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Gender, organising and movement building at the intersection of environmental justice and reproductive justice: executive summary

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A growing number of organisations are making connections between environmental justice (EJ) and reproductive issues. The reproductive justice (RJ) movement is relatively new, and explicit intersectional work with EJ is just beginning to be formally identified and examined. In a relatively short period of time and with limited resources, EJ/RJ groups have collected impressive energy and momentum, developed sophisticated analyses, and won key victories. Commissioned by the Ford Foundation, this document is an executive summary of the following two reports: ‘Fertile ground: women’s organizing at the intersection of environmental justice and reproductive justice’ (Movement Strategy Center 2009) and ‘Climate of opportunity: gender and movement building at the intersection of reproductive justice and environmental justice’ (Women’s Foundation of California 2009). These reports share similar foci and findings - highlighting both funding opportunities and gaps that need to be filled. ‘Fertile ground’ is a national scan of organisations working at the intersection of environmental health and justice and reproductive justice. ‘Climate of opportunity’ shares lessons learned from the EJ/RJ Collaborative, a two-year effort of the Women’s Foundation of California to convene a selected group of community leaders working at the EJ/RJ intersection. This joint executive summary was created to link these efforts in a useful and proactive way. It is intended for funders and community organisations interested in multi-issue movement building, and elevating the voices of women of colour. The following recommendations were developed by the Women’s Foundation of California for Funders to support EJ/RJ work (see the executive summary for details): 1) Map the landscape. 2) Develop measures of success for intersectional organising in collaboration with community-based organisations. 3) Invest in movement building and movement capacity. 4) Convene organisations working across issues. 5) Build the capacity of organisations. 6) Invest in policy advocacy. 7) Focus strategic support on groups led by women of colour that are creating innovative policy solutions. 8) Invest in intermediaries. 9) Build the capacity of foundation staff. 10) Coordinate across funder affinity groups. 11) Keep in mind that different regions and communities have different needs. 12) Help accelerate the engagement of community leaders across issue areas.

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