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Meet the 2019 Movement R&D Grantmaking Committee

This cycle, the Movement R&D process is being guided by a grantmaking committee that is made up of some incredible leaders doing reproductive justice work across the South.  These leaders will steward the grantmaking process from nominations, outreach, application reviews and decision making. Please meet the committee members below:   

Danielle Hurd-Wilson (they/them) is a southerner, a queer Black Feminist, a Reproductive Justice advocate. As a young organizer, Danielle has led, participated in, and worked with a number of progressive groups, concerned with issues of racial justice, reproductive and gender equity and LGBTQ+ liberation. Danielle brings more than five years of experience in reproductive justice advocacy work, youth activist work, and logistical support. Danielle has a long relationship with URGE, having begun as a State Organizer and currently serving as one of the directors of URGE’s Field Department, where they work to support and constantly evolve the work with URGE’s members. An ardent spokesperson and author for reproductive justice advocacy, Danielle has been quoted or published in: The Advocate, Essence, Re.Wire and other outlets. Danielle holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Alabama. They are also a graduate of the Midwest Academy and Black Feminist Organizing school.

Kaissa Malayika Denis (she/her) was born in Washington, D.C. to Haitian and Rwandan immigrants. Kaissa has over 13 years of organizing experience in healthcare advocacy,

Reproductive rights and justice, youth engagement, higher education, and immigration. Kaissa currently works as the Principal, Organizing ant re:power. At re:power, Kaissa, works with state and national partners and coalitions who work on issues that range from reproductive justice to civic engagement and supports them through capacity building training and facilitation. Kaissa graduated from Clark Atlanta University cum laude and received her Masters in Public Policy (Economics and International Relations) from Pepperdine University. In her free time, Kaissa enjoys playing with her chihuahua, Chico, and traveling the world on error fares.

Kwajelyn Jackson (she/her) currently serves as Executive Director at Feminist Women’s Health Center (FWHC) in Atlanta, GA. She has the optimistic vision and pragmatism needed to lead an independent, non-profit, Feminist, multi-generational, multi-racial reproductive health, rights, and justice organization, providing compassionate abortion care in the South. Since 2013 she has led the expansion of FWHC’s statewide and national impact and deepened its community partnerships, leading the organization’s civic engagement, advocacy, education, and outreach teams, before becoming the organization’s first Black woman Executive Director.

Kwajelyn has a BA in economics from Spelman College and an MS in urban policy studies from the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University. Prior to joining FWHC, she spent three years as the Program Manager for WonderRoot Community Arts Center and eight years as a Credit Risk Manager with Wachovia Bank’s Community Development Finance Group. She sits on the board of directors for All-Options, Abortion Care Network, and Soul Food Cypher, and on the advisory board of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance. Kwajelyn is interested in opportunities to use a reproductive justice lens to spark dialogue, transform perspectives, develop leaders, and cultivate lasting change.

Meg Sasse Stern (she/her) began abortion access work in 1999 as a clinic escort at what is now Kentucky’s only abortion clinic. Since then she’s developed curriculum and trainings, taught workshops, and co-founded the Kentucky Health Justice Network (KHJN) Abortion Support Fund. Meg frequently speaks and writes about abortion access through a variety of platforms including national conferences, local universities, and on Louisville Clinic Escort’s blog, everysaturdaymorning.net. Today, as KHJN’s Support Fund Director, she maintains a program that to date has made abortion access a reality for over 3000 people facing barriers to care.  

