2024 Reproductive Justice Symposium: Moving Towards Action

June 25th, 2024

The Massachusetts Sexual and Reproductive Health Training Center thanks you for helping make the first annual Reproductive Justice Symposium a great success!


The Training Center partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), state and national experts, and community leaders to bring together a day filled with opportunities to explore how reproductive justice influences your work. Our goal was to assist in identifying practical steps to advance reproductive justice in the communities you serve. The day featured a mix of plenary sessions, workshops, and peer-to-peer discussions.

The Reproductive Justice Symposium took place on June 25th, 2024 from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM in Waltham, MA. The symposium location was sent out to the participants who registered.

The event has passed and registration is closed.


Reproductive Justice Symposium agenda in table format - see below for text version

Morning Keynote

Before, During, and After: Reproductive Justice and the Patient ExperienceSpeaker: Nicole Clark

This plenary session delves into the dynamics of patient-provider interactions in clinical settings, using Reproductive Justice as a strategy to understand the before, during, and after of a patient's experience when accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Through personal examination and application, this plenary illuminates how providers can examine clinical policies, practices, procedures, and how they engage patients to foster a more just and inclusive healthcare experience.

Morning Breakout Sessions

Breakout Option 1: Incarceration of Women & Girls and the Intersection of Reproductive Justice Speaker: Andrea James, JD

Three core values of reproductive justice are the right to have a child, the right to not have a child, and the right to parent a child or children in safe and healthy environments. The feminist movement has been the unwavering defenders of these rights, although it has left behind the fight on behalf of incarcerated women and girls. Still today major leading reproductive justice organizations are not willing to engage with or support campaigns to stop the incarceration of women and girls, or even to include incarcerated women and girls as a focal point of their advocacy. In this workshop we will explore the state of incarceration of women and girls in the country, the overall failures of the healthcare system for incarcerated women and girls, and the inhumane and dangerous conditions for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls resulting from the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Breakout Option 2: Why Reproductive Health is an Economic Justice Issue

Topic One: Reproductive Rights: A Building Block for Economic Democracy, Speaker: Dr. Alexandra Piñeros Shields

Two of the central goals of economic justice are the promotion of economic democracy and a solidarity economy. These goals are impossible to achieve unless people, especially those who have been historically marginalized and exploited, including women, poor people, and people of color, are able to exercise full rights along all the lines of agency, including bodily autonomy. This presentation will explore the ways that full reproductive rights are fundamental for women, especially poor women and women of color, to active participation in economic decision-making at the individual and community level.

Topic Two: When Contraceptive Access Becomes State-Sponsored Coercion: Recognizing Eugenics and Social Darwinism in Contemporary Public Health Practice, Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Janiak

This presentation will describe the recent rise in government-sponsored contraceptive access initiatives, highlighting instances in which the rhetoric surrounding these initiatives and their implementation practices have echoed eugenicist ideas. We will explore why access to contraception is essential to, but not sufficient for, achieving economic justice, and what policies states can implement to directly support financial wellbeing rather than relying on contraceptive access as a panacea.

Breakout Option 3: Building High-Trust Relationships Speaker: Tajan B. Renderos, MPH

As a Clinician, building trust isn't just a choice; it's the cornerstone of client-centered relationships that can impact reproductive health decision-making and access. As an Administrator it's essential to your team's success. “Build High Trust Relationships” explores the key drivers of high trust relationships and includes a highly interactive activity to equip you with the skills needed to evaluate trust in your workplace relationships as well as concrete strategies to build more trust with colleagues or clients.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Breakout Option 1: No Bodymind Left Behind: Implementing Disability Justice Principles Speakers: Aida Manduley, LICSW & Bianca Laureano, PhD

As our interconnected peoples experience mass disabling events like pandemics and war, it is imperative we include disability justice in our approaches to building, creating, and implementing care. Embodying our commitments to justice and public wellbeing requires more than just good intentions; we are here to help you move toward greater action. Building an accessible world where disabled people have and maintain autonomy is possible! In this session we will discuss and identify actionable steps for advancing disability justice in our communities and in the ones we serve. Participants will leave with knowledge of disability justice principles, resources to consult, concrete interventions they can start practicing immediately, and longer term steps toward our collective liberation and support. Let’s start today and practice interdependence by wearing masks in this session led by two disabled educators who are also long-time activists and cultural workers! Masks are offered before entering.

Slides from the session can be found here.

Breakout Option 2: You Are Rose That Grows From The Concrete Facilitator: Jason M. Cruz, MA, ATR

In this session, you will have time to "Make Art Stuff". You will use your words and stories with a mix of found and new materials to create and design a one-of-a-kind flora. With simple and accessible supplies you will create a never seen or encountered flora. You already have the lived experience, no green thumb is needed. The combination of Community, Beats, and creativity is all you will need for this workshop. Yes, YOU ARE ENOUGH to "Make Art Stuff.

