2021 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine
Shows how reproductive justice organizations' collaborative work across racial lines provides a compelling model for other groups to successfully influence change
Patricia Zavella experienced firsthand the trials and judgments imposed on a working professional mother of color: her own commitment to academia was questioned during her pregnancy, as she was shamed for having children "too young." And when she finally achieved her professorship, she felt out of place as one of the few female faculty members with children.
These experiences sparked Zavella's interest in the movement for reproductive justice. In this book, she draws on five years of ethnographic research to explore collaborations among women of color engaged in reproductive justice activism. While there are numerous organizations focused on reproductive justice, most are racially specific, such as the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and Black Women for Wellness. Yet Zavella reveals that many of these organizations have built coalitions among themselves, sharing resources and supporting each other through different campaigns and struggles. While the coalitions are often regional--or even national--the organizations themselves remain racially or ethnically specific, presenting unique challenges and opportunities for the women involved.
Zavella argues that these organizations provide a compelling model for negotiating across differences within constituencies. In the context of the war on women's reproductive rights and its disproportionate effect on women of color, and increased legal violence toward immigrants, The Movement for Reproductive Justice
demonstrates that a truly intersectional movement built on grassroots organizing, culture shift work, and policy advocating can offer visions of strength, resiliency, and dignity for all.
Patricia Zavella is Professor Emerita in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of The Movement for Reproductive Justice: Empowering Women of Color Through Social Activism (NYU Press, 2020) and I'm Neither Here nor There: Mexicans' Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty and coauthor of Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios.