Members of The Well Project's team were honored to join our partner organizations SisterSong and Dallas-based The Afiya Center, cohosts of Let's Talk About Sex! The National Reproductive Justice Conference in Dallas, Texas, August 25 – 28, 2022.
The Afiya Center's founding executive director, Marsha Jones (in red), speaks with SisterSong executive director Monica Raye Simpson (far left) and Texas-based activists on the plenary stage. Photo credit: Olivia G. Ford
The theme for the conference was Our Blueprint for a Body Revolution – based on the belief that the reproductive justice movement holds the blueprint for seizing this horrific political moment in the US and beyond. As a key battleground for women, queer and trans folks, and people of color seeking justice on several fronts, particularly access to abortion, Texas was the perfect location to gather as a community and an intersectional movement, learn about challenges and opportunities from grassroots activists, and re-establish unity and collective vision during this pivotal time.
Olivia G. Ford meets Cynthia Gutierrez of partner organization HIVE for the first time in person! Selfie by Cynthia Gutierrez
The Well Project's community advisory board (CAB) member Kim Canady and editorial director Olivia G. Ford participated in the conference, connecting with new and longtime partners and accomplices in The Well Project's work.
The Well Project's Kim Canady (left) and Olivia G. Ford begin their workshop. Selfie by Olivia G. Ford.
Kim and Olivia also co-facilitated a spirited workshop entitled "Sexual and Reproductive Health, Pleasure, and Justice for Women with HIV" at the event. The session featured a frank, participatory discussion covering key topics, developments, and personal storytelling at the intersections of reproductive justice and HIV – and highlighting the need for optimized HIV prevention and care to incorporate appropriate, relevant, and holistic sexual and reproductive healthcare. It brought together attendees from across the spectrum of knowledge and engagement around HIV issues, from long-term HIV survivors to individuals just learning about treatment as prevention and other "new basics" of HIV.
The Afiya Center's Michelle Anderson (middle – also a member of The Well Project's CAB!) and Helen Zimba with Olivia following the workshop. Selfie by Helen Zimba
This conference presentation is part of The Well Project's SHE/HER/THEY (Sexual Health Education/HIV Empowerment Resources/Treating HIV Equally) programming - a multifaceted educational outreach initiative focused on improving engagement in care, health outcomes, and well-being for women living with and vulnerable to HIV while promoting a culture of wellness, through a holistic and non-stigmatizing lens.