We have a new name
2017-2018 has been a year of change for many human rights focused organizations like ours, doing the most difficult work in the most challenging of places. OCRJ is no exception. 2018 has been a year of reflection, action, and evaluation. OCRJ has been in existence for eight years and in that time we have grown, matured, and proudly accomplished goals that we’ve set for ourselves. One thing that has remained true throughout the years of growth is our commitment to creating connections, community, and grassroots advocacy.
This year we took on a process that forced us to evaluate why we do this work and how we do it, and how our organizational identity impact that work. When OCRJ began, it was group of individuals that came together to spark this work- with the goal of eventually being a diverse coalition of organizations. While we are eternally grateful for their work, we felt it was necessary to reevaluate the name to be more reflective of the work we are doing.
Today, we are proud to unveil a name that is classic but action-oriented. OCRJ will remain, but we are no longer a coalition as we have had many challenges fulfilling that part of our name. Today we go from the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice to the Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice. The most important concern in choosing a name, was choosing a name that would be inclusive and would encourage people to participate no matter their level of experience. We felt that that the term coalition left the false impression that members must be affiliated with an entity to participate. Our work has evolved and our goal is to reach as many people as possible by meeting them where they are at in their activist lifecycle.
The Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice is a title that indicates our proactive mission. We are calling for better and brighter reproductive health, rights, and justice futures for everyone in the state. We sincerely hope you are excited for this change as we are and we hope to continue our work with unbridled enthusiasm, dedication, and resilience. We still believe that reproductive justice includes the right to have or not to have a child and respect for families in all their forms. It supports access to sexual education, contraception, abortion care and pregnancy care as well as to the resources needed to raise children in safe and healthy circumstances, with good schools and healthcare and other elements necessary for bright futures regardless of immigration status. It encompasses respect for all people, their partners, and families, for sexuality and for gender differences. It respects human rights and the separation of church and state. But per our “call” for justice, OCRJ is shifting into a new, more bold phase in our pursuit for justice.
As our founder Dr. Martha Skeeter’s once said:
“We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
This statement has been our saving grace more than once and we look to this statement in difficult times. We will strive to stay true to three fundamental facts: that we are doing this work because we are passionate about it, because it needs to be done, and because we like doing it together!
We are ready and willing to continue this work, with more vigor than ever before, and with your support.