Intersectionality with NBEC (Blog Post 1) By Mariama Drammeh
As a self-proclaimed feminist, and student of public health, reproductive justice lies at the intersection of my passions and lived experiences. However, as a Black woman, I have found that conversations on reproductive justice can often be limited by repetitive white liberal feminist discourse, that can cloud the true meaning of reproductive justice; an issue that can be somewhat discouraging. Over the past three weeks, working for NBEC has allowed me to realize the ways in which I can contribute meaningfully not only to conversations about reproductive justice, but also in my work and future career. The National Birth Equity Collective is a workplace that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. During my interview process with NBEC, I scarcely let myself believe that such an organization existed. Now three weeks into my summer internship with them, I find myself constantly awed by the amazing women who do the work every day to fight against Black maternal mortality and fight for reproductive justice for all. The words of the seminal Combahee River Collective Statement, “Until Black women are free, none of us will be free” ring true at NBEC. The focus on creating true liberation at NBEC is inspiring, especially as a young, Black woman hoping to enter into the realm of public health to create sustainable change.
As a policy intern, I have spent much of my first few weeks learning about the legislative process, both state and federal, as well as learning about the goals and aims of the policy team, as well as the organization as a whole. Currently, I am working on an assessment of votes on bills that involve reproductive justice and seeing how lawmakers are voting on issues that are impacting their constituents. Over just a few short weeks I have already gained so much knowledge and I can’t wait to see how much my ideas and perspectives have evolved by the end of the summer.