Give BIG to SPARK on Give OUT Day!

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Greetings SPARK Community:

Today marks the 3rd Annual Give OUT Day! For 24 hours, the LGBTQQ community and our allies will come together to fund our movements on our own terms. We need YOUR help to continue working at the intersection of racial justice and LGBTQQ liberation in the South. Give OUT Day is the time to go in and GIVE big to SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!

As SPARK celebrates 8 years of advocating against the violence, discrimination, and disenfranchisement that disproportionately impacts Black women and Queer and Trans people of color in the Deep South, we recognize that our work now is more important than ever. Based in Georgia, SPARK recognizes how essential it is to invest in movements that prioritize the experiences of Black women and Queer and Trans people of color, particularly youth of color, and this commitment is demonstrated throughout all our programming. Your support allows us to ensure that the leadership and voices of those most affected by the political conditions of the South are centered in the reproductive justice movement!

This year, SPARK seeks to raise $1,500.00 to support the work of our signature programs!

  • The Speak Justice Take Action program educates our constituency on the legislative process and offers policy analysis using a Queer political frame. From advocating for proactive anti-shackling legislation to closing the coverage gap, our “Legislate THIS!” Day of Action brings our community members to the Georgia State Capitol to lobby our elected officials and empower youth leaders to share their stories.
  • The Fierce Youth Reclaiming & Empowering program provides queer and trans youth of color with the skills and resources to generate their own media and strengthen their communities through peer support and community based-research published through blogs, editorials, social media, and television and radio interviews to combat mainstream narratives that overlook our communities. FYRE also organizes our annual Media Justice Camps.
  • The SPARK Organizing Institute trains queer and trans youth of color and young women of color on RJ issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, community mobilization, and strategic communications to foster the potential and leadership within our movements.

How Can You Help?

  1. Give! You have until 11:59PM TONIGHT to make your doantion.
  2. Fundraise with us! Create your own fundraising profile page to help us meet our goal by visiting our profile and clicking “Become a Fundraiser”.
  3. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay updated on our progress on Give OUT Day. You can use the hashtag #SPARKRJGIVING to follow our posts.
  4. Spread the word! Forward this email to your family, friends, and colleagues along with a personal note as to why YOU support our work and why they should give!

Make your donation TODAY and join SPARK in affirming that our bodies, our communities, and our futures matter!

Yours in community power,

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! Announces New Executive Director

Krystal RedmanThe Board of Directors of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! is excited to welcome Dr. Krystal Redman as its new Executive Director. Dr. Redman brings over 10 years of experience in managing low-income and women focused public health access and community-based youth development programs. Previously, Dr. Redman served as the Senior Project Director, Maternal and Child Health, at the Georgia Department of Public Health, where she worked on creating greater healthcare access for women throughout the state of Georgia. She has worked as a Program Director and Administrator for organizations serving low-income youth and as a Clinical Director for a community-based addiction prevention program. Dr. Redman received her Bachelors of Science in Sociology from University of California, Riverside and a Masters of Health Administration from University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She received her Doctor of Public Health from Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California.

As we tackle some of our toughest reproductive justice challenges, including fighting for Medicaid expansion and removing abortion restrictions, Dr. Redman brings needed new energy to SPARK. Her background and experience in statewide women-focused health programs, community-based youth program design and management, and broad based collaboration will ensure that SPARK achieves its expansion goals and increases its impact throughout Georgia.

Her response to this challenge is clear: “I will build on SPARK’s legacy of standing firmly as an organization that educates and organizes the most vulnerable communities in the state of Georgia and works to ensure access to reproductive healthcare for black women and queer and trans youth of color. We will also aggressively work with elected officials to vote against any legislation that undermines our communities’ access to safe and reliable medical services and reproductive healthcare options.”

Please join The Board of Directors in welcoming Dr. Krystal Redman to SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! and in wishing her the best as we move forward together in this journey. Her first day will be May 18th.

Sincerely,

Board of Directors
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!

Healthy Sex, Healthy Futures!

HSHF 2015 FlyerJoin Spark Reproductive Justice Now, in partnership with SisterLove, Inc and Georgia Equality as we expand the conversation on HIV prevention into a larger conversation around sexual health and reproductive justice to empower young folks to have honest conversations around their sexual health and wellness and build their AIDS Free Generation! This event is a part of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. Free HIV testing will be available.

When: April 8, 2015 – 5:30 to 8:00PM

Where: Phillip Rush Center – Annex, 1530 DeKalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

RSVP: Registration Form & Facebook

This event is open to young folks 16-25 and will center LGBTQQ young folks of color.

#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!

Join the SPARK Organizing Intensive!

The SPARK Organizing Intensive (SOI) will be a fierce group of young folks (18-25) interested in being trained on or deepening their skills and understanding around organizing and movement building in Georgia and the South.

The SOI is geared towards supporting and empowering women of color (while centering the experiences of Black Women), young parents, and LGBTQ youth of color on issues that impact their lives and will provide an opportunity for new and experienced organizers and activists to dig deep on pressing issues that affect our communities across identities, gain concrete organizing skills, and directly organize and support community events and projects throughout 2015.

Time Commitment

The 6-week program will begin in late March 2015. SOI trainings will occur once a week on Saturdays from March 28th to May 2nd from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and will include political education and skill development.

What’s expected of me as an SOI Participant?

SOI members are expected to:

  • Bring an open, willing spirit and positive attitude that lends to community building and friendship.
  • Be curious, stretch, and have fun!
  • Be willing to fight for the dignity and safety for all families!

You can apply online here. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 13th, 2015. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than March 20, 2015. For more information, please contact Quita Tinsley at quita@sparkrj.org.

Join us in creating a Georgia that respects our bodies and our futures!

