It was a hard week, and it got harder when news broke that Justice Anthony Kennedy will resign from the Supreme Court in July. We won’t lie – there were a few choice words being tossed around the office when we heard the news.
We’re mad. But we’ve been mad. We’re upset. But we’ve been upset. To fight for reproductive justice is to hold a lot of hard things all at once – things that didn’t start with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and which we know all too well won’t stop when he’s gone. But we know something else: We know you.
It’s an especially challenging time to work in and around the legal system – a system we know was not built to work for so many of us. But that’s what our fight to change the face of lawyering is about. We work to change the system from within and without, to upset powerful structures of oppression by changing the fundamental makeup of who holds power.
We imagine a future when everyone who practices law does so through a reproductive justice lens. We imagine a future when every justice on the Supreme Court comes to the bench with an intersectional analysis of race, gender, class, sexuality and ability. And because we’ve been envisioning this for nigh on fifteen years, there are now thousands of If/When/How members out there, just like you, bringing righteous resistance to policy, practice, and politics.
On Wednesday afternoon, one of our new Reproductive Justice Fellows, Jill Heaviside from Vanderbilt Law, lifted our hearts with this tweet: “Right now I want to both hide in a cave and riot in the streets. But, for the next month, I’m going to work my ass off studying. This is the most vital act of Resistance I can make at this time because, in the end, I’m going to pass the Bar and become a licensed attorney.”
What a beautiful reminder of the power of this community! And a poignant call: We don’t have to choose when it comes to fighting for the things we believe in. We can absolutely riot in the streets, but we can also visit the cave of self-care when we need it – we all have to be mindful of our energy, our bodies, and our mental health these days.
Reach out to your community today and in the coming days. Find your points of privilege and listen first and always to people who are most affected by all the -isms and -phobias that plague our society. Dream big about what the future could look like. You can make it happen. You’re already making it happen. We’re with you.
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