Programming

The Kinks, Locks & Twists: Environmental and Reproductive Justice Conference ™ features Women of Color from across the United States who are experts in their fields.

Scroll down for a sample of workshops offered at this year’s event.

Plenaries

During the course of the event, attendees will have the opportunity to gather for three separate plenaries.

  • Friday | August 18
    • The Intersection of Reproductive and Environmental Justice with:   
      • Karen Washington
      • Coya White Hat-Artichoker
  • Saturday | August 19
    •  #LoveSowGrow with Dorothy Roberts
    • Resistance and Resilience: our HERstory and the road ahead with Denise Oliver – Vélez

The 2017 Kinks, Locks & Twists Conference™ offers attendees 15 unique workshops over the course of Friday and Saturday.

Workshops

Bad, Boujee, and Toxic

Marissa Chan & Nourbese Flint | Black Women for Wellness

This workshop will explore the role of chemicals in our personal care products, specifically focusing on hair care and hair styling products. Participants will learn about the potential reproductive health impacts of commonly used chemicals, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (hormone mimickers) and the connection to early puberty and menarche. In addition, conversations will surround what can be done on a personal, community, and policy level to eliminate toxics from our consumer products. Black Women for Wellness (BWW) will also share stories and insights from their research with Black hair salon workers, the impacts of occupational exposure, and what you can do as a professional or do-it-yourself hair stylist to protect your health!Cellular Love: Preventing Cancer Through Self Love

Cellular Love: Preventing Cancer Through Self Love

Dr. Jacquilen Tomas, Ali

An exploration of what cancer is, environmental factor to consider, different types of stress and thought patterns that may lead to cancer and what we can do about them. Don’t wait until you are diagnosed with cancer. Be Proactive! Love Yourself! Give Your Body The Best Support For A Healthy Life!

Curls and Condoms: What’s Your Sexual Health Regimen?

Kimberly Huggins and Brittany Brathwaite | KIMBRITIVE

The natural hair community is a dynamic and growing subculture among women of color that encourages women to reclaim who they unapologetically are by embracing their natural curls, kinks and coils.Through multiple outlets such as meetups and social media, (i.e. YouTube channels, Instagram pages, blogs, vlogs) women have open, informational and honest dialogues about their hair care regimens in order to help another improve on theirs. What if we used this same approach and sense of community to foster an environment where women can also feel just as empowered and liberated to talk about their sexual health? What if conversations about our curls happened in tandem with our conversations about condoms?

Dancing Mindfulness with Orixa

Orisha Bowers

Dancing Mindfulness with Orixa combines the seven attitudes of the ancient practice of mindfulness and dance improvisation art as a therapeutic medium to promote healing and wellness. No formal dance experience is required.

Divestin’ from Capitalism, Investin’ in Ecological Justice: Time Banking 101

Johanna James, LaTierra Piphus & Ahnna Scott | The Womanist Working Collective

This workshop is a brief orientation to the concept of Time Banking as a method of developing feasible economic alternatives to transition out of the tragedy that is Capitalism. Time banking is a practical tool that enables cooperation, interdependence, and self-determination amongst its members. For The Womanist Working Collective, this service-exchange system is a network of collective members, grassroots organizations and Black Owned Businesses operating cooperatively to share their talents and mobilize community resources and tap into networks of community support. Our futures depend on transitioning into more Ecologically Just* ways of living, instead of merely surviving off the scraps of our current system.

*[Ecologically Just] Ecological justice (JUSTICE BASED ON APPLIED KNOWLEDGE OF HOME) Ecological Justice is the state of balance between human communities and healthy ecosystems based on thriving, mutually beneficial relationships and participatory self-governance. We see Ecological Justice as the key frame to capture our holistic vision of a better way forward.

Doula Care and Achieving Reproductive Justice

Faith Peterson, M.D

This workshop will highlight the role of doulas as advocates for reproductive justice as they provide support for women, gender non-conforming, and trans people of color across the full spectrum of pregnancy. We will briefly review the history of birthworkers and reproductive health activism in communities of color, examine existing community support and resources with a focus on doulas, and discuss ways to invest in the development of leaders who will promote the work of doulas in obtaining reproductive freedom for ourselves and our communities.

Herbal Maintenance for Reproductive Health

Jennifer Cline

The purpose of this workshop is to provide persons of the reproductive justice movement an introductory level working knowledge of medicinal herbs that have traditionally been used to support the female reproductive system; including when to use them, how to use them, and how to create buying coops to minimize costs. During this workshop we will sample tinctures, smell dried herbs, observe an infusion demo, and have a drawing for an aromatherapy inhaler and essential oil roller.