Breakout Option 3: Care Not Complicity: Disrupting Criminalization of Pregnant Patients in Healthcare Settings Speakers: Centering Equity, Race, and Cultural Literacy in Family Planning (CERCL-FP)

While the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision, which eliminated the Constitutional right to abortion, has brought the criminalization of abortion care to the forefront in the public narrative, the criminalization of people seeking health care is not new. In fact, health care institutions and health care providers have not lived up to the oath they take to “Do No Harm,” and instead act as agents of the State. From the arrest and prosecution of those seeking to self-manage their own abortion care to drug testing of people during pregnancy without their consent, health care providers frequently participate in the initiation and facilitation of criminalization of the patients they are charged with caring for. In this session, we will (1) explore the longstanding connection between the medical industrial complex and the prison industrial complex, as well as its implications for care (2) discuss examples of the ways that criminalization occurs within health care systems, and (3) identify ways that health care providers can interrupt these practices.

Afternoon Plenary

Power to Practice: Connecting Joy to Meaningful Work Speakers: Kai Williams and Cedric Pulliam, PhD

What brings you meaning in your work? What are the moments and the stories that bring you joy? Participants will reflect on personal elements related to joy, motivation, purpose, and meaning in their self-led journey at the interaction of RJ and SRH.

Slides from their session can be found here.


Nicole Clark, LMSW

Nicole Clark, LMSW (she/her) is a licensed social worker and owner of Nicole Clark Consulting, where she partners with mission aligned BIPOC-centered, women-led, and allied organizations whose work supports the lived experiences and advancement of women, girls, femmes and gender expansive youth of color. Using a Reproductive Justice-informed and intersectional approach, Nicole leads, partners with and consults on projects related to participatory research, program design, strategic planning, and culturally responsive and equitable evaluation. Nicole is based in Washington, DC.


Elizabeth Janiak, ScD

Elizabeth Janiak is an interdisciplinary public health researcher and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and serves as Director of Social Science Research for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts ASPIRE Center. Her research explores how government and institutional policies create inequities in access to and quality of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care, including contraceptive, abortion, and obstetric services. Current projects include several studies of mifepristone use for abortion and early pregnancy loss, social factors shaping postpartum contraceptive use, and the impacts of abortion-related travel following the Dobbs decision.


Dr. Alexandra Piñeros Shields

Dr. Alexandra Piñeros Shields, an Associate Professor of the Practice of Racial Equity directs the Master of Public Policy Program at the Heller School, Brandeis University. Prior to joining the Heller faculty, she was the Executive Director of the Essex County Community Organization (ECCO), an interfaith, interracial, and interclass network of 40 congregation. During her tenure as executive director, she transformed the organization into one guided by womanist, antiracist, anti-imperialist democratic operating principles that center Blacks and Latinos in all levels of organizational decision-making. Through her leadership, ECCO became a “laboratory for democracy.” By centering people who are most affected by our systems of mass incarceration, ECCO leaders of color created and led campaigns for justice. Those included the establishment of immigrant sanctuary policies in four cities; preventing two sheriffs from signing agreements with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); implicit bias trainings for the entire police department in Lynn, MA; and the development of an unarmed crises response team to respond to mental health emergencies instead of police. Prof. Piñeros Shields served on Gov. Deval Patrick’s design team for the New Americans Agenda, an immigrant integration
policy agenda. Because her model is rooted in civil rights leader Ella Baker’s teaching, “people can think and act for themselves,” Prof. Piñeros Shields sees herself as a Midwife for Power. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Board of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and on the Boards of the ACLU of Massachusetts and Philanthropy Massachusetts.

Tajan Braithwaite-Renderos

Tajan is an ICF ACC credentialed leadership development coach who helps leaders integrate a coaching approach to management so they can easily navigate the most challenging parts of people management-such as conflict and tough conversations with ease through workshops, coaching, learning collaboratives and consulting. Tajan has served as a manager and evaluator for national public health training centers and has served as a former Director for a Center for Health Equity at JSI. She has given talks, and conducted training sessions for companies including Twitter, Cooley, LLP, Intel, and others. Tajan has coached hundreds of clients with techniques centered around her proprietary MCDC framework©, her clients work at companies across diverse industries such as Netflix, Dropbox, Suffolk Construction, BMW, Mediabrands, and others.



Bianca I. Laureano, PhD, MA2, CSE, CSES

Bianca is a fat light skinned disabled queer AfraLatina who is smiling and looking to the right. Her hands are clasped and we see her orange fingernails and gold rings. She is wearing light blue heart shaped glasses, red lipstick, and has large round gold earrings. Her hair is up and her blondish brown curls cascade around her head. A black t-shirt that scoops across her shoulders reveals her many tattoos on her arms. Bianca I Laureano is an award-winning educator, curriculum writer, and sexologist. She is a co-foundress of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network and ANTE UP! a virtual freedom school. She has written curricula and led the curriculum development for the award-winning Netflix film Crip Camp and PBS documentary I Didn’t See You There, both guided by disability justice principles. She is an AASECT certified sexuality educator and supervisor and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the California Institute for Integral Studies for her work in expanding the US sexuality field. She is the editor of The People’s Book of Human Sexuality: Expanding the Sexology Archive (2023). Find out more about Bianca at her website BiancaLaureano.com and about ANTE UP! 

