”

Please continue to share this image with your families, friends, and colleagues using the hashtag #fightfortranslives and let us all continue to honor the fallen and fight like hell for the living.

Yours in community struggle,

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

Atlanta TDOR Events

Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil “It’s Time…”
Event Link

Thursday, November 20
6:30pm – 10:00pm
Phillip Rush Center Annex Bldg.
1530 Dekalb Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), people who identify as transgender were 28% more likely to experience physical violence than those whom are not Trans identified.

Keynote Speaker: Reverend Maressa Pendermon
Unity Fellowship Church Movement (Atlanta)
Event Sponsors: Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal
Media Sponsor: Alternative Perspectives Radio Host Betty Couvertier

Trans* Day of Resilience
Event Link

Black Is Blue FilmFriday, November 21
6:00pm – 10:00pm
Phillip Rush Center Annex Bldg.
1530 Dekalb Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

It is so important that we honor our trancestors, and especially those whose lives were taken in violence. It is also ever important that we remember how resilient we are and take a moment to reflect and celebrate. Please join Lambda Legal the day after Atlanta’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, for a Trans* Day of Resilience!

  • Happy/healthy hour – (drinks and hors d’ouevres)
  • Art exhibit
  • Film screening
  • Panel Discussion
  • Performances

First ATL screening of “Black is Blue” with lead actor, Kingston Faraday there for a question/answer following the film. Check out the trailer: http://vimeo.com/105449883

Georgia Gives Day: Support Southern Queer & Trans Youth!

Dear SPARK Family, Friends, Allies & Supporters:

GA Gives DayOn Thursday, November 13th, SPARK will participate in Georgia Gives Day and join hundreds of organizations from across the State of Georgia in mobilizing for the fiscal sustainability of our work for social change in the South.

According to Out In The South – Part Two, a survey assessing the LGBTQ community resources in 14 Southern States (2014), only 3% of LGBTQ funding is distributed to LGBTQ organizations in the South. Of the 76 LGBTQ organizations in the South, about 50% have only one or no full time staff and 55% have budgets of less than $250,000. Strong work is being done in the South with minimal resources by SPARK and others. In order to thrive, we need your help!

FMJC '14 CampersBased in Georgia, SPARK recognizes how essential it is to invest in the leadership and voices of women of color, young parents, and LGBTQQ youth of color in the fight for reproductive justice. Your financial support allows us to ensure that these voices – the ones most impacted by reproductive injustices – can bring their deep understanding of the political conditions of the South to our movements and work. Georgia Gives Day is your opportunity to demonstrate the power of prioritizing Southern leadership in Southern movements!

SPARK seeks to raise funds in our first Georgia Gives Day campaign to offset the expense of our 2nd IGNITE Queer and Trans Youth of Color Convening (IGNITE). This gathering is fully funded by SPARK for queer and trans youth of color ages 18 – 25 who live in the Southern region. IGNITE will provide an opportunity for LGBTQ youth of color from across the region to engage in dialogue, political education, skill shares, networking, and to begin to organize state level action plans on the issues that most impact their lives. Leaders attending this convening will be able to build unity with other queer and trans youth of color throughout the South while deepening their leadership skills and further preparing them to take action in their local communities!

How Can You Help?

Stand with us on Thursday, November 13th, 2014 and let’s demonstrate the power of Southern giving!

Join Our Team! SPARK Seeks Executive Director

Executive Director – Posted 11/10/2014

Position Description

Founded in 2007, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW has worked to build and strengthen the power of our communities and a reproductive justice movement that centers on Black women and LGBTQ people in Georgia and the South. By developing new leaders from marginalized communities, nurturing relationships with community partners and rethinking how we create sustainable change, we envision a world where Georgia and the South continuously cultivates communities where we can all make free and healthy decisions about our bodies, genders, sexualities, families and lives.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, we have fostered a dynamic, collaborative model of advocacy, leadership, collective action and discourse that creates change and impact for Black women and queer people’s struggles for reproductive justice. We are searching for an energetic, knowledgeable leader who can take the organization to the next level of social change impact.

The Executive Director reports to the SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW Board of Directors, which provides governance, direction, mission guidance and support for programs and activities, as well as serving as fiduciary agents.


SPARK is seeking a visionary leader and spokesperson who has deep knowledge of and commitment to the reproductive justice field, and the LGBTQ movement. The candidate should be experienced and skilled in the areas of management and fundraising, public policy and grassroots advocacy, program and organizational development. The ideal Executive Director will have a demonstrated commitment and passion for courageous progressive views and a proven track record of effective leadership and collaboration.

