Wednesday, December 31, 2008


After Katrina, the thought of finding a new place, a place I could trust, for gynecological care was overwhelming. I just couldn't bring myself to take that step. When the clinic opened, I knew I could get care in a place that was safe and accommodating of my whole self. It was my first exam in four years. I know there are thousands of women like me in New Orleans.

-Rosana Cruz, Board Member of New Orleans Women's Health Clinic and
Co-Director of Safe Streets, Strong Communities

December 2008

Dear Friends and Supporters,

With 2009 rapidly approaching, the New Orleans Women's Health Clinic (NOWHC) and the New Orleans Women's Health & Justice Initiative (WHJI) would like to wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season, and thank you for all of your support this past year. Thank you.

As NOWHC and WHJI continue to work together to equip marginalized and underserved women with the means to control and care for their own bodies, sexuality, reproduction, and health, while developing community-based strategies to improve the social and economic health and well-being of women of color and low-income women, we ask you to support the ongoing efforts of our organizations by making a donation this holiday season. This appeal presents accomplishments of both of our organizations for your giving consideration.

New Orleans Women's Health Clinic
The women we serve at NOWHC are the women we stand with, the women we are – women of color and low-income women most affected by disasters (natural and economic), women whose bodies are blamed and used as decoys for systemic injustices. We recognize that the New Orleans Women's Health Clinic cannot simply end at addressing immediate needs through services delivery. NOWHC works to integrate reproductive justice organizing and health education advocacy into our clinic to address root causes of health disparities and sexual and reproductive oppression. Our programming acknowledges intersectionality and addresses the social and economic determinants of health disparities, while challenging punitive policies around social welfare, housing, and reproductive health.

With the support of hundreds of donors like you, in just 19 months, NOWHC provided safe and affordable comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services and information to 3,040 women from throughout the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan area as follows:

* 618 unduplicated women accessed direct medical services, 432 of which had repeat visits
* 820 additional women accessed health information and counseling services.
* Approximately 1600 referrals for service were provided over the last 5 months.
* Subsidized the cost of direct medical services for hundreds of women through the Women's Health Access Fund
* Partnered with the B.W. Cooper Housing Development Resident Management Corporation, enabling NOWHC to advocate and organize directly in the communities where many of our constituents live.
* Launched a Sexual Health Youth Advocacy program, focusing on comprehensive sex education, sexual violence prevention, sexuality and gender identity, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) education including HIV prevention justice advocacy

The women accessing and utilizing services at the clinic and the need for safe and holistic sexual and reproductive health services and resources, paint a portrait of the unique vulnerabilities that women of color, low income, and uninsured women face in accessing health care. Take for example, the demographics of our clinic patients:

* 65% of our patients who access care at the Clinic lacked health insurance. Without our support, most of these women would have gone months or even years without receiving safe, affordable, and unbiased care.
* 72% reported annual incomes of less than $24,999 –nearly 40% earned less than $10,000 a year
* 60% identifies as Black/African-American, and nearly 20% identifies as Latina/Hispanic – many of whom are undocumented. The Clinic provides a safe space to alleviate this fear of deportation for many undocumented women.
* 70% identified their housing status as 'renting' and
* 84% were between the ages of 18 to 40 years of age

With your continual support, NOWHC can expand our integrated approach by improving the sexual and reproductive health of low-income and underserved women and their families.

Women's Health & Justice Initiative
Much of the work of the clinic is done in concert with our sister collective, WHJI. WHJI impacts the reproductive and sexual health lives of women of color and low-income women, by mobilizing our communities to engage in racial, gender, and reproductive justice activism that challenges the legislation and criminalization of women of color and poor women's bodies, sexuality, fertility, and motherhood. As a predominately all volunteer collective, WHJI has:

* Launched organizing efforts to establish a Women of Color Resource & Organizing Center, to serve as a resource and organizing hub to nurture grassroots organizing and activism to end violence against women of color, linking struggles against the violence of poverty, incarceration, environmental racism, housing discrimination, economic exploitation, medical experimentation, and forced sterilization. The Center will house a Radical Women of Color Lending Library, a cluster of computers for community access, meeting space, and a host of movement building and leadership development programs and resources.

