By Kathrine “Kate” Jack
Activism starts with yourself. Take Root is a chance to broaden your Reproductive Justice (RJ) horizon and deepen your personal commitment to the movement. In Indiana, we have very dedicated and intelligent activists. But, speaking for myself personally, I needed a nudge to give me the courage to overcome the Hoosier characteristic of not wanting to talk about hard issues. Some of the things at Take Root can be that nudge:
Solidarity with activists from other states working on issues just like the ones in Indiana. People who understand what it is to live in a state with a supermajority republican legislature and a [fill in the blank] governor.
Inspiration from speakers who will move you with their words. Check out www.freequencyspeaks.com. Our keynote speaker Miriam Yeung challenged us by quoting Assanta Shakur:
It is our duty to fight.
It is our duty to win.
We must love and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.
New ideas and frameworks. This year I learned about RJ framework for adoption, abortion support in Kentucky, and “appropriate whiteness” from Loretta Ross.
Personal reflection and development, especially in pre-conference trainings. The best description I can give is learning that people who are comfortable with their own self are better able to weather the storm. Learning how to make progress on yourself.
This was my second Take Root and it won’t be my last. I want to take as many Hoosiers with me as I can each year, especially those who are new to this work. My dream is that we have a grassroots, long term, sustainable Reproductive Justice movement in Indiana. Do you have courage to take this journey with me?
(Take Root is a Reproductive Justice in Red States conference that takes place in Norman, OK each February. For more information check out www.take-root.org)