Trust Black Women
Who We Are
Trust Black Women (TBW) is a partnership of women from many different organizations, regions and religious backgrounds developed in 2010. We are young and older women working together. We are both pro-choice and pro-life, and are not divided over the misleading debate on abortion.
TBW works to ensure that Black women have the human right to make our own decisions about our reproductive lives, and that we should never regret difficult choices based on our complicated experiences. We don't judge women -- we leave that to our opponents. We demand that everyone trust Black women to be able to make important moral decisions for ourselves, our families and our communities. It's a matter of Reproductive Justice.
TBW shares your values. We care about you. We represent women whose voices are not heard; whose stories are not told. We tell the truth about Black women's lives and choices.
There are those who believe they should control Black women's reproduction like during slavery. They believe in population control and use false compassion for children to disguise a racist and sexist agenda. Our opponents are manipulative, zealous, and immoral. They lie using religion as a cover. They try to use combination of guilt and force to undermine our human rights. They manipulate our history, our concerns about medical mistreatment, and our real collective pain about genocide and slavery to spin stories about Black women being the stupid pawns of doctors. They claim that Black women can't be trusted. They accuse us of practicing genocide on our people when we stand up for ourselves.
Our opponents are on the wrong side of the struggle for justice and human rights. While all of them may not be racist, they are at least racially-challenged. We don't fight for conservative causes that betray the people who have sacrificed for our freedom.
We don't need fanatics to tell us what to do. Black women make decisions every day about whether to parent or not, not just whether to give birth. Those who think they should dictate our choices won't be there when the child is born, to help us fight for better education, increase child care, keep our kids out of jail, send our children to college, or get affordable health care. Black women fight for ourselves and we fight to uplift our people. Our opponents either stand in the way or fail to help.
We have already stopped anti-abortion legislation in 2010 targeting Black women in Georgia. We expect them to come back and try again. We're taking our opponents on around the country wherever they appear. New billboards are in Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Illinois. We will fight these fanatics who use lies and distortions who try to manipulate our community.
What is Reproductive Justice?
It means every woman has the human right to have a child, not have a child, and parent the children she has.
Trust Black Women seeks to increase respect, maintain dignity, and support Black women and girls with implementing reproductive health decisions that are personal, appropriate, accessible, and affordable. All women should be able to maintain their integrity when accessing reproductive health services. Black women should have self-determination to exercise basic human rights when implementing their decisions, and not be subjugated to the political winds, media campaigns and/or environment prevalent in government or society that hinders a woman's ability to control her body and destiny. Trust Black Women will challenge those who seek to undermine our autonomy, respect, integrity, and dignity as Black women.
- Bring together individual Black women to work with us to defend our human rights, dignity and honor.
- Conduct research on the barriers to reproductive justice for Black women and girls.
- Implement media campaigns promoting the health, well-being, and human rights of Black women and girls.
- Advance public policies to support fair and affordable access to reproductive health services.
- Advocate with health organizations, community-based institutions like the NAACP, people of faith leaders, and agencies to create a positive environment where women and girls seek reproductive education and services.
- Build the capacity and visibility of Black Women's organizations that advocate for, educate about, or directly provide reproductive health services.
- Trust Black Women (National) (website under construction)
- SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Atlanta
- SPARK Reproductive Justice Now, Atlanta
- SisterLove, Inc., Atlanta
- Black Women for Reproductive Justice, Chicago
- Black Women's Health Imperative, Washington, DC
- SisterSong NY, New York City
- California Black Women's Health Project, California (statewide)
- Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles
- Family Preservation Collective
What You Can Do
You can give a financial contribution to Trust Black Women and support our national organizing. Maybe you are too busy to work on a campaign but you agree that Women's Rights are Human Rights. Donate here. Specify you are contributing to Trust Black Women.
Our campaign has been endorsed by many people who do Trust Black Women. Following is a partial list of endorsers who signed the following Statement of Solidarity:
Statement of Solidarity with African American Women
We who trust women stand in solidarity with and support of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, SisterLove, Planned Parenthood of Georgia, and Feminist Women's Health Center to affirm our belief that every woman has the human right to decide if and when she will have a baby, and the right to parent the children she already has with the social supports necessary. In our struggle for reproductive justice, African American women have a unique history that we must remember in order to ensure bodily sovereignty, dignity, and collective uplift of our community. The choices that women of color make are based on their lived experiences in this country and reflect multiple oppressions, including race, class, and gender, and their efforts to resist them. It is unacceptable to speak to the needs of any woman, or her children without taking into consideration the realities that exist in her home and local community.
We affirm that an African American woman's ability to determine if and when she will have children demands that she control the conditions under which she will give birth and have the power to decide the spacing of her children. These freedoms speak to the power and necessity of the preventive care of women before they become pregnant and the importance of comprehensive sex education for all of our children to understand their human right to sexuality in an empowering and responsible way. It means fully funding public education, protecting the environment in all communities, and eliminating sexual violence for all women.
We affirm that an African American woman's ability to determine if and when she does not have children must include a full range of options including the right to have an abortion. For women of color the privilege to exercise this right all too often hinges on other factors in her home and community. Abortion must be approached in the context of the individual woman and the circumstances surrounding her, such as poverty, sexual abuse, or the lack of health care. To extract a woman from the context of her life dishonors her lived experiences and the plight of a broader community of people.