While no candidate will embody every quality, the successful candidate will possess many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Board Partnership Affinity: SPARK has an active, national board of governance volunteers who work in partnership with the executive director. An ability to partner with the board in promoting the mission and sustainability of the organization is essential.
  • Organizational Growth Management: Experience in managing institutional growth and change. Skills in staff management, team building, mentoring and developing young and emerging leaders. Organizational capacity-building skills that support strong systems, focused goal setting and a fiscally sound organization.
  • Fund Development Ability: Fundraising ability, experience and enthusiasm is required. Demonstrated track record of raising significant funds from a variety of sources and a willingness to actively build and sustain strong relationships with existing and prospective funders, individual donors including major and sustainer donors, and other stakeholders. A network of contacts with foundations, individual donor prospects, activists and organizations working in this field at all levels, from the local to the national is appreciated.
  • Fiscal Stewardship: Strong financial accounting and budgeting experience, drafting and presenting budgets, interpreting financial statements, familiarity with accounts payable, accounts receivables, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
  • Community Partnership/Collaboration Leadership Skills: Commitment and skill in refining and growing SPARK’s diverse network of national allies, community partners and constituents.
  • Program Planning and Implementation Talent: The ability to create and design program strategies, manage program budgets, implement staff and volunteer based community actions and identify and implement targeted policy strategies in a way that expands the understanding of RJ in the community and among policy makers.
  • Communications Competence: Strong written and oral communication skills with the ability to frame tough problems, utilize an analysis that centers Black women and queer issues, and convey complex ideas in easily understood terms that resonate with diverse audiences. Ability to oversee a vibrant communication strategy and to be responsive to media and social networking opportunities.
  • Willingness to travel extensively.
  • Very strong interpersonal skills are required and a sense of humor is a plus.The Executive Director must be located in or willing to relocate to Atlanta. The salary for this position will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience. SPARK offers an excellent medical and dental benefits package, including vacation and medical leave. Special flex-time arrangements can be offered to candidates who are highly qualified. SPARK does not pay for relocation.

Salary & Benefits

The salary for this position will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience. SPARK offers an excellent medical and dental benefits package, including vacation and medical leave. Special flex-time arrangements can be offered to candidates who are highly qualified


The candidate must be located in or willing to relocate to Atlanta, GA. SPARK does not pay for relocation.

To Apply

Please follow directions carefully.

Applicants should email a cover letter, a resume, and one brief writing sample (2-3 pages) to search@sparkrj.org. Place “SPARK Executive Director” in the subject line. All inquiries and applications will be kept confidential. Materials received by November 28th are assured full consideration. Expected start date is January 2015.


No phone calls please. For more info, email search@sparkrj.org.

SPARK is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the bases of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or any other non-merit based factor.

Women of Color Amplify Their Voices in the 2014 Midterm Elections!

Metropolitan areas across Georgia made impressive strides in progressive voter engagement and turnout; Georgia is headed in the right direction.

SPARK Canvassing TeamA heartfelt thanks to the staff of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW and our enthusiastic canvassing team for your dedication and diligence to our integrated voter engagement work for the 2014 midterm elections.

Progressive voters in Atlanta, the State of Georgia, and across the nation may have lost important Gubernatorial and US Senate races, but we won locally and on the issues!

Latin, African American, and Asian women are an increasingly large voting block within Georgia and the United States. Nationally, women tended to vote for progressive candidates this election cycle. Further, a majority of voters in metropolitan cities and counties across Georgia demonstrated support for progressive policies. Progressive lawmakers were able to maintain majority control of important local seats as demonstrated by the results of the Fulton County Commission race.

Initial data also shows that women of color were particularly supportive of social issues, including reproductive justice and LGBTQI rights this election cycle. Issues like minimum wage and paid leave were won in several states, while personhood was soundly defeated in others. Women of color understand and experience the intersectionality between poverty, race, gender, and access to health care – and brilliantly bring this framework to the polls.

While there is still much work to be done, be encouraged. Georgia is headed in the right direction.

Ms. Benètta M. Standly, MPA
Interim Executive Director
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

Advance Voting Ends TODAY!

As October ends, so does Early Voting!

SPARK CanvassersSPARK has been hard at work throughout October informing our communities of when and where to vote. Today is no different!

You can still vote early at ANY early voting location in YOUR county. To find your advance voting location, visit “My Voter Page” or check out the Advance Voting Information list on the Secretary of State’s website.

Your voice and vote matter! If you have already voted, share your voting experience with us by using the hashtag #SPARKTHEVOTE on Facebook and Twitter.

Please share this reminder with your friends, families, and networks. Our voices are stronger united.

Join us for our #SPARKTHEVOTE Election Day Voter Drive!

