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Announcing the 2021 Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice Fellows

By January 21, 2021January 25th, 2021One Comment

Purple flower growing out of red-brown bricks.

 

Rockwood is proud to announce the 2021 National Fellowship for Leaders in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice in partnership with Funders for Reproductive Equity.

This fellowship brings together 24 leaders from across the nation, an exciting cross-section of the movement that spans different strategies, demographics, and regions. It is designed to give leaders an opportunity to delve deeper into their leadership development and build stronger partnerships for a greater impact on the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement.

The 2021 Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice fellows are:

Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka | Midwife & Co-Founder, Black Breastfeeding Week

Anayah is a Black mother who uses her work and activism working toward dignity and equity for birthing families. She is a nurse-midwife providing care life-spectrum care in Washington, DC and a nationally recognized advocate for breast/chest feeding and human lactation. She is a co-founder of Black Breastfeeding Week, which uses deep community building and celebration to reduce Black infant mortality and sow seeds of self-determination in Black families. She is a former fellow of MomsRising, an author, and also speaks and consults with organizations on using social media for movement building and social change. Her work has been written about on Salon, Think Progress, mater mea, Ms. Magazine and HuffPost. She is originally from Chicago’s southside and now resides in the DMV area with her two children and spouse.

 

Andrea Irwin | Executive Director, Mabel Wadsworth Center

Andrea is executive director of Mabel Wadsworth Center, an independent abortion provider in Maine. Since joining the Center in 2015, she has led its transformational growth to become more gender inclusive and to expand clinical services. Previously, Andrea worked at several national and Maine-based advocacy organizations to increase access to healthcare and advance reproductive rights. Andrea has been active in the reproductive health and rights movement for more than 15 years and has extensive experience in nonprofit management, organizational change, fundraising, program development, and advocacy. She proudly shares her abortion story in various forums, ranging from intimate gatherings to Supreme Court amicus briefs, and is deeply committed to ending abortion stigma. She graduated from Bates College and earned her law degree at American University Washington College of Law. She lives with her two cats and enjoys reading, pop culture, and dreaming of future travels.

 

Brandi Collins-Calhoun | Senior Movement Engagement Associate, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Brandi is a writer, educator, and reproductive justice activist. Brandi attended the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she studied African American history and found her passion for grassroots organizing. Today, she is the senior movement engagement associate for issues focused work such as reproductive access and gendered violence with the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in Washington, DC, after serving as the director of reproductive and maternal health at the YWCA Greensboro for several years. Brandi has ties to grassroots organizations like Southerners on New Ground, Sister Song and serves on the board of directors for the Carolina Abortion Fund. Her free time is spent freelance writing for publications such as The Root and Rewire News critiquing pop culture through a reproductive, pleasure centered lens and is a 2019-2020 member of the Echoing Ida writing fellowship through Forward Together.

 

Caitlin Gaffin | Co-Director and Founder, Holler Health Justice

Hailing from the southern coal fields of West Virginia, Caitlin is a founder and co-director of Holler Health Justice (HHJ), a BIPOC- and queer-led racial, economic, and reproductive justice nonprofit building power with Appalachians most disproportionately affected by health inequities. Since its launch in 2018, Caitlin has helped expand HHJ’s scope of mutual aid work to include providing financial and practical abortion support, free emergency contraception, harm reduction materials and services, bail and legal funds, and ID obtainment and voter engagement. They are also the operations director for Prism, a BIPOC-led nonprofit newsroom, and a founding partner with Kaleidoscope WV, a queer-owned, values-led consulting firm. Caitlin resides in her home state of West Virginia with her partner and their ever-expanding menagerie of cats and pups.

 

Chris Harley | President & CEO, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change

Christine is mixed-race Korean American and Piscataway Indian, a single-mom by choice of twin boys, and the first generation of her family to attend college and graduate school. Chris’s career has focused on increasing access to public policy and social change for immigrant and communities of color. As the President/CEO of SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, she is focused on advancing inclusive, comprehensive sex education that centers the lived experiences of young people at the intersection of race, gender, and sexual orientation to create a world in which all young people are affirmed in their identity and empowered to demand sexual and reproductive freedom.  Previously, Chris was the director of intergovernmental affairs for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under the Obama Administration. Chris also directed reproductive justice policy for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.

 

Christian Adams | Lead Trainer/Membership & Development Coordinator, SisterSong National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Christian is a skilled facilitator with a real-life understanding of social and organizational change that is grounded in social work best practices. She enjoys having the opportunity to build relationships with diverse groups of people and educating them on the reproductive justice framework. Christian has over 16 years of work experience which includes program implementation, community organizing, group facilitation, clinical therapy, and grant management. Previously, Christian was the program implementation specialist for the Triple P Positive Parenting Program at Durham County Department of Public Health, before being promoted to program supervisor after expanding the program to regional level within two years. Most recently, Christian completed a ten-month, intensive fellowship with the Statewide Georgia Women’s Policy Institute, where she learned how to develop and support real-world policy proposals that empower womxn and girls in Georgia. Christian holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in social work both from East Carolina University.

 

Cynthia Gutierrez | Program Manager, HIVE: A Hub for Positive Reproductive and Sexual Health

Cynthia is an award winning first-generation Nicaraguan Salvadoran reproductive justice organizer, doula, and cultural strategist. Cynthia is passionate about the intersection of reproductive justice, race, and documenting the ways women of color have resisted and healed from harm done towards their reproductive autonomy. She has over a decade of social justice community work experience within the Bay Area. She is currently the program manager for UCSF HIVE and Team Lily programs.  She is on the board of directors for ACCESS Reproductive Justice and the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom. She has a BA in Sociology from the University of CA, Santa Cruz.

 

Daniela Ochoa Diaz | Federal Strategies Manager, All* Above All

Daniela is the federal strategies manager at All* Above All, where she works with coalition partners and the Hill to advance the EACH Woman Act and defend against the expansion of abortion coverage bans. Daniela joined the All* team with a scope of experiences that encompass a strong knowledge of the abortion care and provider community through her work with the Allentown Women’s Center, the National Abortion Federation and most recently with Physicians for Reproductive Health. Daniela is also a We Testify storyteller. Prior to entering the reproductive health, rights, and justice space, Daniela worked on issues of integrity, governance, corruption and whistle-blower protection via the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD). Daniela graduated from Lafayette College where she studied international affairs and earned a master’s degree from the American University of Paris. Daniela loves the outdoors and building community in the multisport space via the Perfect Timing Multisport podcast.

 

Diana Parker | Executive Director, Midwest Access Coalition

Diana is executive director of Midwest Access Coalition, a practical support organization that accompanies folks traveling to, from, and within the Midwest for abortion care by funding and arranging all their practical travel needs and providing individualized emotional support along the way. She is also on the board of directors of the Chicago Community Bond Fund which pays bonds for folks charged with crimes in Chicago while advocating to end money bond in coalition with other abolition organizations. Prior to her work at MAC and CCBF, she has been a part of organizations working to abolish police and prisons, improve community health and wellness, support survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and provide accessible doula care. She is a Black, Indigenous, non-binary queer living a full life in her hometown of Chicago with her partner, their two cats, two hundred plants, and a dream of collective liberation.

 

Eloisa Lopez | Executive Director, Pro-Choice Arizona/Abortion Fund of Arizona

Eloisa is a first-generation daughter of Mexican descent. Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, her desire for a more compassionate world dates back to childhood. She did not come into movement work by way of specialized education but rather through lived experiences that have fortified her commitment to justice, including but not limited to parenthood, having abortions, and involvement within the unsettling family court system. Her prior professional background was in photography and e-commerce fashion. Eloisa is the executive director for Pro-Choice Arizona but first entered the work as a helpline volunteer for the Abortion Fund of Arizona. In 2018, she began leading the internal redesign of the organization, moving away from the abortion rights-only model towards centering community experiences and people. Under her leadership, she co-launched a Judicial Bypass Coalition in AZ and most recently co-led the development of the Arizona Reproductive Justice Coalition.

 

Erin Smith | Executive Director, Kentucky Health Justice Network

Erin is a born and raised Louisville, Kentucky native who graduated from DuPont Manual high school in 2009. After graduation, she attended Northern Kentucky University where she majored in political science and minored in pre-law. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree, Erin returned home and later enrolled in the University of Louisville Women and Gender Studies master’s program. Toward the end of her studies she wrote and defended her thesis project on the division between the African American church and their LGBTQ congregation. With the completion of her master’s degree, Erin began working for Safe Place Services as the coordinator for community outreach. She later accepted a position as the educational and outreach coordinator for the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission. In 2020, she became the executive director for the Kentucky Health Justice Network, and abortion access and reproductive justice organization located in her hometown. She also serves as the co-chair for the Louisville Pride Foundation.

 

Gaby Garcia-Vera | States Program Manager, Catholics for Choice

Gaby is a Queer Latinx Puerto Rican with more than 15 years of organizing across social justice movements. A master facilitator, with a focus on racial equity through a pro-Black lens, immigrant rights, and LGBTQ Liberation Gaby believes in centering his passion for innovation, connection, and vulnerability as a model for leadership. Gaby currently serves as the states program manager at Catholics for Choice, working to advance the moral, ethical, and religious case for protecting reproductive, health, rights, and justice as a Catholic value. For nearly a decade, Gaby has been part of the leadership team for Union=Fuerza Latinx Institute, a one day convening aimed at bringing Queer and Trans Latinx organizers from around the country together to help advance their leadership in fundraising, campaigns, and culture shift work. Previously, Gaby co-founded the Coquí Language Collective, a Florida-based worker-owned collective working to promote language justice through interpretation and translation service. Gaby has also formerly served as executive director of GetEQUAL and the FL Field and Advocacy Manager for the Latina Institute.