We affirm that African American women have the human right to parent the children they already have. To ensure the full enjoyment of this right, they must also have access to the social supports necessary to raise their children in safe environments and healthy communities, without fear of violence from individuals or intervention by the government. A continuum of care is essential to protect the lives of women and children. And we must prioritize the needs of children after birth. This includes funding education, investing in health care reform for all, ensuring food security and prioritizing the unification of our families through the provision of social supports to protect the most vulnerable.
Protecting women and children requires a commitment to these principles. It is a matter of reproductive health, reproductive rights, and ultimately Reproductive Justice.
Signed during 2010 Georgia Campaign by the following:
Marcia Ann Gillespie, Writer, Editor Emerita Ms. and Essence Magazines
Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, Black Women's Health Imperative
Jewell Jackson McCabe, President Emeritus of National Coalition of 100 Black Women
Dorothy Roberts, Law Professor of Northwestern University, author of Killing the Black Body
Toni Bond Leonard, Black Women for Reproductive Justice
Rev. Carlton Veazey, President/CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Faye Wattleton, Center for the Advancement of Women
Janice Mathis, Rainbow PUSH
Rev. Penny Willis, Black Church Initiative, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Gloria Steinem, Activist
Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Activist
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Women's Research and Resource Center, Spelman College
Angela Davis, Scholar & Activist
Women's Media Center
Julian Bond, Board Chair, NAACP
The Honorable Barbara Smith, Albany, NY
Byllye Avery and Ngina Lythcott, The Avery Institute of Social Change
Dazon Dixon Diallo, SisterLove, Inc.
Rev. Susan Newman, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Paris Hatcher, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!
Reverend Antionette Kemp, Associate Minister, United Ghana Christian Church, Atlanta
Rev. Margaret E. Howland, Presbytery of Hudson River, Yonkers, New York
Paul D. Simmons, PhD, Th.M., Louisville
Rev. Laura Loving
Colleen Bowers, Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options, PCUSA
Rev. Elizabeth Griswold
Rabbi Andrew Bossov, Cherry Hill, NJ
Rev. Dottie Mathews, Associate Minister, Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Appleton, WI
Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Founder Progressive Faith Foundation
Rev. Cynthia S. Bumb, Pastor, Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, St. Louis, MO
Rev. Jack Zylman, Birmingham, AL
Rabbi Shelley Kovar Becker
Rev. Thomas A. Haller
Janet A. Holden, Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Oak Park, IL
The Rev. Dr. Jean Rodenbough, Greensboro, NC
Rev. Brenda Fletchall, Oklahoma
Patricia Relf Hanavan, Richland, MI
Barbara Harrison Condon, Idaho
Rev. Janet Schlenker, Aurora, Colorado
Rev. Steve Clapp, Christian Community, Inc.
Rev. Karen Lipinczyk, Pastor, St. Peter's UCC, Wadesville, IN
Bani Hines Hudson, Activist, Louisville, KY
Diane Griffin, Founder/CEO, Mercedes Parra Foundation
Lois "Toni" McClendon, Pittsburgh, PA
Joanne Smith, Girls for Gender Equity
Lynn Roberts, PhD, Hunter College Urban Public Health Program & SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Barbara Berney, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management, Hunter College
Sikivu Hutchinson, editor, blackfemlens.org
Loretta Ross, Heidi Williamson, Serena Garcia, Monica Simpson, Corean Elam, and Laura Jimenez, Staff of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Trust Black Women Founding Partners
Deborah Arrindell, American Social Health Association, Washington, DC
Byllye Avery, The Avery Institute and Black Women's Health Imperative, Boston
Asha Bandele, Writer, New York City
Jasmine Burnett, SisterSong New York City, Brooklyn
Folasade Campbell, Community Center for Family Preservation, Staten Island, NY
Crystal Crawford, California Black Women's Health Project, Los Angeles
Dazon Dixon Diallo, SisterLove Women's AIDS Project, Atlanta
Janette Robinson Flint, Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles
Nourbese Flint, Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles
Serena Garcia, SisterSong Communications Coordinator, Atlanta
Marcia Gillespie (in individual capacity), New York City
Paris Hatcher, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, Atlanta
Bani Hines-Hudson, Kentucky Health Justice Network, Louisville
Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, Black Women's Health Imperative, Washington, DC
Laura Jimenez, SisterSong Deputy Coordinator, Atlanta
Toni Bond Leonard, Black Women for Reproductive Justice, Chicago
Pascale Leone, Black Women's Health Imperative, Washington, DC
Pamela J. Merritt, Writer & Blogger, St. Louis
Sarah Noble, Milwaukee Reproductive Justice Coalition
Mary Kay Penn, Consultant, New York City
Shanebrae Price, SisterLove Women's AIDS Project, Atlanta
Lynn Roberts, CUNY and SisterSong, New Jersey
Kelley Robinson, Choice USA, Washington, DC
Loretta Ross, SisterSong National Coordinator, Atlanta
Cherisse Scott, Black Women for Reproductive Justice, Chicago
Belle Taylor-McGhee, Consultant, San Francisco
Emily Tynes, ACLU (in individual capacity), New York City
Nikema Williams, Planned Parenthood of SE, Atlanta
Heidi Williamson, SisterSong National Advocacy Coordinator, Atlanta