“A Black woman’s body is never hers alone.” – Fannie Lou Hamer
On September 21st, SPARK will join a caravan of Southern based activists and organizations heading down to Lowndes County, Alabama for the Southern Movement Assembly (SMA). Anchored by Project South and the Southern Movement Alliance, the SMA is but one tactic of a larger “We All Count” campaign to increase voter education and registration in underrepresented communities, train new organizers, and create a Southern People’s Plan to build political power and activate our communities beyond the November elections and into a future of long-term systemic change in the Southern region.
In this region we call home, SPARK sees the SMA as a possibility to better infuse a gender and reproductive justice politic that often times is neglected in social movements for racial and economic justice and broader civic engagement. No longer can we understand issues of reproductive justice as “women’s work”, but as movement work – a movement towards strong families, safe communities, and whole people.We understand that poor and working class families, single mothers, women of color, immigrants, queer youth of color, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and beyond need more than the empty, unaccountable promises of the politicians and political parties working within our political system. The “We All Count” campaign and the SMA provide an opportunity for our communities to set an agenda that holds up our identities, struggles, and visions for a region that we live and work in, that has been systematically divested and home to some of the most egregious policies implemented in the last two years.
SPARK sounds the call to reproductive justice activists and organizations in the South to not only be present and bear witness to this movement, but to help craft vision and action towards body autonomy and communities free from all forms of violence. Honoring the rich legacy and tradition of Civil Rights leaders like Coretta Scott King, Ella Baker, and Fannie Lou Hamer – on the ground in historic Selma, Alabama – we demand reproductive justice for our bodies, our communities, and our futures.
Download This Statement: We All Count – Why Reproductive Justice is Intrinsic to the Political Future of the South