Reproductive Justice Week Of Action

We are partnering with Reproductive Justice organizations across the country as part of the In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda movement along with SisterLove, Inc, Women with a Vision, Inc., Black Women For Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices Pittsburgh, SisterReach and The Afiya Center for the first annual #RJWeekofAction to let our elected representatives know that restricting access to abortion care and comprehensive sex education makes Black women less safe.

In Atlanta, SPARK is collaborating with SisterLove, Inc to offer advocacy training webinar that will equip you with all the necessary skills you will need to meet with local, state, and federal policymakers to discuss the reproductive health and rights of Black women in your community. As a constituent, we want you to be able to talk with your representatives about your experiences and the issues that impact your day-to-day lives.

Register HERE for the webinar taking place TONIGHT, from 8-9pm, and add your voice to the national movement to build power in our communities!

Questions can be sent to Sequoia Ayala, Policy and Advocacy Program Manager, at sayala@sisterlove.org.

SPARK Responds To The Terrorist Attack In Charlottesville

Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, August 15, 2017: White nationalists gathered this past Saturday for a “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, VA, where a skirmish that can only be described as yet another domestic terror act ensued. The violence tragically ended in the death of a peaceful protester, Heather Heyer, and numerous other injuries at the hands of heavily-armed terrorists carrying everything from baseball bats to assault rifles. The white supremacist rally was staged against the planned removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee from a public park and followed an unsanctioned torchlit pre-rally Friday night on the University of Virginia campus that had also descended into violence.

Since 2001, the number of violent attacks in the U.S. inspired by far-right ideology has spiked to an average of more than 300 a year, according to a study by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. The display of violence and hatred in Charlottesville is an unmistakable instance of the white supremacist movement to silence the voices and control the bodies of those most disenfranchised. This violence works to uphold and reinforce dangerous and negative policies, practices, and culture. These actions are acts of terrorism and this terror continues to be the experience of people with marginalized identities in our country. Although this event occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, this kind of vitriol and hatred is not just a “Southern Thing”, it is a symptom of a national system of oppression that strives to completely silence the voices that are historically ignored. The grievance is made even more significant when viewed in light of the Trump administration’s reversal of a grant to a group that works to de-radicalize neo-Nazis, and to direct all funding toward fighting what the president has described as “radical Islamic terrorism.” The Department of Homeland Security had awarded the group $400,000 as part of its Countering Violent Extremism. It was the only group selected for a grant that focused exclusively on fighting white supremacy.

SPARK Reproductive Justice Now! stands firmly against any body or system that seeks to control the bodily autonomy of others and we send our sincere condolences to the victims of Saturday’s terror attack in Charlottesville, especially to the family and friends of Heather Heyer. Our goal is to ensure the liberation of all people, especially Black women, women of color, as well as queer and trans youth of color due to the legacy of systematic oppression of these groups. The resilience of our communities is staggering but our work does not exist in a vacuum and we deeply honor the allyship of people outside these groups. As we move through the coming days, we hope that this tragedy will, at the very least, reopen the conversation about protestors’ rights especially for us in Georgia, where Republican senators recently passed a “Back the Badge” bill that increases penalties for blocking “any highway, street, sidewalk or other public passage.” With this bill, it is evident that white supremacy jeopardizes the safety in our communities daily. Although the Charlottesville event has been highly publicized, attacks on the bodies of people of color, Black women, and queer and trans people are every day assaults. These events are not mutually exclusive and cannot be isolated from each other. They are connected by racism, sexism, heterosexism, and cissexism which contribute to xenophobia, transphobia, and homophobia.

Now is the time to elevate the most marginalized and silenced voices above those who wish to silence them.  It is not enough to “be a good person.” We must be engaged. We must make an intentional effort to foster cultural humility. We must be active in public and in private. We must be loud. We must be brave.

For more information contact:

Dr. Krystal Redman

Executive Director

SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!

404-331-3250

Krystal@sparkrj.org

 

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 FYRE 2017 Dance Facilitator!

We’re hours away from FYRE 2017, “Rhythm Nation” and can’t wait to dance through the revolution with the effortlessly delightful Nicole Murphy. Nicole is a professional dancer that combines her love of  movement with her passion for helping humanity. When she is not preparing high schoolers to dance competitively, Ms. Murphy travels internationally and takes teens to create fine arts camps in Punta Gorda, Belize and Lilongwe, Malawi. Her love for dance is a physical and spiritual journey that she enjoys sharing with others.

SPARK Trans Leadership Initiative

SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW invites trans and non-binary people of color to join us in forming a Trans Leadership Initiative. This initiative will focus on creating community and social events specifically for and by trans PoC in the month of November. We encourage anyone interested to come – especially those looking to grow their organizing strengths and build a stronger trans community here in Atlanta.

Topics being discussed at this meeting include:
– Brainstorming ideas of programming to put on.
– Discussing what resources Atlanta trans folks need.
– Developing a framework for our November – Month of Programs.
& more.

ALL WHO ARE INTERESTED should fill out this form.

The meeting will start at 6PM at Hodgepodge Coffee (720 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316) on Thursday, July 27th. Parking is available and MARTA Bus #4 runs directly in front of the building.
Any questions? Email Taylor at taylor@sparkrj.org.

RSVP on Facebook & Eventbrite and share the event with your friends!

Application Deadline Extended

We are extending the application deadline for the 2017 FYRE Media Justice Camp to this Friday, July 14th. This year’s FYRE Camp, RHYTHM NATION, seeks to hold an intentional space for movement building for Queer and Trans young people of color and cishet Black women in the South to build trust through dance. We believe we can move through this political climate by asserting our bodily autonomy and embodying a positive body consciousness to find our own rhythm within the revolution.

Through this camp, SPARK aims to build a base of leaders who will re-imagine and create artistic narratives for our resilience, our lives, and our communities. The 2017 cohort will focus on issues surrounding abortion stigma, sexual health and health care access all with the goal of building a base of activists across multiple identities.

This year’s FMJC is scheduled to take place from July 20 to July 23rd in Atlanta, Georgia. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and all travel and boarding expenses are covered.

All those that are interested are invited to apply to attend as a camper or as a peer leader!

KICK IT WITH SPARK & SFQP!

From the flag, to the acronym, to anti-Blackness in the community, and more – there’s a lot to discuss within the community. What does proper representation look like? What does a non-corporate Pride look like? Why is anti-Blackness so unchecked?

Join Southern Fried Queer Pride and SPARK for Stonewall Sit-Down, a community discussion! On Thursday, Jun 29th at 6PM at the Little 5 Points Center for Arts & Community! Food and refreshments shall be served.

This event is specifically for those of the queer and trans/LGBTQIQAP2+ community.

RSVP via Facebook and share the event with your community!