Individuals are making waves in this network!
Individual membership is in its second year and our energized base of committed, involved members is growing. Individual leaders are building new pipelines at their funds as they acquire skill sets and strengthen relationships with other leaders in our network as part of Movement Makers. We Testify storytellers are changing culture in a very real way with testimony, articles, and public appearances, and especially did so during our celebration of 45 years of Roe v. Wade.
Our Second Year of Individual Membership
We’re making bold moves to grow and expand our base through individual membership! Our individual membership program offers a closer look into our work, political education opportunities, and the chance to plug in and do your part for abortion access. We want our members to feel politically at home with us, and by expanding our base and grounding our organizing vision in membership, we can do just that.
“Organizing is at the heart of political and cultural change. As we grow our base, we intend to create a model of organizing by and for abortion funders and those who support us. Individual membership is the catalyst for moving that vision forward.” – Rockie Gonzalez, Organizing Manager
We wrapped up our first Individual Membership drive since our inaugural launch in January 2017. We’ve loved welcoming our new and renewing members with Heart-to-Heart Abortion Conversations and our Black History Month Campaign.
Here’s a brief result summary from our drive:
- 478 new individual members registered and received their “Everyone Loves Someone Who Had an Abortion” t-shirt.
- 253 people renewed their membership and received a golden member mug.
- 141 gift memberships were purchased (which subsidize our sliding scale option).
- 54 people opted into a sliding scale membership which reflects our goal of making individual membership accessible and not cost-restrictive.
- 155 Heart-to-Heart Abortion Conversations Card decks have been ordered since the deck was released in December 2017.
Individual membership is for anyone at any time — whether you’re a supporter, fund member, bowler, or admirer, you’re invited to join our network. When you sign up or renew each year, you’ll receive a special gift! New members always receive our iconic “Everyone Loves Someone Who Had an Abortion” shirt. As our membership grows, so does our excitement about getting to build power and organize with you.
All About Movement Makers
Movement Makers is National Network of Abortion Funds’ year-long leadership development program that launched in June 2017. Through an intensive cohort approach, 25 individuals took part in skillbuilding, embodying values, and transforming systems with a trauma informed, holistic sense of leadership.
Participants include abortion fund leaders — some new and some with longer histories — as well as We Testify cohort alum. Throughout the year, Movement Maker leaders have participated in two in-person convenings, webinars, and coaching support that combined reflective leadership practices and skill development in five core competencies: purpose and commitment, radical collaboration and communication, political analysis, strategy in action and self and community care. Through Movement Makers, 25 abortion funds were able to reimagine how their leadership pipelines play out across their organizations.
Mars Earle, in their capacity as a Movement Makers participant, described their experience:
“In a really practical sense, the tool-building and practices that we’ve done have been a great experimental lab, from leadership pipelines to conflict transformation. I appreciate that Movement Makers has offered space to practice those skills without assuming whether or not we came in with that knowledge or organizing experience”
The activities and outcomes at the foundation of this transformative leadership program include:
- Developing a collaborative and sustainable leadership stance that is embodied both in daily life and collective action.
- Understanding how power, privilege, and oppression show up in our work and movements, and what we can do about it!
- Cultivating strong relationships rooted in trust, integrity, and accountability.
- Honing concrete skills in organizing, facilitation, fundraising, storytelling, and communication.
- Developing a personal leadership action plan that integrates daily practices, tools, and resources with longer term strategies.
We Testify Storytellers Saturate the Media During Roe 2018
In 2016, the National Network of Abortion Funds launched We Testify: Our Abortion Stories, a program dedicated to increasing the spectrum of abortion storytellers in the public sphere and shifting the way the media understands the context and complexity of accessing abortion care.
Since We Testify launched, over 30 abortion storytellers have been featured in more than 100 articles discussing the intersection of abortion and immigration, racial justice, religion, and trans health, and have spoken at conferences including the 2017 Women’s March Convention in Detroit and the Pregnancy in Prison Convening in San Jose. Storytellers have shared their abortion experiences or what happened when they were denied an abortion, the best ways to support abortion storytellers, and how their ability to access an abortion impacted their lives. Their testimonies brokered understanding between social justice issues and the lived experiences of people who seek abortions everyday, including their own loved ones.
On the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, We Testify Abortion storytellers collectively testified in a dozen outlets, moving beyond the legalization of abortion to the reality of how our access has been eroded over 45 years. We Testify shows how resilient people seeking abortions have been.
Samantha Romero is board chair of West Fund in El Paso Texas and joined NNAF in the first cohort of We Testify abortion storytellers. She’s been making waves with her storytelling ever since, and says:
“I was new to the world of abortion funding and it felt like people had established relationships. When I joined We Testify as a storyteller, Renee [Bracey Sherman] didn’t ask us to share our stories immediately. She told us we didn’t even have to share if we don’t want to, and that we are more than our stories. I am privileged to have that relationship with the first cohort of We Testify storytellers, and now with Movement Makers. It’s like lightning struck twice!”