2019 NCCASA Biennial Conference: Day One Keynote Speaker: Loretta J. Ross!

March 4, 2019

Loretta Ross is a Visiting Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at various colleges teaching “Reproductive Justice Theory and Practice” and “Race and Culture in the U.S.”. She started her career in the women’s movement in the 1970s, working at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center. She was a co-founder and the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective a network founded in 1997 of women of color and allied organizations that organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement. She is one of the creators of the term “Reproductive Justice” coined by African American women in 1994 that has transformed reproductive politics in the U.S.

Ross has appeared on CNN, BET, “Lead Story,” “Good Morning America,” “The Donahue Show,” “Democracy Now,” “Oprah Winfrey Radio Network,” and “The Charlie Rose Show. She is a nationally-recognized trainer on using the transformative power of Reproductive Justice to build a Human Rights movement that includes everyone. Ms. Ross is an expert on women’s issues, racism and intolerance, human rights, and violence against women. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of social justice issues and how this affects social change and service delivery in all movements.

Loretta as a rape survivor, was forced to raise a child born of incest, and she is also a survivor of sterilization abuse. She is a model of how to survive and thrive despite the traumas that disproportionately affect low-income women of color. She is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.

She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University and a second honorary doctorate degree awarded from Smith College in 2013. Her most recent books are Reproductive Justice: An Introduction co-written with Rickie Solinger and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique, both published in 2017. Her forthcoming book is Calling In the Calling Out Culture due out in 2019.

Awards (partial)

  • American Humanist Association
  • Humanist Heroine Award, 1998  DePaul University Cultural Center Diversity Award
  • 2001  Georgia Committee on Family Violence, Gender Justice Award
  • 2002  SisterLove Women’s HIV/AIDS Resource Project Award
  • South Africa, 2002  National Center for Human Rights Education
  • First Mother of Human Rights Education Award
  • 2004  Feminist Women’s Health Center, Stand Up for Choice Award
  • 2005  NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia, Blazing Arrow Award
  • 2006  Federation of Haitian Women
  • 2007  Women’s Medical Fund of Philadelphia
  • 2008  International Black Women’s Congress
  • Oni Award
  • 2010  Women Helping Women Revolutionary Award
  • 2011, Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness Legacy Award 2015
  • National Women’s Health Network Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women’s Health 2015.
  • Woodhull Sexual Freedom Network, Vicky Award 2017
  • Sister Fire Award