our first year as collective power.
When we center the people who are most impacted by reproductive, racial, and economic injustice, we can transform lives and see what freedom could really look like for all of us.
For the past 12 months, we have been pursuing this vision and living out these values under our new name Collective Power for Reproductive Justice.
Those months have brought moments of excitement and joy as we celebrated the retirement of our longtime mentor and leader, Marlene Gerber Fried, and launched a national expansion with with our Collective Rising Program.
And, like you, we have gone through so many moments of grief and rage.
The decision to overturn Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey – breaking nearly 50 years of precedent – marked the first time in history that the Supreme Court rescinded a fundamental, constitutional right.
We are outraged about what the Dobbs decision means for our right to control our health, lives, and futures. Abortion access is one of countless fundamental rights under attack in the U.S., including our right to vote, to live in healthy environments, safe from the threat of violence, to be free from racial oppression, and to love whom we love – all rights, like Roe, that are intertwined with our right to liberty.
This work will require persistence and perseverance, and we are ready. We are more committed than ever to educating, engaging, and mobilizing new and diverse voices to fight for justice, always centering those most affected by reproductive oppression. We are deepening our work to lift up, support and build leadership within communities across the US experiencing the greatest threats today. We will continue to launch new generations of activists and leaders to build a just future, and we will work until there is justice for everyone.
The Collective Power Team
2021-22 impact report
Intersectional movements create transformational impact.
Collective Power’s work demonstrates how an intersectional movement for reproductive justice creates transformational impact today. Get inspired with just a few of our highlights and wins coming out of work from July 2021 – June 2022.
By the Numbers.
Our programs, workshops, and classes reached 859 participants.
- 75% of participants in our leadership programs were BIPOC.
- One-quarter of participants were young activists based in the South.
- More than half of the activists, journalists, and researchers we presented as experts and leaders in the movement were age 30 or younger, and 70% of them identified as women of color.
We worked with almost 40 organizations across the country.
Of these organizations:
- 63% were BIPOC-led.
- Almost half located their work in other movements, such as youth, immigrant, and indigenous rights; maternal health; HIV/AIDS; LBGT health and liberation; and environmental justice work.
- 45% operate in places where abortion has been banned.
we Convened Movement Leaders to Build Toward Liberation and Justice.
In April, we organized an intergenerational convening of 31 activists and researchers working to counter white supremacy and fascism in California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.
As part of the convening, we hosted a a public panel discussing how current attacks on communities of color, immigrants, and queer and trans youth are catalyzing fierce and widespread resistance. Watch a recording of the panel.
Dr. Toni M. Bond, theologian, founding board member of Collective Power and a founding mother of the reproductive justice movement; Coya White Hat-Artichoker, founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective; Marisa Pizii, deputy director at Collective Power and co-chair of the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts; Leslie Lopez, Texas abortion access organizer and board secretary at Collective Power; Marlene Gerber Fried, senior faculty advisor at Collective Power and co-founder of the National Network of Abortion Funds; and Symone New, founding board member of Collective Power and current co-president.
we supported 28 national Undergraduate Students in Reproductive Justice Internships through Collective Rising.
Our 2022 Collective Rising program is providing 28 undergraduate students with paid summer internships that bridge their academic work with real-world activism, giving them experience in research, advocacy, grassroots organizing, and more. Our Collective Rising students are working this summer to support grassroots groups around the country mobilizing to confront state-level bans, strengthen mutual aid networks providing abortion funding and counseling, and meet community needs such as education on medication abortion and transportation to clinics, housing, and child care.
We provided much-needed remote and hybrid opportunities, which allowed for greater diversity in our applicant pool and increased the number of organizations we can support.
Collective Rising interns are now working at predominately BIPOC-led reproductive and social justice groups around the country.
- Almost half are with organizations based in the South.
- 75% of our cohort this year identify as BIPOC
- More than 1/3 will be the first generation in their family to graduate from college.
To date we’ve placed more 620 undergraduate students in paid internships with 171 social justice organizations through this program.
Learn more about the Collective Rising program here.
we honored the visionary work of LONG-TIME DIRECTOR, marlene gerber fried.
Last winter we launched The Marlene Fund: Supporting Activism, Building Movements. The fund was created to support Collective Power’s national expansion in honor of our long-time, accomplished, and beloved faculty director, Marlene Gerber Fried, who retired from teaching at the end of this academic year.
The need for programs that educate, train, and support young people in hostile, rural, and conservative areas as activists and leaders is even more acute today. The first phase of our national expansion has significantly increased access to our programs and work in geographic areas most in need of reproductive justice activists and leaders.
The Marlene Fund is supporting the launch of our new Collective Rising Fellowship. It will also allow us to expand our Collective Rising Internship program from 30 interns to 50 interns by 2024.
We celebrated Marlene at a festive in-person event with 90 people in Amherst on April 9.
we honored 40 years of advancing the movement.
We created a powerful tool – an interactive, educational timeline – showing the power of four decades of investment into the movement, in the context of activism within the movements for reproductive health, rights, and justice.
we worked with fellows to build up the reproductive justice movement across 5 census regions.
Thanks to The Marlene Fund, we have taken the first step in our national expansion: a pilot of the Collective Rising Fellows program.
Building the reproductive justice movement means we must lift up the work and leadership of people deeply impacted by reproductive injustice and support them in sustaining that work in their own communities.
A regional presence allows us to be part of and support the community, creating deeper roots, lifting up voices of local leaders, and being responsive to local needs.
Our cohort of fellows are five incredible young activists, all of whom have been through our internship program. They are working across the country from Texas to Chicago (each in a different census region).
this is all possible because of teamwork.
Collective Power’s team continues to mobilize a broad diversity of young people, connect with new allies, and support and inspire new generations of leadership.
We are a WOC-led organization.
We practice our deeply-held values within our organization, creating a culture that centers people’s humanity and providing benefits that aim to counter inequity and oppression.
- Nine staff members (and growing). (Learn about job opportunities with us!) [link]
- Our executive director and board co-presidents are women of color; 58% of the board identify as women of color.
- Our programs are led by young people and our board is intergenerational, ranging in age from 23-79; almost 40% of our board is under age 35.
- Collective Power’s board also includes a founding mother of the reproductive justice movement.