The Other A-Word: A Stellar Conference Panel One Week From Today

One week from today, I will be speaking on a plenary panel at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy's Reproductive Justice conference. Included in the panel are Susan Harris O'Connor, MSW; Kate Livingston, PhD candidate; and community organizer, Marisa Howard Karp. The panel will be moderated by Sociologist, Dr. Gretchen Sisson.

Session title: The Other A-Word: Adoption and Reproductive Justice
1:15 to 2:45, FPH 103: Adoption has been co-opted by anti-choice advocates as a “solution” to unplanned pregnancy, teen parenting, and pregnancy in poverty, but has been almost universally neglected by the reproductive justice movement. This panel will apply an RJ framework to thinking through adoption issues, from the struggle of adoptees to access vital documentation and medical history to how race, class and gender influence the experiences of both birth and adoptive parents. Adoption is a complex process that both builds families and engenders loss. Open adoptions, in particular, make visible new forms of kinship created by adoption. Participants will discuss ways of moving towards a more ethical, better-supported system of adoption.

Press Release:

CLPP Hosts 27th Annual Reproductive Justice Conference

The Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program at Hampshire College (http:// will hold its 27th annual activist conference, From Abortion Rights to
Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom, on April 12-14, 2013.
The conference focuses on broadening the fight for reproductive health and rights by making
connections to a diverse range of social issues, including racial, economic, and disability
justice; LGBTQ rights; and environmental justice. Approximately 1,000 community activists,
students, and national and international leaders and organizers are expected to attend
this event, described by past attendees as “motivating, informative, and nourishing” and
“overwhelmingly inspiring!”

More than 150 speakers and over 70 conference workshops will highlight local and national
activist work from direct service to policy-making. Topics of workshops include Abortion
Coverage, Immigration, State Violence, and Transfeminism. Conference attendees walk
away with practical knowledge around the issues and are empowered to continue their work.
As conference co-coordinator and Hampshire student Lauren Casey puts it, “the CLPP
conference has given me hands-on tools and resources to better my own work, and provided
me with a community of individuals who are right there behind me fighting this good fight.”

The three-day conference begins Friday afternoon, April 12, in Franklin Patterson Hall at
Hampshire College. Friday workshops will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Workshops and plenaries
continue on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon. For a
list of conference speakers and workshops, or to register, visit
conference. Conference registration is offered on a sliding scale, and no one is turned away
for lack of funds.

CLPP strives to make the conference an accessible space. There will be ASL interpretation
available at both the Saturday and Sunday plenaries, and Spanish translation available
by request as part of the pre-registration process. The buildings used for the conference
are accessible, and space will be reserved in workshops and plenaries for people using
wheelchairs. Space will be reserved in plenaries for people looking to reduce their exposure to
fragrances. Childcare is available free of charge during the conference.

Student conference co-coordinators are available for interviews: contact Lauren Casey
or Zaynah Shaikh at 413-559-6168 or Conference speakers are also available for interviews upon request. Speakers include activists working in diverse
communities and on a range of campaigns from across the U.S. as well as internationally,
including issues that have traditionally been excluded from a reproductive rights framework.