2016 Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Fellows
Jill Adams | Founding Executive Director, Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law
Jill is a lawyer by training, executive director by trade, and activist by nature who’s been calling both the East Bay and the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement home since 2003. During this time, she’s straddled the academic and activist realms, fostering greater connections and collaborations between them: first as executive director of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, which she grew from startup to stand-up institution, and next as founding Executive Director of the movement’s first academic think tank, the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law. Her center’s strategic initiatives focus on improving poor and low-income people’s reproductive experiences through expanded access to care, legal protections, and public benefits. Jill conceived of and shepherded through publication the first law school textbook on reproductive rights and justice. She loves to expose injustice and ignite righteous indignation through her writing and speaking.
Sabrina Andrus | Executive Director, Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Sabrina is the executive director of Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ), a national organization that trains and mobilizes the progressive legal community to foster legal expertise and support for the realization of reproductive justice. She was recently honored with the 2015 Gerbode Professional Development Fellowship and was highlighted as a “Soldier of Social Change” in San Francisco Magazine’s annual Power Issue. She previously worked as a legal aid attorney in Washington state, focusing her practice on issues most affecting low-income communities, including housing, family law, predatory lending, and public benefits. While in law school, she co-founded the Social Justice Coalition, a meta-organization designed to provide space for social justice minded leaders to learn best practices, engage in anti-oppression work, and support and challenge the law school on its stated mission to educate leaders for a more just and humane world. She grew up on a ranch in rural California and loves college ball almost as much as she loves cheese.
Jacqueline Ayers | Director of Legislative Affairs, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Jacqueline has over a decade of federal policy and advocacy experience working on an array of legislative issues, including women’s issues, health care access and equity, higher education, voting rights and civil rights. At PPFA she is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the organization’s federal policy priorities on Capitol Hill, implementing effective issue campaigns, guiding coalition efforts and affiliate engagement on a broad range of reproductive health and rights issues. She began her career as the Associate Director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana and as a legislative aide to Congressman Robert C. Scott of Virginia. A proud native of Louisville, Kentucky, she is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Michelle Batchelor | Deputy Director, In Our Own Voice: Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Michelle is the national director for In Our Own Voice (IOOV): Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, developing, promoting and partnering with organizations to advance a strategic policy agenda supporting Black women’s access to safe abortions, contraceptives, and comprehensive sex education. Michelle received her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University and bachelor’s degree in Economics from Spelman College. Prior to IOOV, she oversaw the domestic and global programming at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), including Black/African American, Youth, and Women’s HIV portfolios. There she also developed the Minority Leadership Program. Michelle worked at the Chicago Department of Public Health for 10 years, managing several programs across the STD/HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health divisions. Michelle is the founder and former co-chair for the Illinois Women of African Descent Coalition and Divas Dining, a social networking health promotion initiative.
Kate Cockrill | Executive Director & Co-Founder, Sea Change Program
Kate is the executive director and co-founder of the Sea Change Program where she leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers, advocates, and teachers in creating a culture that upholds the dignity and humanity of all people as they move through their reproductive lives. From 2006 to 2013, Kate directed a research program focused on abortion stigma at the ANSIRH program at the University of California, San Francisco. Kate has authored 14 scholarly articles and her leadership on reducing abortion stigma has been profiled in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Newsweek, Salon, Slate, and RH Reality Check. Prior to her work in research, Kate also held positions in abortion care and advocacy at National Abortion Federation, Feminist Women’s Health Center, and Fayetteville Women’s Clinic. Kate lives in San Francisco Bay Area with her mother, husband, and two daughters.
Tannia Esparza | Executive Director, Young Women United
Tannia is a queer Xicana from Santa Barbara, CA who is proud to come from an immigrant family of strong, determined women. She has worked on racial justice, gender justice, and LGBTQ liberation for over 10 years. Tannia is the executive director at Young Women United, where she leads community organizing, culture shift, and policy change alongside self-identified young women of color in Albuquerque, NM. In her previous position as a family advocate at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, she centered LGBTQ families of color in advocating for LGBTQ-affirming schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Tannia utilizes storytelling and embodied knowledge as organizing tools in her reproductive justice work. Her solo show, Returning to Maiz, imagines a Xicana creation story as a ceremony to the origins of corn and the intergenerational ritual of making tortillas. Her most recent poetry was published in the LGBTQ anthology of the 2015 Malpais Review.
Yvonne Gutierrez | Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
Yvonne serves as Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV), the statewide policy, advocacy, and electoral arm of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas. Yvonne has worked for Planned Parenthood organizations in Texas for over 10 years directing communications, public affairs, advocacy, government relations, and coalition building programs and campaigns. She chairs the board of directors for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and serves on Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Political Action Fund Committee. Yvonne served as Co-Chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Latino Advisory Council and on the board of directors of the Martinez Street Women’s Center in San Antonio. In 2011, Yvonne received the Rising Star award from Annie’s List, the leading organization in Texas dedicated to electing progressive Democratic women, and the Spirit of Change award from former Texas State Representative and current Congressman Joaquin Castro in 2009 for her work to advance sex education legislation.
Yamani Hernandez | Executive Director, National Network of Abortion Funds
Yamani is the executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), an organization that builds capacity and power of grassroots member organizations and leverages their direct access to abortion seekers for cultural and political change. Her leadership is defined by a commitment to reproductive justice and to cultivating leadership for women of color and young people. Yamani has been a proud member of the Strong Families leadership team and is a writer for Echoing Ida, using writing to cultivate empathy and understanding by highlighting the many injustices in front of us and advocating for solutions that leave no one behind. Her perspectives have been featured in EBONY, RH Reality Check, Fusion, Truth-Out, and Progress Illinois. Yamani leads her nationwide team from Chicago, where she was recently listed among “Chicago Women Who Owned 2015” by Viva la Feminista, and stays centered by running, practicing yoga, and volunteering as a birth doula.
Shivana Jorawar | Federal Policy Director, National Abortion Federation
Shivana is a lawyer and policy advocate who currently directs federal policy at the National Abortion Federation. She previously served as Reproductive Justice Program Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) for four years. She is a co-founder of Jahajee Sisters, a grassroots organization based in New York City creating a safer and more equitable society for Indo-Caribbean women through dialogue, arts, leadership development, and grassroots organizing. Her other experience includes working with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a legal clerk, working with the anti-domestic violence organization Sakhi for South Asian Women, and co-chairing a chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Originally from New York, Shivana now lives and works in Washington, DC. Shivana holds a BA in Political Science from Fordham University and a JD from Emory University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in New York state.
Destiny Lopez | Co-Director, All* Above All
Out on the streets, in City Hall, and in the press, All* Above All co-director Destiny Lopez elevates the efforts of young people and women of color working to lift the bans that deny abortion funding. Destiny was previously a principal at the communications firm ConwayStrategic, leading innovative campaigns for clients advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. She also served as the director of Latino engagement for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, executive director of ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, an account director at Fenton Communications, and vice president of programs at NARAL Pro-Choice New York. She is past chair of the Board of Directors of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and a past member of the boards of Forward Together and Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. She earned a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Diana Lugo-Martinez | Senior Director of Community Engagement Programs, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Diana is the senior director of Community Engagement Programs at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH). Diana manages the Community Mobilization department and oversees the strategic implementation of civic engagement and leadership initiatives to ensure optimal impact and alignment with policy advocacy. Diana brings a decade of experience in civic engagement, politics, academia, and leadership development on a variety of social justice initiatives. She previously served as an administrator at New York University, and has also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the school’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, teaching service-learning courses on civic engagement and women’s movements on sexual and reproductive health in the Caribbean and Latin America. Diana holds an MPA in Health Policy and Management and an MS in Global Affairs.
La’Tasha D. Mayes | Founder and Executive Director, New Voices for Reproductive Justice
La’Tasha is a nationally recognized leader in the field of reproductive justice, human rights, and leadership development for women and girls of color. She is the founder and executive director of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, a multi-state organization in Pennsylvania and Ohio dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls. La’Tasha is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Heinz School of Carnegie Mellon University, the past National Board Chair of SisterSong, has served on her local Human Relations Commission, and led the local Social Action Committee of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has received numerous honors including being recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs, honored with the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Coro Alumni Leadership Award, and published in Who’s Who in Black Pittsburgh 2015. In 2015, La’Tasha ran for Pittsburgh City Council and earned 35% of the vote against the incumbent. La’Tasha is a native of West Philadelphia and believes in the indefatigable spirit of women.
Andrea Miller | President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health
Andrea is president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health and its Action Fund, whose bold advocacy, creative education campaigns, and high-impact partnerships in strategic states and localities across the country advance access to reproductive health care by changing public policy, galvanizing public support, and normalizing women’s decisions to have abortions and use contraception. Since 2011, under Andrea’s leadership, the organization has played a key role shifting our movement toward proactive strategies and messaging for abortion access. A Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Columbia College graduate, Andrea ran NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts and was co-principal at Public Interest Media Group. Career highlights include state policy change upon which “no-copay contraception” was based and creating seminal campaigns such as Back Up Your Birth Control, “politics trumping science,” and the foundational messages for “judgment to empathy.” She is a Center for Reproductive Rights founder and was communications director for five years.
Yong Chan Miller | Executive Director, Surge Northwest
Yong Chan is the co-founder and executive director of Surge, a reproductive justice organization started in Seattle, WA. She is a lifelong activist having worked at the intersections of economic, reproductive, and racial justice for over 20 years. Her first job out of college was at Aurora Medical Services, an abortion clinic in Seattle, WA, during which time she co-founded The CAIR Project and went on to serve on the National Network of Abortion Funds Board of Directors. Yong Chan is a proud CoreAlign fellowships alum, where she examined issues of adoption justice within the reproductive justice framework. She lives in Oakland, CA.