Love the One You’re With: The Body Positivity Workshop

Janielle Bryan

Transitioning from internet buzzwords to a powerful movement, body positivity has been readily accepted by trans and cis-gendered women alike. As with most movements, marginalized groups (POC, disabled, gender non-conforming etc.) are either underrepresented or completely void in its commercialization. The act of black women taking ownership and loving their bodies is still seen as a radical notion. By relinquishing the narrow standards of beauty the participants can begin building their own ideas. The aim is for the participants to begin or continue the journey of self-acceptance and body positivity in spite of outside influences.

Transitioning from internet buzzwords to a powerful movement, body positivity has been readily accepted by trans and cis-gendered women alike. As with most movements, marginalized groups (POC, disabled, gender non-conforming etc.) are either underrepresented or completely void in its commercialization. The act of black women taking ownership and loving their bodies is still seen as a radical notion. By relinquishing the narrow standards of beauty the participants can begin building their own ideals. The aim is for the participants to begin or continue the journey of self-acceptance and body positivity in spite of outside influences.

Our Bodies are Not Dumping Grounds: Toxic Chemicals, Product Marketing & Health Disparities

Sarada Tangirala

From personal care to feminine hygiene, companies use both toxic chemicals and body-shaming marketing to sell products we use to care for our bodies. People of color are bearing a disproportionate burden of harmful exposure to these chemicals. We are exposed to toxics through inhalation and skin absorption. Vaginal and vulvar tissue in particular is extremely sensitive. Research shows that feminine hygiene products—from tampons and pads, to douches, powders and feminine wipes—can also contain ingredients and contaminants that are harmful to our health. Scented products in particular are exposing us to hidden fragrance chemicals, many of which are linked to cancer, reproductive harm and other serious health problems.

Women are fighting back against this toxic assault and reclaiming their right to safe products. This workshop will describe the latest strides in detoxing the consumer products industry, and highlight what’s coming up in the battle for safer products. From corporate headquarters to Capitol Hill, learn how you can change how decisions affecting your health are made. Don’t let big corporations profit while your health is at risk!

Owning Your Voice as a Black Woman: Communication and Sex

Nhakia Outland

Why is it so difficult to openly talk about our sexual likes and dislikes? This workshop will explore how women, especially women of color can begin to discuss sex and their sexual preferences and desires with their partner(s). This workshop will aim to give women tools to own their voices.

Relaxers Aren’t the Reason: Black Women & Fibroids

Shonettia Monique

This participatory workshop will explore the historical and social impact of oppression on the reproductive health of African American women, specifically how this contributes to our high rate of uterine fibroid tumors. I will share my research – interviews with African American women over the age of 30 with uterine fibroids – and explore the alleged causes, treatment, and prevention options. Workshop participants will gain tools to begin using right away that utilize personal knowledge and community wisdom.

RJ 101

Alana Belle & Lexi White | New Voices for Reproductive Justice

Learn the foundations of Reproductive Justice, the human rights framework, key conditions and concepts, and key movement-building approaches. Identify individual and collective advocacy strategies towards policy shift and sustainable culture change at the local, state and national level.  Distinguish between reproductive health, rights, and justice frameworks.  Identify issue-based entry-points to Reproductive Justice at the central intersections of race, gender, and sexuality while unpacking the politics of allyship.

Self Care for Naturals: Being Naturally You

Nicole Liatos, Alana Lewis, Katherine Morris

Most of the outer labels of our identity place us in boxes or categories relative to other people and societal norms. Many labels were given to us at birth or our circumstances. We are not our circumstance; everyone has a right to write their own truth. We’ll be discussing a multitude of subjects from tools to being your authentic self, self-care and community support for social justice movements. In the gallery group discussion exercise, participants will work in smaller groups and discuss issues related to a certain topic or subject found on the topic cards.

#UrbanWomanism & Other Radical Acts of Resistance (DIY Workshop)

Johanna James, LaTierra Piphus & Ahnna Scott | The Womanist Working Collective

This workshop is basically a Womanism 101 for Beginners-Intermediate learners. We will work(shop) through how this theoretical concept, made mainstream through Walker’s 1983 book “In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: Womanist Prose”, manifests in our everyday lives and the work we do within our collective communities. Additionally, participants will participate in workshop activities that map out their own journey through Womanism and value systems. Contrary to what the name suggests, this concept can be embraced by folks of every gender or no-gender.

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