Cherisse Scott: 2018 Speaker Series

Take Root: Tell us about yourself and your activism.

I am the CEO & Founder of SisterReach. 

Take Root: What are some of the challenges of red state reproductive justice activism?

Challenges include: Lack of large sustainable funding, constant challenges of trying to mobilize and even employ a very oppressed base, working in states run by white supremacists, and the pressure of “all eyes on the south”.

Take Root: What are the most pressing RJ issues, currently, or on the horizon?

Some of the most pressing RJ issues are: Healthcare reform, abortion restrictions, no focus from ANY movement on comp sex ed access, coercion and sterilization via LARC, maternal health disparities, mass incarceration of women, and immigration reform.

Take Root: Have you been to Take Root before? How many times? Why do you come? Why is a conference like this important?

Yes, I have been 3 or 4 times. I come because we are called on to offer our voice to the conference on issues impacting the south and organizing strategies we have used.

It is important to convene a southern based RJ conference, but I am concerned about how deeply centered RJ really is to the conference. How are RJ advocates integrated into the planning of the conference? There still seems to be a larger amount of white woman/person participation, with POC presenters. I am concerned that advocates of color aren’t in better attendance of the conference. There is also not a larger queer presence within the conference (participants or presenters). How are queer POC advocates integrated into the planning? These are questions for the organizers and funders supporting the conference to really consider for next year forward.

Take Root: What are some ways to get young people involved in RJ?

Integrate them in the planning which means they have to be part of the pre-work relationship and trust-building piece that MUST be done by the organizers of the conference and in partnership with RJ/RR/RH advocates who work with youth.