Cindy Pearson | Executive Director, National Women’s Health Network
Cindy Pearson is the executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, which improves the health of all women by developing and promoting a critical analysis of health issues in order to affect policy. Cindy joined the Network in 1987, after working as an abortion-rights organizer for Colorado NARAL and in several capacities at Womancare, a feminist women’s health center. Cindy’s work on women’s health has been informed by transformative experiences learning and sharing gynecological self-help with other women, and she brings this spirit to the Network’s efforts to catalyze grassroots women’s engagement in policy advocacy. Cindy is most proud of co-founding Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, and the Network’s role in reducing breast cancer rates significantly for the first time in U.S. history by ensuring that women had the information they needed to avoid unnecessary exposure to drugs that would have caused it.
Dr. Krystal Redman | Executive Director, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!
Krystal brings over 10 years of experience in managing low-income and women focused public health access and community-based youth development programs. Prior to her current tenure as executive director of SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Krystal served as the senior project director, Maternal and Child Health at the Georgia Department of Public Health, where she created 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. Krystal received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from University of California, Riverside and a Master of Health Administration from University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She received her doctorates of Public Health from Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California.
Malika Redmond | Founding Executive Director, Women Engaged
Malika Redmond is the founding executive director of Women Engaged in Atlanta, GA, where she is guiding the mission to empower women and youth of color to become impactful leaders, key decision-makers, and effective agents of social change. A feminist researcher and reproductive justice and human rights advocate, she has worked for nearly two decades both nationally and internationally, managing projects that focus on reproductive, LGBTQ, and racial justice with organizations such as Political Research Associates, National Center for Human Rights Education, and Spelman College Women’s Research and Resource Center. Malika was one of the youngest national field organizers for the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC, considered one of the largest marches in U.S. history. Her writings are featured in RH Reality Check, Truthout, The Women’s Health Activist, and AlterNet. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University in Women’s Studies.
Janette Robinson Flint | Executive Director, Black Women For Wellness
Janette was inspired to create Black Women for Wellness after attending the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Her work in the health field began as an advocate during her pregnancy, and today she is part of the Reproductive Justice Coalition of Los Angeles, California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, and Trust Black Women. As a researcher in Cuba, she witnessed the reality of what political will accomplishes with health for all. It gives her great pleasure to imagine a world with powerful women at optimum physical, mental, and emotional health, leading us to justice and peace. Music amazes her with its effect and impact to inspire women & girls into action. Magic through radio is yet another love, communication via social media, websites, and words. Great food, a good story (either book or movie), spoken word, live music, salsa dancing, and a scenic walk make her day. A victory that encourages health for women and girls grounds her through the challenges, traffic, and the struggle for freedom.
Karin Roland | Chief Campaigns Officer, UltraViolet
Karin is the chief campaigns officer at UltraViolet, a powerful and rapidly growing community of people who work to expand women’s rights. She oversees campaigns and programs on issues including economic security, preventing violence against women, and women’s reproductive rights and access to health care. Previously, Karin spent a decade working in progressive politics and campaigns. She helped fight the Iraq war and advocate for the Affordable Care Act at MoveOn.org, campaigned for marriage equality in Maine, and used online tools to help Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) make her Congressional office transparent and responsive, among other endeavors. Throughout her career, she has focused on using digital media and tools to advance progressive causes.
Cherisse A. Scott | Founder and CEO, SisterReach
Cherisse is an activist, actress, singer, songwriter, poet, and mom. She is the founder and CEO of SisterReach, Tennessee’s only reproductive justice organization. Cherisse came to know the framework of reproductive justice as a woman in need of a safe abortion who was misled by a crisis pregnancy center. Under Cherisse’s leadership, SisterReach released a 2015 report on the need for competent sex education for southern youth of color, rolled out their ProWoman Billboard campaign, and presented to the United Nations Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice on the impact of the fetal assault law on Tennessee’s women. One of Cherisse’s mantras is, “I am the women that I serve”, and she uses her lived experiences as a the starting point of entry to work with marginalized women and girls from a grassroots and non-hierarchical space.
Monica Raye Simpson | Executive Director, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Monica is the executive director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. A native of rural North Carolina, Monica has organized extensively against human rights violations, reproductive oppression, the prison industrial complex, and racism and intolerance. She is deeply invested in southern movement building and the fight for Black liberation. She is also committed to birth justice as a certified Doula. Monica couples her activism with her artistry on her first live album Revolutionary Love, which blends her gospel and soul roots with her passion for social justice. Because of her “artivism”, Monica was named as a New Civil Rights Leader by Essence Magazine and chosen as one of Advocate Magazine’s 40 Leaders Under 40.
Mia Sullivan | Director, Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program at Hampshire College
For almost 10 years, Mia has led programming, fundraising, strategy, and evaluation for the Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program, a national leadership development and movement building program based at Hampshire College that seeks to change the way we think about and act on issues of reproductive and sexual rights, freedom, and justice. She is on the board of the National Women’s Health Network, the advisory board for the Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice conference, and the legacy council for the Third Wave Fund. Mia has presented to learning circles on leadership development at the Ms. Foundation for Women and the Women Donors Network, and written about the reproductive justice field for the RESIST fund. As an attorney, Mia previously worked at civil legal services organizations in Massachusetts and Michigan, engaging in state and federal litigation, community organizing, and legislative advocacy.