“We know that Latinas are the leaders in their communities. We just provide information, education and awareness about how they can create change…We believe that those most impacted will be the agents of change.”
We could not be more thrilled to welcome National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) executive director Jessica González-Rojas to our 2017 Fall Celebration for a conversation with Yamani Hernandez and Mary Tuma. This year, Texas has seen an unprecedented attack on immigrant communities with the passage of Senate Bill 4 creating additional barriers to reproductive healthcare access. As NLIRH documented in Nuestro Texas, a joint report with the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Latinx community has disproportionately suffered from the Texas Legislature’s dismantling of the family planning system. With immigration raids happening regularly, many communities in the state are living in fear, unable to access the health care they need.
But under Jessica’s leadership, NLIRH is not backing down from the challenge and is transforming communities in the Rio Grande Valley and across Texas, building power among the Latinx community, lead by their community organizers, the fierce Poderosas.
Jessica leads the only national reproductive justice organization that specifically works to advance reproductive health and rights for Latinas. She is a strong voice for Latinas and a regular presence in national and local media outlets. She was honored by El Diario/La Prensa, the nation’s oldest and largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, as one of 2009’s “Mujeres Destacadas” (Women of Honor). She is a regular contributor to El Diario/La Prensa and Huffington Post Latino Voices on pressing reproductive health issues in the Latina community, as well as a regular media voice in local and national outlets such as National Public Radio, the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC-FM), the Bill Moyers Show, the Boston Globe and The New York Times. Jessica was featured in Latina Magazine’s “Making Us Proud” series, has been named one of “13 Women of Color to Watch in 2013” by the Center for American Progress and was honored as a “Champion for Choice” by the National Council of Jewish Women.