“There are so many reasons to feel hopeless and afraid. There are so many reasons to tune out or shut down. And yet, in spite of all this, at Feminist Women’s Health Center, we remain undaunted.”
I want to begin by acknowledging how strange and hard these last couple years have been. We are still not completely through the disruption of COVID on the world and how careful we have to be with each other to stay safe. Our country is still refusing to reckon with the pervasive white supremacy that infects every corner of society and the seemingly unending violence that accompanies it. And the fight to protect and preserve abortion provision and bodily autonomy in the United States reached an intensity that we are still trying to comprehend. There are so many reasons to feel hopeless and afraid. There are so many reasons to tune out or shut down. And yet, in spite of all this, at Feminist Women’s Health Center, we remain undaunted.
People ask me often what gives me hope or what keeps me going when things seem so impossible. When I think about what we is being asked of us, I remember that Angela Davis said that, “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” I remember that we are more powerful than we ever give ourselves credit for. I remember there were those who dreamed of the kind of freedom that we are closer to than every before. I practice imagining new worlds and new ways of being together, that are rooted and established in love and community. And I strive every day to act as if it is possible to radically transform the world. Because I know that it is.
Reflecting on 2021-2023 may be painful or demoralizing, but I can readily find joyful and triumphant moments as well. We fought back new abortion restrictions for telehealth in the state legislature; We registered hundreds of people to vote; We paid off the mortgage on our building; We passed a Declaration for Reproductive Freedom in DeKalb County; We brought on a new wellness medical director to help us expand gender affirming care; We developed a new mission, vision, and theory of change; We helped thousands of people get the lifesaving reproductive health care they needed.
We did all of these things and more, but honestly, even if all we did was survive, it was enough to celebrate. So, it is with tremendous hope and gratitude that we offer this impact report, an opportunity to reflect on 2021-2023, as we journey into 2024 undaunted.
I will leave you with one of my favorite pieces from adrienne marie brown, the “radical gratitude spell.”
you are a miracle walking
i greet you with wonder
in a world which seeks to own
your joy and your imagination
you have chosen to be free,
every day, as a practice.
i can never know
the struggles you went through to get here,
but i know you have swum upstream
and at times it has been lonely
i want you to know
i honor the choices you made in solitude
and i honor the work you have done to belong
i honor your commitment to that which is larger than yourself
and your journey
to love the particular container of life
that is you
you are enough
your work is enough
you are needed
your work is sacred
you are here
and i am grateful