On April 11th-April 13th, the Civil Liberties and Public Policy program (CLPP) will be hosting its 28th Annual Conference at Hampshire College. The aim of this conference is to connect students, academics, and community activists from varying generations and communities all across the world in a collaborative effort to create, exchange dialogue, share ideas and knowledge, and inspire growth they aspire to strengthen the movement for reproductive freedom and social change. Programming for the conference includes plenaries, workshops, panels, and trainings.
Each year the conference program features Breaking Silences: An Abortion Speak Out. The first speak out took place in 1969 by members of Redstockings, a radical feminist group. Following a discussion comprised of “fifteen male experts” from the New York Joint Legislature Committee to reform a 86-year-old law prohibiting abortion, they maintained that there was a need for women’s voices to be heard. This portion of the conference gives individuals who have had an abortion a platform to share their experience in a safe encouraging space, allowing individuals a healthy and supportive framework to have conversations and engage with their lived experiences.
Previous participants have described the experience as:
“The abortion speak out was one of the most powerful, transformative experiences I have ever had. I’ve worked in reproductive rights advocacy in a variety of ways, but I never expected this event to touch me in the way that it did.” —Jayna P.