Aida Manduley, LICSW

Aida Manduley is an award-winning Latinx organizer, bilingual clinician, and international presenter/consultant known for big earrings and building bridges. Trained as a sexuality educator, social worker, and nonprofit executive, they’re working to make the world a more equitable place and get us all more comfortable with hard conversations. Their focus on healing and liberation centers marginalized communities, and their perspective aims to maximize kindness while retaining both a sense of humor and a sense of justice. With 15+ years of experience and degrees from Brown University and Boston University, Mx. Manduley’s areas of specialization include trauma, neurodivergence affirming care, anti-carceral justice systems, and the integration of pleasure/play into...well, everything! They're currently based in Boston where they have a thriving therapeutic practice at The Meeting Point and hold leadership positions in many organizations including Cambridge HEART (Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team). You may also find them lifting heavy weights, making colorful ceramics, or dancing even when there's no music playing.


Jason M. Cruz, MA, A.T.R

Jason Cruz, of Puerto Rican descent, is an Expressive Arts Therapist with over 25 years of dedicated experience supporting underserved communities. Currently, he serves as the Director of Culture and Experience at Raw Art Works, a youth arts organization deeply rooted in art therapy. In this role, he guides staff, leads therapeutic groups, and shapes program development. His expertise has been showcased at esteemed events such as the NYC Art Therapy Conference and the American Art Therapy Association’s 50th Anniversary Conference. Jason has also spoken at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, Lesley University, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Recognized for his commitment to supporting underserved youth, Jason has received numerous awards including the Isaac Monroe Award for Service to Youth and Bank of America’s National Award for Excellence in Community. Jason is deeply committed to harnessing the power of art to drive positive change, inspiring transformation through therapy, education, and community engagement. Jason holds a Master of Arts in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University.


Centering Equity, Race, and Cultural Literacy in Family Planning (CERCL-FP)

Is a collective of 13 physicians and one critical race theory law professor of color. We are multiracial, multiethnic, intergenerational, polyglot, transnational, and represent diverse immigrant and LGBTQ+ experiences. Our mission is to implement racial justice frameworks to advance family planning healthcare by centering communities of color, embracing stories, fostering dialogue, and transforming systems of education, research, mentorship, leadership, advocacy, clinical care, and family and community engagement.


Cedric Pulliam, PhD (Advancing Health Equity)

After serving nearly 13 years as a public servant in the U.S. federal government with a focus on foreign diplomacy, global and public health (HIV), global human rights and gender equality, international development, and multilateral diplomacy – he has rooted his federal career in the objectives of access, community, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout his work. He values the role of community, ensuring their voices are heard and seen within policies and programs, and continues to volunteer within the public health corps within his local community – the epitome of a community-oriented public health practitioner. He recently served as the Director of Global Public Policy at Prevention Access Campaign. Throughout his federal career, Cedric has served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Congressional Research Service, and the U.S. Department of the Air Force. Cedric founded CDP Consulting, LLC, which was started in 2014 to assist recent veterans in career and professional development and transitioned into a public health and health equity consultancy company in 2018. Through CDP Consulting, LLC, Dr. Pulliam provides health equity and patient advocacy consulting to several industry, government, and nonprofit entities within the Atopic Dermatitis, HIV, IBD and Crohn’s Disease communications, clinical research and patient access and quality of care areas. Dr. Pulliam attended Elon University, obtained International Studies and Political Science bachelor’s degrees, and was recognized with the 2022 Top 10 Under 10 Alumni and 2017 LGBTQIA Community Enrichment awards. Cedric received a 2012 full-tuition fellowship from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, where he obtained his first master’s degree in International Relations and European Studies. He went on to complete graduate studies at Georgetown University and George Mason University, focusing on International Development and Conflict Resolution, and completed his doctoral studies in Health and Medical Psychology at Northcentral University.

Kai Williams (Advancing Health Equity)

Kai Williams is a consultant, leadership coach, facilitator, and executive leader with nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. Most of her career has been in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and harm reduction. She’s held positions spanning from Training and Operations Manager to Sr. VP of Healthcare Delivery and Interim Co-CEO. She has extensive experience leading organizational change and in the “art” of balancing the needs of patients, employees, and the health of the business as an accountable leader. Kai’s mission is to improve the culture, experience, outcomes, and effectiveness of healthcare organizations and individuals.
Through training sessions, assessments, and coaching, she works to create environments, systems, and individuals that prioritize equity, inclusivity, and anti-racism. Kai has honed her practice with specialized training, including a certification in Executive Healthcare Leadership, Change Management, Facilitative Leadership for Social Change, Mind Sciences on Difference, and Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations.

The symposium will be following MPDH and CDC guidance with regards to COVID. Masking is optional* (see below) and masks will be provided at registration. Optional COVID tests will be provided at registration. If you have symptoms of a respiratory virus, such as a fever, sore throat, cough or a runny or stuffy nose, we kindly ask that you stay home.

*Masking will be required for the Breakout session titled “No Bodymind Left Behind: Implementing Disability Justice Principles.”

Contact us at masrhtrainingcenter@jsi.com for more information or questions.

This page will be updated regularly with more information.

Contact us at masrhtrainingcenter@jsi.com for more information or questions!