Nia Eshu Martin-Robinson (she/her) is a fierce, femme, queer, Black woman, born and raised in Detroit, Mich. Nia is a facilitator, trainer and convener who operates with a Black Feminist lens and a deep desire to be in service to all Black women and girls. Her professional path as an activist and advocate began at Detroiters’ Working for Environmental Justice and she later switched gears to sharpen her organizing skills with the Service Employees International Union. From 2006-2011, she served as Director of the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. There she worked with her team to bring the voices of women, people of color, Indigenous peoples and low-income communities to the climate change debate on a state, federal and international level. While in leadership, she co-authored a report examining the impacts of climate change and climate change policy on African Americans entitled “A Climate of Change: African Americans, Global Warming and a Just Climate Policy in the U.S.” Possessing the belief that reproductive and sexual autonomy for women and queer folx of color, Indigenous women and low-income women is a human right and inextricably linked to being able to exist in a safe and healthy environment, Nia’s work has often focused on creating dialogue at the intersections of Climate, Reproductive and Environmental Justice; exploring the disproportionate impacts of environmental issues on women and girls of color; and looking at the reemergence of population control rhetoric in the climate change debate and the dangerous implications this has on marginalized communities. Nia’s work centering women of color led her to serve as the Activist in Residence at Bennett College for Women, one of two historically Black colleges for women from 2009-2013. There, as a non-traditional student, Nia completed her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Women’s Studies and Political Science and minors in Sociology and Global Studies. Today, Nia’s professional focus is centered around reproductive health, rights and justice. Currently, Nia is lending her talents and expertise to Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund as their Director of Back Leadership and Engagement, working to build a collective strategy and vision for Black work at the organization. She also has the honor of serving on the board of SPARK, a Reproductive Justice organization based in Atlanta that works to ensure the liberation of all people with an analysis specifically anchored in the lasting legacy of the enslavement and exploitation of Black people in the South.

Omisade Burney-Scott (she/her) is a black, southern, feminist, mother and healer with decades of experience in nonprofit leadership, philanthropy, and social justice. Grounded in an analysis of systems of oppression; she has trained extensively in identity politics, intersectionality and liberatory organizing practices. Omisade sees herself as an Organizational Development Midwife, facilitating major transitions that social justice nonprofits, groups, marginalized communities must make in order to remain relevant, responsive, intentional, healthy and sustainable.  As a healer and a skilled facilitator, she is particularly skilled in creating brave and open spaces that facilitate people to dig down deep into their own power and create their own solutions. Omisade is a 7th generation native of New Bern, NC and a 1989 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is member of the 1999-01 class of the William C. Friday Fellows for Human Relations and a 2003 Southeastern Council on Foundation’s Hull Fellow. She is a founding tribe member of SpiritHouse and has previously served as a The Beautiful Project, Village of Wisdom, and Working Films. Omisade is currently embarked on a creative sabbatical from social justice work exploring  decolonizing aging, body positivity, death and dying and spirituality. She is the creator and curator of The Black Girls’s Guide to Surviving Menopause podcast. Omi resides in Durham and is the proud mother of two sons, Che, 27 and Taj, 10.

Parris Wallace (she/her) is an organizer, chef by trade and full time mom. Being given an opportunity to work on the successful Bazta Arpaio campaign in 2016, she was a field organizer who focused on newly registered voters working inside and out of local high schools. Afterwards Parris joined Poder in Action a community based organization where she was the community college organizer, building leadership and supporting the students in social justice advocacy and civic engagement. Recently with a long-time thought partner launched Black Phoenix Organizing Collective one of the only political homes for black people in Phoenix.

Tamika Middleton (she/her) is the Black Organizing CoCoordinator of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, having previously served as the Georgia State Director for the organization’s We Dream in Black program. She is an organizer, doula, midwifery apprentice, and unschooling mama. She is a co-founder and facilitator at the Anna Julia Cooper Learning and Liberation Center, a Community Advisory Board member of Critical Resistance, a Leadership Team member of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective, and serves as board treasurer of the Organization for Human Rights and Democracy. Tamika is a member of Echoing Ida, a community of Black women and nonbinary writers, who has been published in Creative Loafing Atlanta, Colorlines (both digital and the now defunct print magazine), Talk Poverty, Voices for Human Needs blog, MomsRising.org, CommunityChange.org, Black Women Birthing Justice blog, and BlackGirlNerds.com.

Oriaku Njoku (she/her), Co-founder and Executive Director of Access Reproductive Care – Southeast, works at the intersection of abortion access and reproductive justice. Working as a health worker in abortion clinics in Atlanta, she believed that we could do more to advocate for folks in communities directly impacted by reproductive oppression in more meaningful ways. Currently, she supports Southerners in navigating pathways to accessing safe, affordable, and compassionate abortion care through funding, practical support, and advocacy. Oriaku is also on the Board of the National Network of Abortion Funds. She truly believes that we can and will create a cultural shift around how we talk about abortion in the South and invites you to join her in making reproductive justice a reality. And when she has some free time, she loves indulging in various self-care activities which include but are not limited to cupcakes, bourbon, cuddles, and body rolls. Connect with her @oreawku on twitter – all views her own.

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