The Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress is seeking a diverse group of faith-based leaders to lend their voice, commitment, and leadership to the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement. Our goal is to help build a new generation of emerging and seasoned leaders who are concerned with communities of color and reproductive health, rights, and justice as part of their faith, conscience, and moral code.
Leaders will be selected from a competitive application process. If chosen, they will participate in the 2014 Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute. Institute activities include a two-day convening in Washington, D.C. (January 14–16) that will provide:
After the convening, each leader will develop a personalized work plan—with the assistance of CAP policy and communications experts—that will put into practice learned skills and knowledge. In addition, the Institute will provide leaders with one-on-one trainings, group collaborations, weekly policy/news updates, and monthly webinars.
We are looking for highly motivated and committed individuals seeking to expand their skills, perspectives, and networks in order to achieve faith-based social change in the area of reproductive justice. Applicants might be clergy, seminary students, faith-based advocates, or those working in sexual health or reproductive rights and justice, with experience in and a commitment to working with faith communities. Participants agree to:
We encourage younger people and people of color to apply. Currently employed applicants should secure written support from a supervisor affirming their participation in the program’s activities.
Across the country, state legislatures have enacted a record number of laws restricting a woman’s access to reproductive health care, including family-planning services, Pap smears, abortion, and more. Other serious setbacks to reproductive health include restrictive measures to roll back the Affordable Care Act and comprehensive sexuality education, along with a concerted demonization of reproductive health providers, organizations, and users.
Conservative religious and political leaders are leading these efforts, claiming that they are the sole champions of moral values, religious truth, and the public good. However, their impact has been dangerous for women, who already bear the brunt of health disparities and pay more for health care than men. Furthermore, low-income women face higher rates of unintended pregnancy, while policymakers add more restrictions to reproductive health care. Women of color endure even more burdens: An African American or Latina woman is more likely to live in poverty, incur higher rates of disease, have less access to health care, and experience a higher risk of unintended pregnancy than her white counterpart.
In order to stop such assaults on women’s reproductive health and gain ground on reproductive rights and justice, we need to support and amplify the good work that faith-based groups are doing; strengthen faith-based leadership, messages, and messengers on reproductive health, rights, and justice; and incorporate into our work spiritual and moral values that resonate with the public and recognize individual conscience and human complexity. In the last year, we have seen faith leaders standing up against abortion-rights attacks. In North Carolina, for instance, faith leaders are participating in the Moral Monday protests against severe budget cuts, voting rights restrictions, restrictions to abortion, and more. In Ohio, faith leaders have joined with others to advocate for expanding Medicaid, which will ensure that low-income women have access to health care and family-planning services.
Click here to download the application.
Applications are due November 22, 2013. Please return to Eleni Towns at the Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005, or firstname.lastname@example.org.