4th Annual Take Root – Reproductive Justice Conference – February 21-22, 2014

4th Annual Take Root – Reproductive Justice Conference

We hope you will join us this year at the 4th Annual Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice Conference. Registration is now open for this year’s conference that will be held in Norman, OK on February 21-22.

Surprised that such a conference is taking place in Oklahoma? Don’t be.

Potential activists in the “red” areas of the country have largely been written off as too conservative, too ideologically homogenous, and too geographically and culturally isolated to contribute to a nationwide and transnational reproductive justice movement. Rather than encourage and support people who stay and fight, popular media and people on the coasts often suggest that the best alternative for “red” state activists is to move to more progressive parts of the country.

These are some of the reasons that in 2011, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, NAPW, Board Member Carol Mason – then Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK – organized the first Red State Regional Reproductive Justice Conference with colleagues and student activists who inspired her. Every year since, state-based and grassroots leaders have been growing this event. NAPW is proud to be a supporter of Take Root.

NAPW believes that activists in the Red States – where the assaults on reproductive freedom are the greatest and most direct – are likely to be the primary, leading innovators, developing the policies, actions, and strategies that will stop the current attacks on the right to choose abortion and women’s personhood, and eventually establish the full constitutional and human rights of all pregnant women. Indeed, the collective political actions last year in Texas, which included participants and student organizers of the Take Root conferences, prove this point. Meaningful and effective activism in the red states should be supported and nurtured and those activists will inspire the rest of the nation.

Take Root 2014 features a pre-conference training by YP4 and speakers from Oklahoma, the South, and across the nation. Speakers include Julie Burkhart, founder of Trust Women and the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Deon Haywood, Executive Director of Women With A Vision, Shafia Monroe, founder of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Jessica Luther, Coya White Hat-Artichoker, Gwen Fields, Oklahoma University’s Center for Social Justice Activist-in-Residence, and NAPW’s own Executive Director, Lynn Paltrow.

We look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter @TakeRoot_RJ and join in the conversation at #TakeRoot14!