Sara Spriggs is a long time abortion funder who recently became an individual member and attended this year’s Summit in Chicago. She is featured in the Fall 2018 Newsletter.
Who are you in the world?
I am a daughter, a sister, a partner, and a friend. I am a multi-racial woman of the Korean diaspora. I am a restaurant worker, a writer, and a reproductive justice advocate.
Why did you become an individual member?
I became an individual member out of curiosity! I wanted to see what this thing called individual membership was & what it could become. When individual membership launched I was working at an abortion fund, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice in Oakland. When I left my job there, I was excited to explore individual membership as a way to stay connected. Individual membership is cool because it creates an opening for people to come in, get involved, and stay connected.
What were the highlights of your experience at the Summit this year?
I felt an electric, palpable sensation that this Summit was of real historical importance. I kept thinking of books about social movements I read as a young person, and thinking, “I am living through history right now! Someone is gonna write a book about this someday!”. It has been so beautiful to watch NNAF’s transformation. As I experienced the summit, I felt that transformation is now ripe. The NNAF network is multi-racial, international, multi-faith, gender expansive, and intergenerational. I know this transformation involved conflict, pain, bravery, love, and hard work. I am so grateful to everyone who worked so hard to realize that.
The highlight for me was the banquet. Everyone celebrating each other’s work and joy. Seeing We Testify storyteller Ale Pablos speak about being detained by ICE, knowing the We Testify & NNAF crew were fighting for her, and being released from detention, brought tears to my eyes. Hearing Mariame Kaba, one of my personal heroes, say “Hope is a discipline; you have to practice it daily, and the most important thing that you can do to transform the world is to act.” Honoring the Chicago Bond Fund and Southerners on New Ground and feeling the whole room erupt with applause and cheering for their work with Black Mama’s Bail Out was magical. It just felt so good to be together. Our work on abortion access, immigration, prison abolition, fair wages, and more is so connected, and being together and celebrating each other felt so good.
What is this political moment calling for? What does it require of all us?
This political moment is calling us to make time for self reflection, to flex our imaginations and creativity, to deepen our relationships, and deepen our commitment to each other. Our relationships with each other are what makes us resilient to shifting political circumstances and surprise attacks. When we love each other, learn and grow together, feel good with each other, and care for each other, we will keep returning to each other through the long haul it’s gonna take to craft the futures we need. We need to be good to each other and ourselves.
We need all of us. This political moment is calling those of us who have been doing this work for a while to learn how to genuinely make space for and welcome newcomers and weave them in. We need to continue to love, center, and support the brilliant leadership of women of color, specifically black & indigenous women of color, trans & gender non conforming people, and people with disabilities — the people who are uniquely positioned to understand power and to come up with solutions that work better and feel better.
We need to be grounded in our bodies, our histories, and our spirits. We need to be rooted in an understanding of where each of us comes from & the stories and choices that brought us to this moment and place. We need reverence and gratitude this earth and each other and a seven-generation lens into the future.
Why is the National Network of Abortion Funds best positioned to take on the challenges of the next 25 years?
So many people, across all demographic groups, have had abortions or supported someone through an abortion! Those shared experiences are a powerful place to organize from and mobilize people.
NNAF is creating models of groups that will be able to roll with the punches of the next 25 years. Our commitment to collaboration, love, joy, pleasure, and supporting each other is what makes us sustainable and resilient. When we make it possible for all of us — parents, people with disabilities, black & indigenous people of color, young people, elders — to be truly supported to lead from our full uniqueness, to feel joy, to not burn out and exit, then we collectively have access to more genius and better solutions. The baseline is everyone having what we need so we WANT to show up day after day. We won’t accept anything less and we’re committed to the reflection and collaboration it takes to get there.