All of us at Maine Family Planning are outraged by police violence against Black people and families, protesters, and mourners. We condemn the systemic racism and oppression that impede the actualization of reproductive justice, a vision and movement founded by Black women that honors and upholds personal bodily autonomy and the ability to have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.
Maine Family Planning believes Black Lives Matter. We move in solidarity with those protesting police brutality and racism in Maine and nationwide, and we will continue to follow Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leadership in working toward a more just society. Now is the time for us to listen, learn, and act.
Here are some of the voices and demands we lift up in this moment:
- Black Lives Matter: Ways You Can Help
- Movement 4 Black Lives
- In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
- URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity
- BLM – Portland Maine
- Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
As an organization, MFP has work to do when it comes to unlearning racism and transforming systems that enforce it. We are becoming aware of the ways white supremacy culture shows up in organizations like ours and we are taking concrete steps to uproot it.
We commit to deepening our advocacy work around policies that are anti-racist in effect and promote equity and justice for BIPOC folks statewide. This means putting our advocacy power to work and following the lead of BIPOC advocates on the state and federal level.
We also commit to educating and mobilizing our majority-white supporter base with the goal of helping make Maine a place where BIPOC people can thrive economically, educationally, culturally, professionally and emotionally. Our Associate Director of Public Engagement welcomes feedback on how we can improve our efforts going forward. You can contact Cait Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas, questions, and criticism.
We understand that the fight for racial justice and the struggle for reproductive freedom are inextricably linked. We will continue to welcome and serve people regardless of race, gender identification, or economic status. We will continue to work in coalition with other organizations whose goal is to end systemic racism that pervades every aspect of our society, including the delivery of health care.
This work cannot wait. It is time to rise up for meaningful change.