As we track the historic Women's Health Protection Act through a divided Congress and await the SCOTUS hearing of Mississippi's direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the urgency of this moment and shifting landscape is catalyzing movements across the country. Hear from leaders on the front lines of legal advocacy, political strategy and grassroots organizing who are mobilizing to defend attacks on reproductive rights. Since the start of 2021, legislators in 47 states have introduced over 561 anti-abortion provisions with 97 new restrictions already in effect, disproportionately affecting communities with barriers to health care. BIPOC, LGBTQ communities, immigrants, young people, rural communities and people with disabilities are put at risk when denied safe abortion access and the right to control decisions about health. Join us as we reflect on what is happening today and what is coming, in the biggest fight for reproductive justice in a generation.


Pamela Merritt

Pamela Merritt is the Executive Director of Medical Students for Choice, where she leads a dynamic team working to create tomorrow’s abortion providers and pro-choice physicians. Prior to joining Medical Students for Choice, Pamela co-founded and served as the co-director of Reproaction, a national organization that leads bold action to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. Pamela is a founding member of the Trust Black Women Partnership, and was a 2017 Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice Fellow at the Rockwood Leadership Institute. She is a member of Guttmacher Institute’s Board of Directors, Honorary Chair of Reproaction’s Advisory Council, a member of Pro-Choice Missouri's Foundation Board, and serves on the Our Bodies Ourselves Today Leadership Council.


Bia Vieira

As the Chief Strategist of Programs and interim CEO, Bia leads shaping and implementing the strategic vision of the Foundation working closely with staff, and Board. She brings more than 20 years of leadership experience ranging from the philanthropic to the nonprofit sectors focused on gender, racial, economic justice and immigrant issues. Previously, Bia was the Vice President of Philanthropic Services for the Philadelphia Foundation. Originally from Brazil, she is a longtime activist in women’s, LGBTQI, Latino, and arts and culture issues. Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Bia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish and Anthropology and a Masters Degree in Literature and Linguistics, both from Temple University. Bia resides with her partner in Oakland, CA.


Anise Simon

Anise Simon is a We Testify abortion storyteller and someone who has had an abortion in the South. She also brings over ten years of professional experience in abortion access at the international, national, and local levels. Anise's experience as a racial justice facilitator and an abortion fund leader brings a nuanced perspective to supporting people who have abortions. Anise is a former member of the Carolina Abortion Fund and is currently the Member Systems Manager at the National Network of Abortion Funds. As an abortion storyteller, she often weaves personal experiences with themes of racial and reproductive justice. Anise grew up in both the US and the Caribbean and is currently based in South Florida. Anise enjoys community organizing, vegetable gardens, and live music. You can find them online @Aniseyy and @AbortionStories.


Dr. Vicki Alexander, MODERATOR
Retired Public Health Professional, Founder HEALTHY BLACK FAMILIES, INC

Dr. Vicki Alexander is an influential leader at local, state, and national levels with a lifetime commitment to health equity and social justice. A now-retired gynecologist and obstetrician, she served as MCAH Director and Health Officer, for the City of Berkeley and is founder and board chair emeritus of Healthy Black Families Inc. She has served on multiple boards including Praxis Project, California Black Health Network, Reproductive Rights National Network, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. She continues to inspire and advocate for health to ensure her children and grandchildren will live in a healthier society.




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This series is produced by the #Rise Up4Justice Team at the Othering & Belonging Institute

Gerald Lenoir, Tanya Díaz, program producers
Erfan Moradi, original graphic design
Marc Abizeid, production and promotion
Miriam Magaña Lopez, research support
Christian Ivey, social media management
Olivia Araiza, Joshua Clark, Ayketa Iverson, #RiseUp4Justice Team