SPARK is seeking a few passionate volunteers to help our Get Out the Vote team engage and mobilize voters on November 4th!

Volunteer with SPARK!Volunteers will join us in phone banking and door knocking throughout the day. After, to thank you for your hard work, we invite you to join us for our Election Day Watch Party!

Helping us to #SPARKTHEVOTE is easy. We have shifts available from 9:30AM – 6:30PM. You donate your time; we provide the training, yummy snacks, and great company.

Only have an hour or two to spare? No problem!

You can join our phone banking team from the comfort of your home, dorm, or local coffee shop. We can have everything emailed and set-up for you in less than 15 minutes. All you need a good Internet connection and a telephone. (We recommend using Google voice numbers).

Interested volunteers should complete our #SPARKTHEVOTE Volunteer Application!

Please share this information with friends and families through Facebook, Twitter, and your networks!

We hope you will join us in empowering and mobilizing our community to the polls to have their voices heard!

Have you seen the SPARK, NDWA, and Strong Families voter guide?

Greetings Community,

Election Day is less than two weeks away and we need to make sure Georgia voters are prepared! With many local and state races, it is not always clear whom we are voting for and how these elections will affect our daily lives.

Whos Who in GA PoliticsThat is why we are excited to share “Who’s Who in Georgia Politics.” Created by Strong Families, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance – Atlanta Chapter, this tool is a quick and easy way to explain the responsibilities of Federal, State, and Local positions in Georgia and what these elected positions mean for our communities.

The guide can be downloaded in PDF and a mobile-ready responsive version is available online for use on your smart phone, tablet, and in the voting booth!

Click here to check out our guide and share it with your friends.

As the election draws near, this guide could be helpful for you and your family in starting discussions and sharing information about what is at stake in the upcoming election. Please share this guide with your friends and help us ensure all Georgia families have the resources to understand why their vote matters!

Thank you for your support!

Luisa F. Cardona, Esq., Field Director
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

SPARK Canvassing Positions Available

SPARK is a reproductive justice (RJ) organization based in Atlanta, GA advocating for policies that protect and expand access to the full range of family planning options, abortion, and sexual health education for women and youth of color in the state of Georgia. Importantly, SPARK ensures the voices of women of color, young parents, and LGBTQQ youth of color living in the south are included in the reproductive rights and justice movements.

SPARK is seeking professional and outgoing individuals to conduct door-to-door and phone canvassing in Fulton County. Canvassers will provide voter education and engage the public on their experiences with accessing health care. No prior experience is required.


  • Educate and engage voters through door-to-door or phone canvassing
  • Complete daily and weekly reports on progress and meet all goals and metrics
  • Effectively use technology tools to ensure accurate and timely data entry
  • Participate and complete all required training


  • Must be over 18 years old
  • Must have excellent communication and people skills; must be comfortable speaking with strangers and people from different backgrounds
  • Ability to work with other staff and canvassers in a team
  • Ability to work under deadlines
  • Experience in phone or door-to-door canvassing is a plus
  • Political Campaign experience is a plus
  • Must be able and willing to walk for long distances outside in a variety of weather elements (door-to-door canvassing)
  • Licensed and insured drivers are desired; fuel reimbursement is available (door-to-door canvassing)

Hours & Hourly Rate

  • Door Canvassers work 8 hours/week (late September – early November). The position pays $10/hour.
  • Phone Canvassers work 9 hours/week (late September – early November). The position pays $9/hour.

The candidate must be located in or willing to relocate to Atlanta, GA.

Application Process
Please complete the online application at https://sparkrjnow.wufoo.com/forms/canvasser-application. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Thank you for your interest. No phone calls please.

SPARK is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or any other non-merit based factor.

The Next Chapter

Dear SPARK Family, Friends, Supporters & Allies:

This past week has been filled with change for SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW. We have recently undergone a leadership transition and will soon be pursuing new executive leadership to actualize the mission of our organization. We want to extend our sincere gratitude to our former Executive Director, Ms. Malika Redmond for her stalwart stewardship of the organization over the last two years.

The Board of SPARK is committed to the long-term health and longevity of the organization. The queer and reproductive justice communities of the South needs SPARK and we are committed to ensuring that our vision for reproductive justice reflects the interests of our communities in our programmatic work. Reproductive Justice is a social justice movement rooted in the belief that individuals and communities should have the resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about their bodies, genders, sexualities, and lives.

To that effect, an experienced interim-executive director, Ms. Benétta M. Standly was put in place immediately and was also joined by a new senior field director, Ms. Luisa Cardona.

We value your support, partnership and commitment to SPARK. We look forward to continued collaboration with each of you during this transition period.


Heidi Williamson                                    
President, Board of Directors                  
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW