Loretta Ross

Founding Member and National Coordinator of SisterSong

Loretta Ross Poster

Is Choice a Human Right? Reproductive Justice in the U.S.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies.

Topical Background
Some consider a safe and healthy birth a human right. In the U.S., however, it is not a right that is fully protected for all women, especially women of color. African American women die during childbirth three to four times more often than white women.

SisterSong Women’s Health Collective is an organization attempting to limit needless deaths by shifting the focus of reproductive justice to the oppression women encounter during child birth through “their bodies, sexuality, labor and reproduction.” As the organization’s motto states, SisterSong is committed to “doing collectively what we cannot do individually.”

SisterSong began in 1997, with a grant from the Ford Foundation, and provides access to health services, along with relevant information and resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. In an effort to achieve reproductive justice, this collective works to “strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color” through public policy work, advocacy, service delivery and health education within our communities on the local, national and international levels.

About the Speaker
Loretta Ross is the national coordinator of SisterSong Women’s Health Collective. Formerly, she was the founder and executive director of the National Center for Human Rights Education in Atlanta, Georgia and the co-director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants.

Ms. Ross has published numerous works including a co-authored book entitled Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, which was awarded the Myers Outstanding Book Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. She also has appeared as a political commentator on Good Morning America and CNN. Loretta Ross is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary doctorate of Civil Law from Arcadia University.