A singer and spoken word artist who fuses art into her activism, Monica Simpson is executive director of SisterSong, a Ford grantee aimed at improving policies and systems that impact the reproductive rights of women in marginalized communities.
The mission of SisterSong, the largest multiethnic reproductive justice collective in the US, is to ensure women are able to control their futures.
“Reproductive justice is a framework that women of color have been organizing with to bring our communities together around the issues that impact us the most,” says Simpson. “It is a framework that's intersectional. It advocates for the human right to have the children that we want, to not have children, and to end pregnancies or to have access to the contraceptives that we need to determine how we want to make family or not. Overall, reproductive justice is about the human right to self-determine, the ability to be able to live free from fear and violence and so that we are able to have healthy lives, and to grow and to live into our destinies.”
Simpson has found her calling in the reproductive justice movement, and through SisterSong, advocates for gender equality that’s intersectional and helps lead to social change.
“I feel this movement is my political home and it was waiting for me. I've done work in queer liberation work, and I've done work against the prison-industrial complex and so many other things that are super important to me. But this was the first movement where I felt like I could bring all parts of me together. And I didn't have to separate anything to be fully present in this work. My uterus, my queerness, my blackness—everything about who I am was centered and held sacred and was honored in this movement,” she says.
Simpson is part of the #FutureIsHers multimedia series of interviews, essays, and more, celebrating the innovators, risk-takers, and change-makers the Ford Foundation has proudly supported and the impact they’ve had on the lives of women and girls everywhere. Despite the many challenges women and girls face, around the world they’re rising up. Determined and persistent, they’re leading the way in showing us what gender justice looks like, disrupting inequality and creating a world where social change is possible: The future is hers.