You are invited to participate in an exciting educational experience, a special two-day workshop on Reproductive Justice, November 2 – 3, 2013, at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood (USR).    

This workshop is part of the USR’s annual social justice weekend entitled “Economic Justice: Creating Healthy Communities,” sponsored by the Social Responsibilities Council, the Anti-Racism and the Reproductive Justice Committees of USR. This topic was chosen by the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in 2012 as the Congregational Study Action issue for the next four years.  The workshop was developed and will be presented by SisterSong, a women of color collective, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Some years ago SisterSong developed a “Reproductive Justice Framework” as a format that helps individuals and groups understand issues of choice from the perspective of women of color and other oppressed groups.  Whereas for white women the struggle has been largely a struggle for abortion rights, for women of color it is a much larger concern.  As the Reverend Darcy Baxter says, 

For many activists and advocates today, the pro-choice movement has focused too much on legalized abortion and not enough on actual access to abortion services; focused too much on the right not to have children and not enough on the right to have children. Many communities of color carry with them a history of government abuse and intervention in their reproductive lives, including forced sterilization, discriminatory foster-care enforcement, and forced abortions for incarcerated women.  

In addition to the Saturday SisterSong workshop, the Economic Justice: Creating Healthy Communities weekend includes a Friday evening program exploring the role of men in the movement, and the Sunday sermon will be given by the Rev. Rob Keithan, Director of Public Policy for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. USR minister Rev. Kathleen Green will lead the service.

A block of rooms at the Marriott Residence Inn in Saddle River has been reserved for people who want to stay in the area for the weekend.  Please indicate on the registration form if you need a room ($119 a night). 

This weekend will give us all information and tools needed to make the four-year Statement of Conscience process successful throughout our congregations in New Jersey and the area. We look forward to hosting you and to working with you in the coming years. 

For more information please visit http://bit.do/USR-RJWeekend or contact Carol at closcalzo2@aol.com or Mandy at mrestivo@mac.com.

In solidarity,

Carol Loscalzo, Mandolin Restivo, Co-chairs, Reproductive Justice Committee

Margaret White, Chair, Anti-Racism Committee