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Ross, Loretta J., Sarah L. Brownlee, Dixon Dazon Diallo, and Luz Rodriguez. “The SisterSong Collective: Women of Color, Reproductive Health and Human Rights.” American Journal of Health Studies 17, no. 2 (2001).


This chapter questions the attempted dual strategy of having women of color work on reproductive and health issues within their own community while also having the mainstream women’s health movement advance the issues and concerns for women of color.  The authors provide the history of how many organizations, such as National Black Women’s Health Project, National Latina Health Organization, National Asian Women’s Health Organization, SisterSong, and others, were created by women of color for women of color to address reproductive health concerns, issues, and rights that were not being addressed by white women’s organizations in the late 1900’s. Now, the authors argue, when white women attempt to attract women of color to the reproductive rights movement, both groups end up competing for resources. In addition, directing funding to white women’s organizations often “poisons the soul” of these efforts, because of the historical implications. The authors suggest that new organizing strategies should be created that do not create a divide between “public policy advocacy and grassroots mobilizing.” This chapter is useful for anyone interested in organizational politics within the reproductive rights and justice movement. It also provides helpful background information on the development of women of color reproductive justice organizations.


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Movement building   New to RJ   Race/ethnicity: Native American/Indigenous   Race/ethnicity: African American/Black   Intersectionality   Human rights   Race/ethnicity: Latina/Hispanic   Race/ethnicity: Asian American/Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander