After nearly 40 years of thinking, writing, and teaching about reproductive rights, Kristin Luker wanted to establish a lasting institution devoted to exploring the issues that fascinated her, the problems that perplexed her, and the people who inspired her. She engaged colleagues who affirmed and elaborated her idea for a physical and intellectual hub where students, scholars, and advocates alike could convene and collaborate. One of the first people Luker reached out to for advice was Jill Adams, who had a penchant for turning plans into actions and growing ideas into institutions, as evidenced by her leadership of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Before running LSRJ, Adams had been a student of Luker’s in a reproductive rights seminar she had campaigned for and helped to create. Teaching the seminar reignited Luker’s interest in issues of reproduction, law, and policy.
Around the same time, at a 30-year retrospective on Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood, Luker was asked by an audience member why more of the discussion wasn’t focusing on reproductive justice. The conversations that followed with that audience member, then a PhD student writing her dissertation about the reproductive justice movement, convinced Luker that there would be an important role for Zakiya Luna to play in the institution she was envisioning. Today, Luker, Adams, and Luna are the founders responsible for shaping the first – and to date the only – multi-disciplinary policy research center dedicated to reproductive rights and justice.
Read more about the launch of CRRJ here and here.