Mia Mingus is a self-proclaimed liberation worker.
She brings attention to disability justice, race, reproductive justice, gender, queer liberation, transformative justice, transracial and transnational adoption, multiple oppressed identities and multi-issue politics though her writing and speaking engagements around the country.
And on Wednesday, Mingus addressed the Woman At Noon audience on the topic of reproductive justice.
She presented â€œGrowing a Reproductive Justice Movement in Georgia,â€ a project she worked on as former co-director of Atlanta-based SPARK Reproductive Justice Now in Atlanta.
â€œI could talk non-stop about reproductive justice for a month straight and still not be done,â€ Mingus said. â€œItâ€™s so incredibly complex.â€
Instead, she presented an hour-long overview of the evolution of reproductive health, beginning with the fight for choice, privacy and advocacy.
â€œItâ€™s not just about abortion anymore,â€ Mingus said. â€œFighting for the right to choose what we do with our bodies was a start.â€
Movements centered on reproductive rights transitioned into campaigns for more access to education about reproductive issues and body health.
â€œRights and education seemed to be available to upper class white women,â€ Mingus said. â€œWomen of color were being ignored.â€
Now, Mingus recognizes the urgency and barriers for oppressed communities to work together and build alliances to improve the quality of reproductive health.
â€œWe need to find the causes of inequality,â€ she said. â€œWhy donâ€™tâ€™ rape victims have access to contraception? For example, justice means seeing the connections between things that happen and why they happen.â€
Mingus paused midway through her presentation and asked, â€œare we doing OK, this can get pretty heavy?â€ She then went on to stress that changes canâ€™t be counted on to happen at the policy level.
â€œItâ€™s not that government involvement isnâ€™t good, thatâ€™s great,â€ Mingus said. â€œItâ€™s just that most people donâ€™t have access to that, and if you are working in policy, youâ€™re probably not talking to those working in the clinics.â€
Reproductive justice involves everything from womenâ€™s rights to not give birth or their right to bear children, to raise children and to choose what kind of children they want to bear. It involves child welfare services, health awareness, access to resources and services, policy and general quality of life.
â€œIf you live in a hostile environment, your health may be your last concern,â€ Mingus said. â€œAnd what good is a clinic if you canâ€™t access it because youâ€™re working or donâ€™t have transportation.â€
She explained that there are many communities within one community that are marginalized and face control and discrimination which affect the overall reproductive health of the community.
â€œWe need to be able to understand the complexity of all this and collaborate in the same way,â€ Mingus said.
Sexual Assault Education Coordinator Monica Collins, from the Office of Womenâ€™s Programs and Studies, was thrilled to have Mingus as a speaker in this weekâ€™s series.
â€œThis is a really important topic,â€ Collins said. â€œAll the sessions are really great though.â€
â€œThese wouldnâ€™t happen without the input of the community,â€ she said. â€œGive us your suggestions for topics youâ€™d like to learn about. This is for you.â€
The Women At Noon series is sponsored by the Office of Womenâ€™s Programs and Studies at CSU. It takes place every Wednesday at noon, free of charge and open to the public.
Staff writer Emily Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Women at Noon events
Oct. 13: â€œWomen and Attention Deficits,â€ LSC Rm. 208
Oct. 20: â€œSay Yes to Life,â€ understanding inner wisdom, LSC Rm. 220-22
Oct 27: â€œKeepinâ€™ It Reel,â€ race and gender in mainstream media, LSC Rm. 220-22
Nov. 3: Native Womenâ€™s Circle
Nov. 10: Intersex and Transgender Panel, LSC Rm. 220-22
Nov. 17: â€œDomestic Violence in America,â€ LSC Rm. 220-22