Oklahomans for Reproductive Justice

Oklahomans for Reproductive Justice (OK4RJ) consists of a group of young Okies dedicated to caring and advocating for Oklahomans, using community and grassroots approaches to raise awareness and advocate for access to full reproductive freedom for all, regardless of race, class, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We believe that social justice issues are inseparable from reproductive issues and advocate for a holistic view of reproductive justice Visit our site at ok4rj.org
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Posts tagged "oklahoma"


Black Wall Street and The Tulsa Race Riots

On May 31st, 1921 the town of Greenwood, Oklahoma better known “Black Wall Street” was destroyed by white Terrorist jealous of the economic success of the town’s Black residents. The “Tulsa Race Riots” actually lasted over 24 hours. This is a small before & after look at the town of Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma aka “Black Wall Street”.

(via stfusexists)

One of the things Take Root organizers are invested in is questioning the narrative that people from small towns and conservative districts have to leave home to pursue activist work. “I think that comes from a certain amount of privilege – that you have the ability to leave, that you have the resources, or that you even have the desire to leave,” said Sandra Criswell, an organizer with Take Root and Oklahomans 4 Reproductive Justice (OK4RJ).

These conversations offer a challenge to mainstream media outlets, which often fall back on easy tropes, naming red states exclusively in the context of disasters and failures. For some, it’s also a way of pushing back against stereotypes about red states and saying you love where you’re from.

“Well I’m a Chickasaw so all of you are immigrants to me!” Tom Cole says with a laugh. Funny. He doesn’t look like us. The blood in my hand is draining down my arm. He’s been ignoring this side of the room for at least an hour, maybe two. I guess my friend Jessica talking about streamlines that look more like labyrinths hurt his conservative sensibilities. Or maybe it was my friend Omar talking about the years he spent waiting on documentation. Shrug.

But it’s my turn when I ask, “Sir! You said earlier that you were Chickasaw. Does that mean something to you, or is it just a card?”

“It means a great deal to me! My (insert various family members including himself that have been in tribal leadership positions).”

“Ok, well I want to tell you about my people. I am an Anahuac woman, like the people in front of me, and standing beside me.” He seems taken aback by this. “Our tribal lands stretched from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, down through Mexico. My people were slaughtered and forced down into Mexico and then a fence was built through our tribe’s lands to make sure we stayed there. My people have a phrase in Nahuatl for all the Indigenous people of the Americas. It’s ‘Nican Tlaca’ it means ‘We are the people’ and as one Nican Tlaca to another I implore you to please take YOUR people’s issues, like immigration reform, to heart.”

I was told later that he was struck and shaken. He knew everything we said was true. That tribal borders don’t align with federal and what that means for indigenous people. That there is no straight path to citizenship. But the meeting is over. Our blows landed. The rest is up to him.

In Oklahoma, freakin’ Scott Pruitt just can’t stop wasting people’s time and let poor and/or uninsured folks get some semblance of health care already. Rep Jackie Speier summed it up nicely when she said Pruitt’s success would mark “a terrible loss for the lower-income people of Oklahoma who pay the attorney general’s salary and whose taxes are even underwriting the very lawsuit that would deny them benefits.”

2012 was a banner year for Oklahoma, and by that I mean marked by an increase of crime reports. That includes a 15% rise in rape reports, totalling out at 1,676, the highest in over a decade. Aggravated assaults were also on an upswing. Some folks want to think that this is a sign that more people are reporting their assaults, but, there’s no way to actually tell that at the moment. Additionally, that’s not a positive when the system clearly gives no shits about the survivors that do report. So. Oooooooo-k. You can get back to me on that one.

Ruling that some money-making corporations are “persons” that can have their own religious beliefs and exercise them, a divided en banc Tenth Circuit Court decided Thursday that two Oklahoma business firms may be able to escape having to provide full birth-control insurance for their employees.

The Baby Veronica case caught national attention and ignited a debate over the Indian Child Welfare Act.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, reports of intimate partner sharply increase in the wake of natural disasters. Women who suffer abuse in addition to surviving disasters also report higher incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and post-disaster major depression. The link here between natural disasters and violence and mental health means that reuniting with family might be the opposite goal for people trying to flee an abusive home or relationship.

Undocumented families also suffer unique impacts after natural disasters. For folks who might not be homeowners but renters (which include many folks without economic resources), tornado shelter and insurance might be unavailable, inaccessible, or prohibitively expensive, leaving many without preventive measures before a natural disaster strikes. Undocumented families are also unable to access federal aid through FEMA and thus are left with very few institutional options to rebuild their lives after losing everything. Undocumented folks might also fear deportation and legal action when interacting with government officials, and as a result be wary of pursuing state assistance.