Women of color, LGBTQ, trans* and gender non-conforming people color, young parents, low-income people, people with disabilities, people living in the South and in rural communities, and those living outside of the metro Atlanta area are strongly encouraged to apply.

No phone calls, please.

Legislate THIS tomorrow, Celebrate SPARK in Atlanta!

LT2015The 8th Annual LegislateTHIS! kicks off tomorrow at Trinity United Methodist Church. Doors open and breakfast is served at 8:30AM EST!

The day will feature a grassroots lobby training followed by a visit to the Capitol. This year’s keynote will be delivered by Valencia Robinson, an organizer, and advocate for HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ and Reproductive Justice issues and founder Mississippi in Action, Inc., which promotes holistic sexual and reproductive health.

For full event details and to RSVP, visit legislatethis.sparkrj.org


SPARK Atlanta Reception!

After LegislateTHIS!, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW invites you to a fundraising reception hosted by our Board of Directors and friends. We will be celebrating 8 years of advocating against the violence, discrimination and disenfranchisement that disproportionately impacts Black women and LGBTQQ people of color in the Deep South. Our work now is more important than ever. We need your help to continue working at the intersection of racial justice and LGBTQQ liberation. We are prepared to make significant progress in 2015. Every dollar contributed by February 19th will ensure a strong start and maximum impact this year.

When
Thursday, February 19th
6:00PM to 8:00PM

Where
Kat’s Cafe
970 Piedmont Ave Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 347-2263

Follow the link to RSVP online!

Join SPARK for an Atlanta Reception with Board and Friends!

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SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW invites you to a reception hosted by our Board of Directors and friends. We will be celebrating 8 years of advocating for Black women and young LGBTQQ people of color, and raising funds to continue organizing communities in Georgia. Your support will allow us to amplify Black and LGBTQQ voices in the fight for access to affordable, quality healthcare for all. So join us as we continue to build a movement for reproductive justice in the South!

When
Thursday, February 19th
6:00PM to 8:00PM

Where
Kat’s Cafe
970 Piedmont Ave Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 347-2263

You can RSVP online here!

Closing The Gap

On this National Youth Enrollment Day, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW remains committed to uplifting the voices and experiences of LGBTQ youth of color. 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 voices to address the coverage gap.

Georgia has the fifth largest population of uninsured people in this country. And according to Young Invincibles, “up to 44 percent of the approximately 481,000 Georgians who fall in the coverage gap are young adults aged 18 to 34.3 The proportion of young adults in Georgia’s coverage gap is greater than the proportion in other non-expansion states, such as Texas (38 percent), Virginia (38 percent), and Florida (36 percent).”

It is important that the voices of queer and trans youth of color are heard in this fight for healthcare access.  Please listen, share the stories of these amazing young leaders, and join us on February 19th, 2015 for our annual statewide day of action and lobby event, Legislate This! We will hear from key leaders about pertinent public policy and social justice issues, rally with other Georgians, and educate our policymakers at the Capitol about reproductive justice.

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW Affirms the Agency of Black Lives on the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW celebrates the spirit of this victory, even in the face of federal and state-based attacks to restrict women’s access to abortion care.

As an organization that works to improve access to reproductive healthcare for Black women and queer and trans youth of color, Roe has helped to affirm the bodily autonomy of women in our communities. Black women are three times more likely than white women to have an unintended pregnancy, four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, and are more likely to raise their children in poverty. Access to abortion remains vital to the lives of Black women and families to protect our health and well-being.

“SPARK’s commitment to ensuring that Black women have access to the resources they need to lead self-determined lives extends to all forms of healthcare – including abortion,” says SPARK board member Tonya Williams. “We will continue to fight so that Black women can make liberatory decisions about our bodies, our health, and our lives.”

On this day, we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the protections assured by the Roe v. Wade decision.  We stand with those who are fighting back attempts to corrode those protections. And we celebrate the victories we have won, and those to come.

One Contribution, TWICE the Impact. Give to SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW Today!

Give Today!

Dear Friends,

As SPARK looks to 2015, we need your support to continue to build and sustain a reproductive justice (RJ) movement in the Deep South. SPARK’s work is critical in developing Southern based RJ leaders from marginalized communities to advocate for policies and practices that empower young families throughout Georgia to lead on key reproductive rights and health issues and foster sustainable change. Importantly, SPARK amplifies the voices of queer and trans youth of color and young women of color that are often overlooked in our struggles for justice.

And with the support of a generous donor, every dollar contributed to SPARK by Midnight on December 31st will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000!

Your financial contribution to SPARK will provide the necessary support we need as we continue to implement our longstanding and successful programming:

  • Speak Justice Take Action Program educates our constituency on the legislative process and offer policy analysis using a queer political frame. From advocating for proactive anti-shackling legislation to closing the coverage gap, our “Legislate THIS!” Day of Action brings our community members to the Georgia State Capitol to lobby our elected officials and empower youth leaders to share their stories.

 

  • Fierce Youth Reclaiming & Empowering Program and FYRE Media Justice Camp provides Queer and Trans youth of color with the skills and resources to generate their own media and strengthen their communities through peer support and community based-research published through blogs, editorials, social media, and television and radio interviews to combat mainstream narratives that overlook our communities.

 

  • SPARK Organizing Intensive trains queer and trans youth of color and young women of color on RJ issue advocacy, grassroots organizing, community mobilization, and strategic communications to foster the potential and leadership within our movements.

This important work would not be possible without your continued and generous support. SPARK is one of the few organizations in the Deep South that actively organizes local communities and pushes for policies that improve the lives of black women and LGBTQ youth of color. Your single contribution will have TWICE the impact in 2015. Please give and join with us in affirming: Our lives matter. Our families matter. Our communities matter.

Yours in the struggle,

Board of Directors
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW