2018 has been a whirlwind. Stepping into the role of Executive Director at Feminist Women’s Health Center has been daunting.
We have a governor who has pledged to sign in the toughest abortion restrictions in the country, and poor people, queer people, Trans people, and immigrants remain in the cross-hairs of our leaders’ legislative weapons. We have good reasons to be angry and scared right now because eliminating abortion access, blatant racism, violence, and fear mongering are the rallying cries for so many leaders in Georgia and across the country. But we are not scared, because we know how to win, we’ve won before, and we will win again. So in the words of former President Barack Obama, we will be vigilant but not afraid!
Over this past year, I have been humbled by the complexity of our operations. I have been simultaneously responding to our current challenges while better preparing us for the future with new internal policies and external partnerships. It’s been a lot at times. But I got this y’all. We’ve got this! Because of your overwhelming support, we are still open, we are still holding back the wave of new abortion restrictions, and we are charting a path forward.
Many of you are rooting for our success, and particularly my success, as the first Black woman Executive Director. And now at Feminist Women’s Health Center, we are centering our work in Reproductive Justice. The Black women who coined the phrase Reproductive Justice (RJ), with the many other people of color who gave form to the movement, have defined the tenets of RJ in its simplest terms as the freedom to have children, to not have children, to parent the children we have with dignity in safe and sustainable communities, and to have full personal bodily autonomy. At our center, that framework will guide us in everything we do.
I remain committed to this work because I believe in reproductive freedom. A freedom I know Every. Person. Deserves. Our center is a place where we can be our authentic selves. People of many generations, people of many racial backgrounds, with various stories and income levels, identities and lives are welcome here. No one is too old or too inexperienced, and no one is required to code switch, pull their pants up, hide their piercings or accent, or fit into the gender binary. We know when we fight against systemic racism and dismantle white supremacy—everyone benefits. Everyone. Starting with our clinical services which have always been the heart of our mission, we pledge to further strengthen our inclusivity.
In continuing to keep healthcare and the needs of our patient’s front and center, I pledge to you that we will fight tirelessly to prevent unconstitutional and unnecessary abortion restrictions on the people of Georgia. We will remain a safe haven for abortion care in the region and a powerful force for abortion rights in the capital. But in keeping with our commitment to reproductive justice, we will also fight across other issues that impact the communities we serve.
We are not going to prioritize one group of patients over another. We are determined to keep our doors open and all our people safe. We are not going to retreat. We will stay united.
I am honored to have been asked to take on this challenge of leading our efforts. And now as I start this new year, advancing this vision forward alongside all of you, I am going to take time to acknowledge all we have done. Please enjoy this report and celebrate our success as we prepare for the fight to come.