By Eleanor Grano, 2018 Next Generation Fellow
As a transplant from southern California to Texas, I joined NARAL Pro-Choice Texas’ Next Generation program as a way to better understand Texas’ unremitting war against reproductive health care and to find solidarity in a state with some of the most hostile laws against abortion.
Texas can be disorienting if you’re not accustomed to constantly having to advocate for yourself with an insurance provider about covering your preferred method of birth control and navigating against oppressive systems to access your right to sexual and reproductive health care. Since joining Next Generation, I have found camaraderie, bonded with others in my cohort, discussed the nightmare of accessing abortion services as a woman of color, and shared strategies about talking about being pro-choice in immigrant communities.
The most beneficial aspect of this program for me was learning how to find my voice and reframe the way that abortion is discussed within the Latinx community. I have used the skills that I have learned in our communications training to become a contributing writer to Fierce by Mitu, a Latinx media company where I now cover topics about sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, I have been able to able to participate in a social justice translation training to learn best practices when interpreting for immigrants with limited English proficiency.
From my experience in the program, I have found that NARAL Pro-Choice Texas is committed to building the next group of leaders in the reproductive health care community. Additionally, the Next Generation fellowship is a meaningful way to gain coalition building experience, develop meaningful friendships, professional advancement, as well as an opportunity to learn more about reproductive health care in the great state of Texas.