* Sponsored a series of Organizing Institutes, focused on examining and challenging gender and sexuality-based violence against women of color and queer and trans people of color. The Organizing Institutes have both facilitated community building conversations between grassroots social justice organizers and health practitioners, and created a space for developing grassroots strategies to equip those most disenfranchised by the medical industry in exercising their agency to take control of the their bodies, reproduction, and sexuality, while organizing for racial, gender, and reproductive justice.


* Led a coordinated effort to respond to the particular vulnerabilities of women of color, low income women, and women headed households (including women with disabilities, seniors, undocumented immigrant women, and incarcerated women.) We made over 700 calls, assisting our constituency and their families develop and implement evacuation and safety plans as communities across the Gulf Coast region prepared for Hurricane Gustav. Ironically, this occurred on the eve of the 3 year anniversary of the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and subsequent government negligence.

* Immediately following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, WHJI and NOWHC took the lead in responding to the eugenic and racist legislative plans of Representative John LaBruzzo (R) of Louisiana to pay poor women $1,000 to get sterilized under the cloak of reducing the number of people on welfare and those utilizing public housing subsidies. Our organizational responses to Representative LaBruzzo's eugenic agenda, and the outcry of social justice organizations and community members around the country, resulted in LaBruzzo being removed from his position as vice chairman of the House Health & Welfare Committee.

Please help WHJI and NOWHC to continue prioritizing the needs, experiences, and leadership of women of color and low-income women in the region. We ask for a donation that will:

* Expand the Clinic's ability to continue to support and subsidize the cost of care and medication for uninsured women who access services at our Clinic through our Women's Health Access Fund.

* Build the Clinic's Sexual Health Youth Advocacy Institute – focusing on comprehensive sex education, sexual violence prevention, sexuality, and STI education, and HIV prevention justice advocacy

* Open the WHJI Women of Color Resource & Organizing Center to serve as a resource and organizing hub to end violence against of women of color and gender variant members of our community

* Develop our joint Action Kits and Toolkits, including informational pamphlets, posters, and fact sheets on safe forms of birth control, STIs, breast health, fibroids, environmental toxicants & reproductive health, gender violence prevention, alternative health and healing remedies

We are asking you to further our work this holiday season by giving a gift of justice.

A Gift of $50
* Subsidizes a well-woman annual exam, including a pap smear, to an uninsured low-income woman
* Funds the expansion of the WHJI Women of Color Lending Library

A Gift of $100
* Subsidizes the lab cost of uninsured patients at the Clinic, and
* Develops WHJI sexual and reproductive justice organizing tools and materials

A Gift of $250
* Supports the involvement of youth in the Clinic's Sexual Health Youth Advocacy Institute
* Contributes to the planning, coordination, and convening of WHJI Organizing Institutes

A Gift of $500
* Bolsters the Clinic's Women's Health Access Fund
* Supports the opening of the Initiative's Women of Color Resource & Organizing Center

A Gift of $1000
* Supports the salary of a full-time paid executive director and medical staff for NOWHC
* Strengthens the long-term sustainability of the Clinic's ability to provide safe, affordable, non-coercive holistic sexual and reproductive health services and information

Financial contributions should be made out to our fiscal sponsor: Women With A Vision, with NOWHC and WHJI listed in the memo line. All contributions will be split evenly between NOWHC and WHJI, so your donation will support the work of both organizations. Checks should be mailed to the:

New Orleans Women's Health Clinic
1406 Esplanade Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70116

Your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive an acknowledgement letter with the Women With A Vision Nonprofit EIN#.

The New Orleans Women's Health Clinic and the Women's Health & Justice Initiative warmly thank our network of donors and volunteers for your continued generous support. Please support this essential work with the most generous donation you can give. Our ability to provide needed services, maintain autonomy and organize to build power and a healthy community is made possible through the support of individuals and organizations in our community and nationwide.

Thank you.


New Orleans Women's Health Clinic Board of Directors
Women's Health & Justice Initiative Collective

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
PO Box 226
Redmond, WA 98073
phone: 484-932-3166

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence is a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against women of color and their communities through direct action, critical dialogue and grassroots organizing.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind!!!


Due to the huge and affirming response to BrokenBeautiful Press's Summer of Our Lorde we are THRILLED to present the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind, a portable progressive series based in Durham North Carolina in partnership with SpiritHouse, Southerners on New Ground, UBUNTU, the Land and Sustainability Working Group, Kindred Healing Justice Collective and more.

In 1977 the Combahee River Collective wrote a key black feminist manifesta groundbreaking in it’s assertion that the “major systems of oppression are interlocking. You are invited to the first session on the groundbreaking black feminist document The Combahee River Collective Statement. Download it at
and check out some radical exercises at

In Durham we'll be discussing it on January 7th. Email for details and feel free to read along wherever you are and comment here!

See you (t)here!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gays welcome Uganda arrest payout

The gay community is estimated by activists to number 500,000 in Uganda

A Ugandan judge has awarded two women $7,000 (£4,700), saying their rights were infringed when they were arrested on suspicion of being lesbians in 2005.

One of them was undressed by police to prove she was a woman and assaulted.

"The verdict is welcomed with excitement by the gay community," activist Kasha Jacqueline told the BBC.

"It is a Christmas surprise for us," she said, adding that the judge had stressed such treatment was wrong. Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda.

The case is believed to be the first time homosexuals have taken the police to court in Uganda, where they face much discrimination.

Activists say the gay community numbers about 500,000, from a population of some 31 million.


Ms Jacqueline heads Freedom and Roam Uganda (Farug), an organisation for lesbians and bisexuals.

We are proud to be Ugandan and that justice prevailed
Farug's Kasha Jacqueline

She said the two lesbians who brought the case against the government - Yvonne Oyoo and Victor Juliet Mukasa - were not in court to hear about their victory.

The verdict had been expected in mid-2007 and in the intervening 17 months the gay community had lost hope of getting a ruling, she said.

"It's been a long wait... but we are proud to be Ugandan and that justice prevailed," Ms Jacqueline told the BBC News website.

According to Ms Jacqueline, Justice Stella Arach-Amoko awarded $5,000 to Ms Oyoo, who had been a guest in Ms Mukasa's house when it was raided by police.

The payout was for "arbitrary torture", as Ms Oyoo had been man-handled and sexually assaulted, Ms Jacqueline said.

About $2,000 was awarded to Ms Mukasa, a leading Ugandan human rights activist, for damage to her house during the raid.

In an interview with the New Internationalist in 2007, Ms Mukasa said she decided to sue the government because she was tired of the harassment.

"It will be the first case of its kind in Uganda where LGBTs [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people] are the ones suing the government," she said.

"I am suing because of the constant human rights violations that are committed against LGBT people by the government and the public of Uganda without anyone raising a hand."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One for the home team! Yay!

Aborigines in Australia have won a court fight against the Anglo-Swiss mining giant Xstrata.

Xstrata had planned to divert a river to allow for the expansion of a zinc mine in the Northern Territory.

A Federal Court decided that the government did not follow the proper process in allowing the mine's expansion to go ahead in 2006.

Some Aboriginal leaders cried with happiness when the ruling was handed down by the Federal Court in Sydney.

They had fought a long battle to overturn the government's decision to allow the diversion of the McArthur River in order to expand the mine.

Open cast

The company had wanted to divert the river to extend the life of the mine by turning it from an underground to an open cast operation.

Along with environmentalists, indigenous groups had argued that there was a risk during the rainy season that the McArthur River would be contaminated by seepage from mining.

They also argued that the government had not followed the proper process in granting approval for the scheme and that there was a lack of consultation. The federal court ruled in their favour, citing a lack of due process.

Over 5km (3 miles) of the river has already been diverted, and the traditional owners are now demanding that it be returned to its original course.

"We want the river put back," said one Aboriginal leader.

Xstrata has expressed disappointment at the ruling, and had indicated beforehand that it might be forced to close the mine.

An industry group, the Northern Territory Resources Council, described the ruling as a huge blow for Australia's mining industry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

QBG Challenge!

A message to all members of Quirky Black Girls

Inspired by the video I thought QBG Krys made, please see the following.

Here ye! Here ye! By order of decree by the ladies of Quirkydom, the first ever QBG challenge has been issued! QBG's are asked to create videos of themselves singing or lip-syncing their favorite song. The winner will be determined by vote of QBG's on the site. The video with the most comments from unique users and with the highest rating will win (the right to brag that they won)!

All entries must be submitted by the stroke of midnight MLK day!

Passion and props are strongly encouraged!


Giving Respect to Fannie Jackson Coppin: Black Women & Education

Peace Quirkies!

"I AM always sorry to hear that such and such a person is going to school to be educated. This is a great mistake. If the person is to get the benefit of what we call education, he must educate himself, under the direction of the teacher.'

"Never let the word "dumb" be used in your class, or anything said disrespectful of parents or guardians who may have helped the child...."

"Many a child called dull, would advance rapidly under a patient, wise, and skillful teacher, and the teacher should be as conscientious in the endeavor to improve himself as he is to improve the child...."

"The ventilation of the school room may be responsible for what we call stupidity on the part of the child. Let a stream of oxygen pass through the room and what a waking-up there will be! Sometimes if a child is naughty it will do him good to run out in the yard a minute. Remember all the time you are dealing with a human being, whose needs are like your own."

---Frances Coppin (all quotes)

It’s late and I am about to get ready to rest up for my fifth graders this week. The more that I teach the more that I am moving closer to a career in Education and not a life of academia in Women Studies that I had initially planned on (still looking to get that Ph.d BUT maybe not in that particular field).

I am constantly involved and impassioned about the education of Black children in this wilderness called North America. One of the facets that concern me is the instruction and teaching of children, primarily how the lesson is being taught and whether it has any valuable meaning to the child that is being "educated".
Over the last year I was introduced to an area of education called Womanist Pedagogy. Using Alice Walker’s inclusive term of Womanist and Black Female practitioners who have incorporated a Womanist Pedagogy inside their classroom where they integrate Critical Pedagogy and a concern towards their Black students from their essential bodhichitta teaching as a Black Woman.

Although the term Womanist Pedagogy is relatively new, Black Women as Educators is not. Recently, I picked up this book called "Black Women in White America" written by Gerda Lerner. In one section she highlights the communal achievements of various Black Women Educators, and their contributions to education. One Woman that is mentioned is Fannie Jackson-Coppin and her progressive work on Methods & Instruction. As I was reading Coppins and the other work(s) of Black Women, I realized that nothing that we are doing in the ivory towers is completely new. Although we would love to think for a confidence fluffier that we have found the “gap” in the literature”, our fore mothers probably did it and it just wasn’t documented.

So here’s to you Ms. Coppin and your home girls that started it all.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SEWSA 2009

Southeastern Women's Studies Association Conference
at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Thursday - Saturday, April 2-4, 2009
The Ecology of Feminism and the Feminism of Ecology

* Keynote speakers:
Elisabeth Lloyd
Chris Cuomo
Marilou Awiakta
Beverly Guy-Sheftall

* Workshop:

* Call for papers (doc)

* Lodging and transportation

* Registration info--registration is online only and requires a credit card

* Film series

* Food menus--gourmet all-natural lunches included for conference registrants

* Goat and cheese farm tour
$15/person to the first 25 people who sign up!

* Student scholarships

Topics might include:

Environmental racism
Environmental policies
The Slow Food Movement
Women in pollution and waste management
The environment and women's health
Women's environmental activism
Gender and food history
Environmental toxins
The politics of space and place
Farm Workers
Women in environmental history
The female in nature
Women and animals
Green businesses
Ecological communities
Ecofeminist literary criticism
Feminist literary ecology
Women healers
Women naturalists and conservationists
Science, technology, and the environment
Feminist vegetarianism and feminist hunting
Situated knowledges
Is feminism green?
Are women green?


PROPOSAL DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN. 15, 2009!: Send to with all contact information.

Feb. 1, 2009: All those with accepted proposals will be notified by this date.

Feb 15, 2009: Deadline for "earlybird" registration.

March 12, 2009: Deadline to reserve a hotel room for the SEWSA block discount rate.

Although the 2009 conference will center on this theme, submissions of non-thematic papers are also encouraged.

Click here to go to the SEWSA organizational website.
Click here to go back to the Appalachian Women's Studies Program homepage.
E-mail with questions.

We should do this yeah?

DFF Promo from Disposable Film Festival on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hip Hip Horray for Janelle Monáe!!!

My good friend (i wish!)and fellow QBG Janelle Monáe was nominated for a Grammy Yesterday!!! Her category, Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

Yay for her!!!