 

Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi | Complex Family Planning Specialist, Pegasus Health Justice Center

Dr. Moayedi is a board certified OB/GYN and complex family planning specialist living and working in Texas.  She is a founding member of CERCL-FP: Centering Equity, Race, and Cultural Literacy in family planning.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and completed her medical training at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth.  She trained as an OB/GYN resident at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso, where she proudly served a bi-national community.  Dr. Moayedi completed fellowship training in Complex Family Planning at the University of Hawai’i, where she also received her Master of Public Health degree in health policy and management.  Currently, Dr. Moayedi not only provides birth care for her community, but she is also one of the few physicians providing second trimester abortion care in Texas.  In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Moayedi conducts research aimed at improving access to abortion care and improving abortion experiences for patients.  Dr. Moayedi is also a fierce advocate for her community.  She is involved in local, state, and national reproductive health, rights, and justice advocacy through her service on the board of directors for Texas Equal Access Fund and Physicians for reproductive health as well as the outgoing board president for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.

 

Jacqulyn Hamilton | Director of Wellness, Chicago Freedom School

Jacqulyn is a healing justice practitioner based in Chicago. Rooted in social justice and liberatory praxis, she supports individuals, communities and institutions as they work to integrate anti-oppression and healing justice frameworks. As the director of wellness at Chicago Freedom School, her work is grounded in racial justice, intersectionalism, and the legacies of organizing that grow out of them. In this role, she has created programming for and fostered the development of Chicago’s young organizers. In 2015, after over a decade of reproductive justice work, she co-created Project HealUs, a reproductive justice organizing intensive for Black and Brown female, femme, trans, and gender nonbinary young people. The program cultivates young people who are the future of the reproductive justice movement.

 

Jasmen Rogers | Founder, Folding Chair Consulting

Jasmen is the founder and principal Visionary at Folding Chair Consulting and has worked for several years at the intersection of racial and gender justice, advancing legislation that centers Black women, co-creating curriculum that makes the political process accessible, and building a base of women of color committed to Reproductive Justice. Jasmen has worked collaboratively across the state of Florida to build a cadre of state legislators dedicated to reproductive freedom and has curated several spaces that have brought together over 3,000 Black women and girls to build a shared political agenda, rooted in reproductive justice. She has appealed to the United Nations on behalf of families impacted by police violence, worked with formerly incarcerated women to pass legislation, and equipped organizations with the tools to dismantle anti-Blackness.

 

Jeryl D. Hayes, JD, LL.M. | Movement Building Director, If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

Jeryl has focused her legal career on social justice and gender equity, with specific expertise in reproductive health, rights, and justice issues. She currently serves as the movement building director at If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, where her role is to shape movement building strategies, grow and evolve programs, and oversee the mobilization and networking of law students and legal professionals to champion reproductive justice within and beyond the legal system. After earning her JD from Washington University, School of Law and LL.M. from American University Washington College of Law, Jeryl completed the If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program, with placement at the Black Women’s Health Imperative. She honed her advocacy skills working on federal policy with Advocates for Youth and Physicians for Reproductive Health before joining If/When/How’s staff. A native Ohioan, Jeryl currently lives in the Washington, DC area with her dog, Max.

 

Max Carwile | Community Organizer & Data Manager, Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi

Max is a proud East Tennessean who has spent nearly ten years fighting for abortion access and against abortion stigma in the South. At Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, she is the affiliate data manager and East Tennessee community organizer. This role has helped made progressive data systems more equitable and accessible. One of her other primary focuses in life is helping/pushing white people to recognize and take action on their responsibility to dismantle white supremacy. She holds a BA in Women’s Studies from East Tennessee State University and previously served on the Steering Committee for Healthy and Free Tennessee. Super fruity beer and super furry cats are the things that bring her the most joy in life.

 

Michelle Wilson | Senior Program Manager, Women Engaged

Michelle is a Black, millenial, queer, native of Kansas City, Missouri (KC). They serve as the Senior Program Manager at Women Engaged, a social justice initiative based in Atlanta, GA at the intersections of integrated voter engagement and reproductive justice. They have worked in social justice and politics for over 14 years. They started their journey as a teenager as the first appointed Chairman of the KC Youth Commission. They went on to study political science in Little Rock, Arkansas at Philander Smith College. They were a founding member of the first Gay-Straight Alliance and the Social Justice League. Afterwards they worked full time managing over 28 programs in social justice education for the campus and community at large. They now reside in Atlanta, GA, and is set to receive their master’s degree from Clark Atlanta University, where they will continue to deepen their knowledge and bring it to the community to actualize justice for their communities. In their free time, they like to crochet, play video games, and connect with loved ones.

