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Announcing the 2022 Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice Fellows

By April 25, 2022April 28th, 2022No Comments

Rockwood is proud to announce the 2022 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.

Aliza Kazmi | Co-Executive Director, HEART Women & Girls

Aliza is from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her lifelong passions for social justice come from her own positionality, as second-generation daughter of an educator, and a former educator herself. Her dedication to the work have led her to organize around race and social justice in a number of regions including Alaska, Michigan, New Mexico, and throughout California. Aliza has created partnerships with numerous advocacy collaboratives, including convening grassroots community organizers and supporting their radical change-making and policy engagement in cities and states around the country, and mobilizing thousands of people to vote in various elections and participate in the Census. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley’s Peace & Conflict and Gender & Women’s Studies programs and University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, where she received the Rackham Merit Fellowship. Aliza is also a voting member of the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women.

Arneta Rogers | Gender, Sexuality, and Reproductive Justice Director, ACLU of Northern California

Arneta is an Oakland based, Black queer feminist, advocate, and movement lawyer with over a decade of experience of fighting for racial and reproductive justice. They are currently the Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Justice Director at the ACLU of Northern California where their work focuses on the intersections of criminalization and reproductive justice. They have worked on campaigns to ensure the right to bodily autonomy and access to reproductive and pregnancy-related care for incarcerated people and to modernize California’s discriminatory HIV criminalization laws. They also lead the organization’s advocacy to decriminalize sex work in California. They are passionate about political education and building power and liberatory spaces for Black women, femmes and gender expansive folx. Arneta is the former Policy Director of the Positive Women’s Network- USA and earned their law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law.

Emily Martin | Deputy Director, Avow

Emily is the deputy director of Avow – Unapologetic Abortion Advocacy. Avow is a Texas based organization that works to secure unrestricted abortion care and reproductive rights for all Texans through community-building, education and political advocacy. Emily focuses on the operations, finances, and human resources of the organization as well as their Austin-based policy work. She also moonlights as a bookkeeper for several organizations around Texas. She went to the University of Texas for her undergrad where she also worked as a sexual health peer educator. She then attended NYU for a masters in public health. During this time she interned for the National Institute of Reproductive Health. Outside of work, she loves the outdoors, snack food and reading for pleasure. She currently lives in Austin with her husband and their 2 cats, Bruce and Gus and their new puppy Walter.

Erin Ryan | Managing Director, The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network

Erin is a passionate and accomplished policy and advocacy leader with a decade of experience working at the intersection of gender and racial justice. She serves as the Managing Director of the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network, a coalition of nearly 40 organizations advocating for policy solutions that build economic opportunity for women and families, and a Policy Analyst at Innovation Ohio. Ryan received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University. She has extensive political campaign experience in fundraising and organizing, and serves as the VP of the Board of Trustees for Mental Health America of Ohio. Erin was born and raised on the West Side of Cleveland, Ohio in a politically active family, shaping her commitment to social justice. She resides in Central Ohio with her husband where she enjoys lazy weekends, curling up with a book, and traveling.

Flor Hunt | Executive Director, Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare

Flor is a Peruvian-American advocate for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. She currently serves as the Executive Director of TEACH, an organization that develops the next generation of diverse reproductive health champions through abortion training and mentorship. Flor has worked with a variety of international feminist organizations over the last 15 years.  She spent 10 years at Fos Feminista, (formerly IPPF/WHR), engaging in intersectional advocacy with partners across Latin America to advance sexual and reproductive rights and justice, particularly comprehensive sexuality education. While at Fos Feminista, Flor developed and led, Mira Que Te Miro, a 25 country regional social monitoring initiative to track implementation of the Montevideo Consensus, in collaboration with eight other regional networks, two universities and over 100 local NGOs. Flor attended Cabrillo College, holds a BA in International Development Studies from UC Berkeley, and an MPA from Princeton. Flor was born in Peru and raised in Santa Cruz, California, and speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and some French.

Jen Moore Conrow | Executive Director, Preterm

Jen began her career in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement in public policy at NARAL: Pro-Choice America, but quickly found her calling in the world of clinical abortion and pregnancy loss care, working for and with independent clinics, Planned Parenthood, and hospital-based providers. For nearly a decade at Cherry Hill Women’s Center, Jen was part of a team that defined quality abortion care throughout pregnancy. During this time, Jen was a founding board member of the Abortion Care Network, an organization created to support independent abortion providers. At Penn Medicine, Jen oversaw the Division of Complex Family Planning through growth and expansion in the region. As a consultant, Jen has worked with abortion clinics, research sites, and allied organizations across the country on operations and financial sustainability planning. Jen currently serves as the Executive Director of Preterm, the only non-profit independent abortion clinic in the state of Ohio.

Jennifer Driver | Senior Director, Reproductive Rights, State Innovation Exchange

Jennifer is a reproductive health, rights, and justice policy and advocacy leader with nearly 15 years in the field. Jennifer leads the Reproductive Rights team at the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) which houses the Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council, the nation’s only cohort of nearly 500 state legislators advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. Prior to joining SiX, Jennifer served as the VP of Policy and Strategic Partnerships with SIECUS, where she provided leadership to drive the organization’s federal and state policy and advocacy efforts. Jennifer worked for Welcoming America where she focused on immigration, racism, and health. Her previous experience also includes working for Power to Decide and GCAPP. Jennifer has been featured and quoted in national media, including The Washington Post, Vogue, The New York Times, Rewire, The Hill, CNN, The Harvard Political Review, MSNBC, and Politico. She was also recognized in 2019 as one of 50 impactful creators, artists, and activists by B*TCH Media.

Kamyon Conner | Executive Director, Texas Equal Access Fund

Kamyon is a queer Black activist, writer and social worker with her roots firmly planted in grassroots organizing and medial case management. She serves as the Executive Director of Texas Equal Access Fund, an abortion fund serving West, East and North Texas. She served as the Vice President of the National Network of Abortion Fund’s Board of Directors until 2021. She serves as the Vice President of PRIDENTON, a Denton based grassroots organization that celebrates LGBTQ+ folks and hosts Pride annually with a focus on QTBIPOC leadership. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas in Arlington and her undergraduate degree in social work from the University of North Texas. She enjoys incorporating self-care into her work and spending time with chosen family, her partner and her dog. She is an advocate for human rights and Reproductive Justice.

Katie Quinonez | Executive Director, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia

Katie  is the executive director of Women’s Health Center of West Virginia, an independent, community-based clinic and the state’s only remaining abortion provider. Since joining the center in 2017, Katie has led its transformational growth by raising millions in grants and donations, growing communication capacity with abortion-forward and gender-inclusive language, expanding the abortion gestational limit and adding gender affirming hormone care, and working toward reproductive justice through intersectional collaborations and establishing a $15 minimum wage with equitable salary adjustments. Katie previously worked in family preservation and food insecurity. Katie came to this movement because of her abortions and has proudly shared her story on stages, with legislators, and through national media outlets. Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management both from Marshall University.

Lexi J. White | Director of State Policy and Advocacy, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda

Lexi is an award-winning Reproductive Justice advocate, policy strategist and movement-builder who is passionate about intersectional movement-building and policy change. Lexi has worked for 8+ years to disrupt power dynamics that marginalize Black leaders in the Repro and wider feminist movement. Lexi is currently the Director of State Policy and Advocacy at In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda where she focuses on state strategies in addition to capacity-building, power-shifting, technical assistance and organizational and leadership development to support state RJ partners.  Lexi has worked with New Voices for Reproductive Justice, the Philadelphia Commission for Women as a Mayoral appointee, Bebashi-Transition to Hope, Grassroots Campaigns Philadelphia, and the Penn Women’s Center.  Lexi holds an MPP in Public Policy from Temple University and a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lupe Rodriguez | Executive Director, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice

Lupe is a scientist with an activist heart dedicated to seeing all people live in salud, dignidad y justicia. Born in Mexico City, Lupe immigrated with her family to California seeking access to medical care for her brother. Before taking on her role as the executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, Lupe worked as Director of Public Affairs, and later Vice President of Public Affairs, at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. She serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Center for Clinical Research at Stanford and was Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women in Santa Clara County and Treasurer of the Board of Directors for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice.

 

Maymangwa Flying Earth | Attorney/Birthworker/Founder, Birthing Sovereignty

Maymangwa Flying Earth, Esq. (Lakota/Dakota, Anishinaabe, Akimel O’odham) grew up on the Standing Rock reservation. Justice and human dignity have been guiding principles throughout her life and at an early age, she attended meetings on Indigenous education, language revitalization, and tribal sovereignty with her family. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Minnesota. Her previous work has included investigating municipal civil rights complaints and voter education in tribal communities. Maymangwa earned her Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School in 2006. Since the birth of her children, ages 4 and 8, Maymangwa has recognized a need for more Indigenous birth justice advocates. In 2021, Maymangwa founded Birthing Sovereignty, an organization focused on supporting Indigenous birth workers and tribal leaders assert their sovereignty and reclaim Indigenous birth practices on tribal lands. Maymangwa serves on the New Mexico Maternal Mortality Review Committee and currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Meera Shah | Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic

Meera is a family medicine physician, currently serving as the Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic in New York. Most recently, she published a book about abortion access called, “You’re the Only One I’ve Told: The Stories Behind Abortion.” She completed medical school at George Washington University in Washington D.C. and then family medicine residency at Mount Sinai/Beth Israel Medical Center and the Institute for Family Health in New York City. She has an MS in Nutrition as well as an MPH, both from Columbia University. Meera has been a contributing writer for Bedsider and Jezebel. She has been interviewed for her expertise by The Washington Post, MSNBC, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Think Progress, Elle, NPR, Refinery29 and Self to name a few. She is a fellow with the Physicians for Reproductive Health and serves on the board of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance as well as on the Medical Care Criteria Committee of the AIDS Institute Clinical Guidelines Program at NYSDOH.

Michelle Colon | Executive Director, SHERo Mississippi

Michelle is a lifelong grass roots, social justice activist and organizer, entrenched in the battlefields fighting for abortion rights, access and justice. She has been organizing throughout Mississippi fighting restrictive reproductive health legislation for over two decades, having worked the halls of the Capitol, outside and inside MS’s only abortion clinic; organizing large scale demonstrations, combating anti-abortion terrorist, civic engagement events and major fundraising efforts.  As co-founder and Executive Director of SHERo Mississippi, a Black Women’s statewide reproductive justice collective, she continues to focus and highlight the struggles and experiences of Black women, girls and femmes by helping them find their path to liberation through community organizing and capacity building. An unapologetic abortion freedom fighter, lover of animals and all things GoT, Michelle holds a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Jackson State University.

Myra Durán | Senior Policy Advocate, If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

Myra is the Senior Policy Advocate at If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, where she supports their policy advocacy efforts, builds partnerships with state-based advocates, and facilitates opportunities of engagement for their constituencies. She is the former Senior Policy Manager for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice where she supported the passage of ten bills in the California Legislature and strengthened CLRJ’s policy leadership program geared toward young Latinas/xs/es to have them unapologetically take up space in policy decision-making tables. She is a first-generation Southern California-raised Chicana who is a student of embodied leadership and believes in disrupting white capitalist notions of professionalism. Myra has served on the Board of ACCESS Reproductive Justice and the Young Women’s Leadership Council for the Pro-Choice Public Education Project. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, being a tía, and adorning herself with vibrant makeup and jewelry.

Nicole White | Midwife/Policy Director Birth Detroit, Birth Detroit

Nicole, LM, CPM, is a midwife and birth advocate with a public health degree. She’s a Co-founder and the Policy Director of Birth Detroit. Birth Detroit is a collective of birth workers and public health advocates committed to building a more just place to birth in Detroit and beyond while embracing a community organizing approach to birth center development rooted in deep equity and meaningful partnership. Nicole has attended births for 20 years and is a national and state midwifery policy leader. She received a fellowship in public policy to address maternal-infant health disparities, served on the inaugural Board of Licensed Midwifery for the State of Michigan, and led the opening of Birth Detroit’s first prenatal and postpartum clinic. Nicole believes that increasing access to human rights-centered midwifery care rooted in racial and gender justice is critical to addressing high maternal and infant mortality rates locally and globally.

Nimra Chowdhry | Acting, Senior State Legislative Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights

Nimra is an attorney, an immigrant, and a proud Pakistani Texan, who has worked in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movements for nearly a decade. Nimra works in federal, state, and local public policy as an advocate for people of color, young people, and immigrants. Currently, she serves as a Senior State Legislative Counsel with the Center for Reproductive Rights. Nimra joined the Center after completing fellowships with If/When/How where her placements were with Advocates for Youth and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. There her work focused on advancing policies in support of young people and the AAPI community. At Advocates, Nimra also co-found the Muslim youth Leadership Council, a national youth program promoting equity of Muslim-identifying young people. Since 2018, Nimra has served on the Board of Trustees of SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. Nimra holds a J.D. and a master’s certificate in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Houston. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Government and Women and Gender Studies from The University of Texas at Austin.

Roula AbiSamra | State Campaign Manager, Amplify Georgia Collaborative

Roula is the eldest daughter of Lebanese immigrants who settled in New Orleans, and they are passionate about the resilience and creativity of Southern people of color. Supporting people seeking abortion care changed her life and brought her to reproductive justice organizing. Today Roula works with the Amplify Georgia Collaborative to build campaigns for community power and policy change in our state; in December, they staged an unprecedented abortion speakout before the US Court of Appeals in Atlanta. They have a Bachelor’s in political science and a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University and was a CoreAlign Generative Fellow in 2015-2016. In public life, Roula has at various times been a public health researcher, a community organizer, an abortion care provider, a small-dollar fundraiser, a policy advocate, a storyteller, a facilitator, a mediator. In private life, they are a delighted aunty, nature seeker, and crossword-player. She is (slowly) writing a book of childhood and family stories.

Shanay Watson-Whittaker | Strategic Partnerships Manager, Michigan Voices

Shanay is Michigan Voices’ Director of Strategic Partnerships. She convenes the Michigan Voices’ Reproductive Justice Workgroup. Shanay worked at the Detroit Health Department, the Detroit City Council, and the New York City Council. Shanay is an advocate for BIPOC people. She was the chair of the Young Democrats of America Minority Caucus, the chair of the Young Democrats of Michigan Minority Caucus, and the New York State Young Democrats Caucus of Color Chair. Shanay worked on political campaigns in Michigan and in her home state of New York. Shanay is a fraternal twin, a genealogy geek and a New York City sports fan! Shanay lives on Detroit’s westside with her husband, Ken Whittaker. Together, they’ve raised six kids. Now, they love spending time with their two grandchildren.

Shayla Walker | Executive Director, Our Justice

Shayla is a proud Black Dominican-American living on occupied Dakhóta + Anishinaabe land (aka Twin Cities, Minnesota). She’s an award winning Reproductive Justice advocate who’s dedicated 10 years to the reproductive freedom movement. She’s the Executive Director of Our Justice (OJ), an organization that advocates for reproductive justice and provides support to abortion-seekers in the Midwest. In 2019, she began shifting the internal orientation of OJ towards centering rest & healing, economic justice and mutual aid beyond abortion support. Shayla has expanded OJ’s scope of work to include lodging support, free emergency contraception and safer-sex kits. In her free time she runs the You Are People’s Too Fund. A fund that offers cash to QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and BIPOC single parent/fam/guardian/caretaker of vulnerable adults and/or child(ren). Shayla feels most fulfilled when she’s getting Black people reparations, performing spoken word, dancing, and sunbathing.

Shireen Shakouri | Deputy Director, Reproaction

Shireen is deputy director of Reproaction. She is Iranian and Italian-American, and has a fire in her belly for reproductive justice work largely driven by a commitment to affirming the leadership of Earth-colored people, with direct action and direct service as her favored tools. This drive led her to building hard-hitting campaigns and managing special research projects at Reproaction before she was promoted to leadership in early 2021. Shireen is trained as an abortion doula and serves as a clinic escort at a local clinic. In her spare time, she is involved in various other local D.C activism projects, and she writes on issues of identity, feminism, and culture. You can follow her work and activism on Twitter @sheermean.

Terri-Ann Thompson | Senior Research Scientist, Ibis Reproductive Health

Terri-Ann is an Afro Caribbean-American researcher who uses her work to highlight and propose strategies to address disparities in sexual and reproductive health. She is a senior research scientist at Ibis Reproductive Health (Ibis), a board member of the Abortion Care Network, and serves on several advisory committees that advocate for greater abortion care access in the United States. She believes that partnership is key to meaningful social change. Therefore, she uses frameworks such as community -engaged research to guide her research efforts and feels most proud of her work with reproductive justice organizations and other community partners. Previously, she worked for Yale University School of Medicine directing a global health disparities study in the eastern Caribbean focused on identifying risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Terri-Ann holds a doctorate in public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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