(From The Campus Lantern – October 17, 2013)
I am currently taking part in an internship called Campus Action through Planned Parenthood of Southern New England with another Eastern student, Deanna Jimenez. As interns, our jobs are to be voices for reproductive justice on Eastern’s campus. Reproductive justice mixes reproductive rights with social justice – we advocate for freedom in reproduction and reproductive health in every social class, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.
Going alongside with reproductive justice, there are some dates that you should keep in mind. October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website, during the month of October, “events in communities and regions across the fifty states will culminate in a powerful statement celebrating the strength of battered women and their children.” According to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) website, October is the specified month for “raising awareness and educating individuals” about breast cancer. NBCAM dedicate themselves to keeping people informed about breast cancer year-round as well.
October 11th was National Coming Out Day (NCOD). According to the Human Rights Campaign’s website, the point of NCOD is to “celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or as an ally.” NCOD was started 25 years ago on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
October 14th-20th was the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Week Without Violence. According to YWCA’s website, the week was initiated almost 20 years ago “to mobilize people in communities across the United States to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs.” Violence affects everyone in society; an average of “24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States” (www.cdc.gov).
October 15th was National Latin@ AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). The NLAAD campaign works to build capacity “for non-profit organizations and health departments in order to reach Latino/Hispanic communities, promote HIV testing, and provide HIV prevention information and access to care” (www.aids.gov).
Finally, the second to last week of October, the 21st to the 25th, was LGBTQ Ally Week. According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Ally Week first started in 2005. “Ally Week is a week for students to engage in a national conversation and action to become better allies to LGBT” communities (www.glsen.org).
Deanna and I will be on campus this semester putting on different events pertaining to reproductive justice. Our next event will be disproving the myths and setting the facts straight about The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. We’re excited to be working together with everyone on campus this year, and we look forward to seeing you at our events!