April National Volunteer Call Celebrates National Minority Health Month

April presented us with the opportunity to celebrate National Minority Health Month with our community of volunteers and activists.

Dr. Jallicia Jolly speaking to our activists over Zoom during the April National Volunteer Call

On April 28, we reunited with our #Fight4HER activists for a National Volunteer Call to learn from experts Dr. Jallicia Jolly and María Antonieta Alcalde Castro about the reproductive health disparities that continue to affect Black and brown people in the U.S. and abroad. Jallicia is a writer, researcher, doula, and incoming Assistant Professor and Post-Doctoral Fellow at Amherst College. María is the Director of Ipas Central America and Mexico. Jallicia and María engaged in an insightful conversation about the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities within the countries where they work and do research, as well as the impact of restrictive U.S. reproductive health policies.

María Antonieta Alcalde Castro talking to our activists about her work in Mexico and Central America

Their expertise overlapped to bring light to the unique reproductive health obstacles imposed by crippling American policies such as the Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment upon Afro-descendant Caribbean communities and indigenous populations throughout Mexico and Central America. Both speakers used National Minority Health Month to shape the lens through which they touched on issues specific to the communities they serve and research. Maria spoke to the need for abortion services and access to comprehensive reproductive health care for Central American immigrants who face heightened exposure to sexual violence in their journey. While Jallicia emphasized the rising grassroots mobilization of young Black Jamaican women living and loving with HIV/AIDS to address unmet need. The robust conversation broached an array of topics, including the surveillance and criminalization of Black birthing people in the U.S. and the strategic steps needed to address systemic reproductive health care inequity.

YoVanna Solomon, host of the April National Volunteer Call

If you couldn’t make it to our national volunteer call, you can view the recording above, and you can take the following three actions to contribute to the fight for reproductive health and rights around the world:

  1. Apply to be a Summer of HER Fellow! The Summer of HER is an eight-week field project of the #Fight4HER campaign, beginning on June 7 and running through July 31. Fellows will learn crucial advocacy and organizing skills to permanently end the Global Gag Rule through congressional repeal and expand access to reproductive health care worldwide. Fellows will attend one skills training course and complete three hours of field practicums weekly and will have access to biweekly leadership development and networking opportunities. The program is completely free! Fellows will be accepted on a rolling basis, and the deadline to apply is May 16.
  2. Call your senators and representatives now and urge them to pass the Global HER Act. We are closer than ever before to permanently repealing the Global Gag Rule! We know you’ve done this before. Maybe 30+ times. But we need your help to keep up the pressure on Congress to pass the Global HER Act.
  3. Tweet at your senators and representative asking for their support of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act! We are facing a Black maternal health crisis in the United States, where Black women are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than their white counterparts. This series of 12 bills is targeted to address Black maternal health in the U.S.
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