K students gained a space to engage in conversations on issues such as sexual education, healthy sexuality, and reproductive rights at the first meeting of the Kalamazoo College Coalition for Reproductive Justice.
Founders Dani Gin K’17 and Emily Kowey K’17 believe that “reproductive justice” is a broad term, and feel that having a space to talk about what it means to different people is crucial. In terms of the Stuorg itself, they aim to “frame it so students can make it what they want,” said Kowey.
In addition to discussion-based meetings on Mondays in the library, the Coalition is excited to offer trainings and workshops, screenings of films about issues related to reproduction, and potential volunteer opportunities with organizations like the YWCA and Planned Parenthood.
Citing the importance of voter turnout for maintaining reproductive rights, the club will partner with the Center for Civic Engagement for its first event, “Get Out the Vote: Candidates and Reproductive Justice.” Local politicians such as Jon Hoadley and Paul Clements, the democratic candidates for state representative, will come together to discuss their stances on issues such as reproductive health and access, as well as the importance of voting, especially in the upcoming election. This event will most likely take place 8th week.
The Coalition has created a Facebook page as a forum in which members can share resources and expand on what they have discussed at meetings. Kowey emphasized that the goal of the organization is to be a community, a non-hierarchical organization of people who simply wish to educate one another on issues surrounding reproductive health while also raising awareness on campus. Any student or faculty member is therefore welcome to attend meetings and events.
“I feel like a lot of people see reproductive health [only] as a women’s issue and we’re trying to move away from that,” said Kowey.