 

Odile Schalit | Executive Director, The Brigid Alliance

Odile is the executive director of The Brigid Alliance, a nationwide organization providing logistical, financial and emotional support to individuals who must travel for later abortion care. Having joined Brigid as its founding program director in 2018, she subsequently transitioned to overseeing the organization’s strategic and programmatic development as its ED in 2019, and in doing so led her team through significant internal and external growth. All the while and to this day, Odile takes her cues from her experiences volunteering as a full spectrum (birth and abortion) doula, working as a social worker at Planned Parenthood New York City (now Greater New York), studying and conducting reproductive and sexual health research and even her years of working in the film and television business. Initially compelled into the space of reproductive health, access and justice through her focus and interest in mental health, her daily bread comes from a sense of amazement at the transformative and healing power of community and collaboration. 

 

Preston Mitchum | Director of Policy, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity

Preston is a Black queer attorney, advocate, and activist with a focus on the power of Black people, young people, and queer, trans, and nonbinary people. With nearly a decade of legal and policy experience, he develops reproductive health, rights, and justice policies and strategies as the policy director with URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, a young people’s Reproductive Justice organization. Preston is an adjunct professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and teaches LGBT Health Law & Policy. Preston serves as co-chair of the board of directors for Collective Action for Safe Spaces, and was the first openly LGBTQ chair of the Washington Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. He holds a LL.M. in law and government from American University Washington College of Law, a Juris Doctorate from North Carolina Central University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.

 

Rosann Mariappuram | Executive Director, Jane’s Due Process

Rosann is the executive director of Jane’s Due Process, an organization that fights for teens’ reproductive rights in Texas and helps young people confidentially access reproductive healthcare, including abortion and birth control. Rosann was an If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellow with Surge worked at the Reproductive Health Access Project in New York, NY prior to law school. Rosann is currently a board member at Equality Texas and has previously served on the boards of the Lilith Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.  Rosann is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, received her MA in international relations from the City College of New York and her BA from New York University. Rosann is originally from Cleveland, OH. She loves to read, hike and cook in her free time and is the proud daughter of immigrant parents.

 

Sona Smith | Executive Director, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

Sona has been working in non-profit spaces for over 15 years, with experience developing, implementing and managing innovative programs that serve young people in Chicago. Throughout her career she has worked for various organizations, such as After School Matters, Metropolitan Family Services, and Perspectives Charter School Network and is the former Executive Director of Chicago Volunteer Doulas.  She has a rich history in youth development, program management, leveraging community support and resources, developing coalitions and building relationships. Her work for the reproductive justice movement has included serving mamas and families as a birth doula, peer counselor, and on Health Connect One’s Birth Leadership Academy. Currently, Sona serves as executive director of Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH). ICAH is a reproductive justice organization that works to ensure that ALL YOUTH are safe, affirmed & healthy. She lives in Chicago, with her 3 children, Ayah, Ameen, and Ajani.

 

Stephanie Loraine Piñeiro | Co-Executive Director, Florida Access Network

Stephanie is a proud queer Boricua and award winning reproductive justice advocate based in Central Florida. She feels most fulfilled when she’s exploring the outdoors, laughing with loved ones and learning. She is the co-executive director of Florida Access Network, an organization that advocates for reproductive justice and provides logistical support to abortion-seekers in Florida. She is an MSW graduate from the University of Central Florida and has led community health programs and provided counseling. In 2019, she was awarded the ​120 Under 40 award​ by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute which recognizes the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide. She’s also the producer and co-host of​ Jevas Combativas​; the only Feminist Spanish-language Commercial ​Radio Show in the United States​. As a communications professional and abortion storyteller her work and story has been published in the ​New York Times​, ​AP News​ and ​Univision ​among others.

 

Tea Sefer | Associate Director of Policy, Advocates for Youth

Tea is a refugee and genocide survivor, from the former Yugoslavia, who has worked in the reproductive rights, health, and justice movements for 14 years. As associate director of policy at Advocates for Youth, they lead an international portfolio focused on the sexual and reproductive freedom, rights, and health for young people (aged 14-24) in the United States and in countries impacted by US foreign aid and policy. Before coming to Advocates, Tea worked on legislative and administrative advocacy on the local, state, and national level for abortion access, sexual health education, LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination in K-12 schools, transgender youth inclusion in sports, and genocide education. Tea believes in creating sustainable and accountable organizing communities and thus founded Breathe with Tea, a trauma-informed coaching program for social justice advocates and changemakers looking to develop self- and community-care practices for the long-term fight for healing, justice, and joy in our communities.

One Comment

  • Michelle Murano says:

    Congrats and thank you for leading so many efforts in the reproductive field! Your work is truly appreciated.

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