Echoing Ida

About Echoing Ida:

Echoing Ida is a group of women thinkers, writers, and change agents committed to amplifying the perspectives of our communities in online and social media around pressing social justice issues.  Grounded in the legacy of Ida B. Wells-Barnett who wrote extensively about the devastating truths of racism and sexism in the United States - documenting lynchings, exposing Jim Crow, fighting for quality education, and pushing for women’s suffrage - we endeavor to create an echo chamber of our truths that moves us all toward wholeness and justice.

Who We Are

Recognizing the need for a platform for Black women’s thought leadership, Forward Together supported the formation of Echoing Ida in the Fall of 2012. Echoing Ida is an intentional community of Black women who are building relationships and skills, heightening Black women’s visibility and thought leadership all while ensuring that writing for social justice is sustainable for us and those who will come after. We live and work throughout the United States as educators, organizers, policy advocates, communications professionals, community members, mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends. We expose uncomfortable truths around issues of race and gender and provide provocative commentary on conversations in which our voices are not frequently heard - health carecontraception, voting rightspain managementcancerour foremothersour biological mothersalliessafe sexabortionmaternal health, and teen parenting, among many others. We support one another to break down walls of isolation among Black women: brainstorming together, setting and achieving writing goals, finding our voices, and celebrating each other’s success for it benefits us all. 

Our thought-provoking work is frequently featured on EBONY.com, RH Reality Check, and Salon in addition to many other online sites. We also present at conferences and can be contacted individually (see below for individual writers' biographies and contact information). You can follow us on Twitter @EchoingIda.

We post frequently on the Strong Families blog and our personal websites (see below for individual writers' biographies and websites). For more information, reposting, and to discuss partnership, please contact us by email. 

Why Ida

Ms. Wells-Barnett was a courageous woman in any time - owning her controversial words and the paper in which they were printed. Echoing Ida humbly attempts to pick up where she left off: documenting the devastating effects of a racist patriarchal system from the perspectives of those most impacted and least regarded. In this day and age when words get twisted, truth is mired under thickness of deceit, and pundits with a microphone shape public discourse, we have our ears tuned to her call and the echo resonates through our bones. We shout through our fingers onto the page in hopes that our truths will open a way for justice in this generation and the next. Though the sound originated more than a century ago, we hear the echo, we are Echoing Ida.

Alicia Walters

Alicia WaltersAlicia Walters staffs Echoing Ida as the Movement Building Director at Forward Together. She began Echoing Ida to showcase Black women’s leadership, heighten their visibility, and create space for building authentic relationships and developing writing skills. As an organizer and policy advocate Alicia has worked to end the shackling of pregnant incarcerated women, address mass incarceration and the treatment of folks inside, combat the school to prison pipeline, ensure comprehensive sex education, and fiercely counter the manipulation of Black people’s realities for political or financial gain. Her writing interests span the many intersections of race, gender, sexuality, personal growth, spirituality, and art. She has worked in classrooms, rural villages, women + family shelters, correctional facilities, and non-profit institutions. As the coordinator for Echoing Ida, Alicia happily edits and supports her sisters while building media partnerships that ensure their $uccess. Follow Alicia on Twitter at @aliciamwalters and reach out if you’re interested in joining or would like to partner.

Shanelle Matthews

Shanelle MatthewsShanelle currently serves her community as a committed new and online media communications professional and advocate working within the reproductive justice movement. She creates visibility for women of color and families on the margins who have strategically been left out of the socio-political debate on reproductive health and rights.

Additionally, Shanelle conducts research in the area of Black women's maternal health with the Black Women's Birthing Justice Collective which works toward an end to the disproportionately high maternal and fetal mortality rates for women of the African Diaspora by challenging the medical violence inflicted upon women of color. Sheis currently co-editing an anthology called Birthing Justice -- Saving Our Lives.

By profession, Shanelle is a journalist with a deep-seated feel for the needs of those on the margins. Using media as a tool for social change can foster a future where the traditionally disenfranchised and oppressed can have their voices heard, their needs met and the support they so desperately need.

She has a bachelors in Journalism from Louisiana State University in New and Online Media. After graduating from The Manship School of Mass Communications, she worked as a freelance journalist in New York covering issues like racial and reproductive justice, urban development & redistricting and birthing justice.  She's wrriten for mediums like Women's eNews, The Women's Media Center, The Root, Crunk Feminist Collective and Racialicious. Shanelle identifies as a Black feminist and has a vested interest in writing about issues affecting Black women's health in America.

Shanelle is a member of International Black Writers & Artists, National Association of Black Journalists & the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) and on the editorial board of Ella's Voice a blog of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. She is on the board of directors of the National Network of Abortion Funds. Her deep-seated interest in social issues stems from a broad perspective of ventures, some good, some not so good but all lessons of the heart. Shanelle works for the ACLU in San Francisco.

Follow Shanelle on Twitter at @freedom_writer.

Jazmine Walker

Jazmine WalkerJazmine is a big finewoman and a fellow at RuralSupport Partners in Asheville, North Carolina. She came of age in a largely black working class community in Mississippi's state capital. She entered the University of Mississippi as a STEM major at 17. Though she successfully completed her degree in Biochemistry, she also majored in African American Studies because she felt that her talents were better suited for advocating with and for marginalized populations. This passion led her to pursue a Master of Arts degree in sociology. During that time, Jazmine interned for SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective,where she worked on projects related to not only reproductive health, but also issues that impacted communities of color. She has also conducted research on workplace culture, media studies, and social movement organizations. She continues to work with theTrust Black Women campaign, which is a partnership of women who work that black women have the human right to make their own decisions about their reproductive lives.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter at @JAZonyaMINE.

Malika Redmond

Malika RedmondMalika Redmond (lead gender justice researcher) founded the International Black Youth Summit (IBYS) at age 14. After graduating from Spelman College with a degree in Comparative Women Studies, she began a career as an advocate and organizer for national justice organizations such as Choice USA, National Center for Human Rights Education, and SisterSong. Malika was one of the youngest national field organizers for the 2004 March for "Women's Lives" in Washington, D.C., which brought nearly 1 million participants to the national mall and is considered one of the largest marches in U.S. history. She worked for the Spelman College Women's Research and Resource Center (WRRC) as a coordinator of the Audre Lorde Black Lesbian Feminist Project, raising awareness of LGBTQ student concerns at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is completing her eight years tenure on the Board of the National Women's Health Network. As Political Research Associates' Lead Gender Justice Researcher, Malika will utilize her extensive international social justice organizing experience and training in intersectional analysis to write about the Right's strategies to suppress gender equality.

Follow Malika on Twitter at @MalikaRedmond.

Bianca Campbell

Bianca Campbell is an aspiring mother—constantly on the hunt to improve herself and her community to create at least a small niche of the planet where she feels empowered as a queer mama of color. Hobbies include laughing hysterically at pictures of babies in Halloween costumes, celebrating Black brilliance, cupcakes and discussing the intersections of race, mamahood, gender, class, sexuality, incarceration, wellness, and resilience.

On paper, Campbell’s undergraduate degree is in political science, but she also studied public relations and improvisional theater. She moved to Atlanta, GA after post-graduation research in Hawaii and South Korea on the impact media has on queer liberation. Developing her politic in the South has been her most rewarding class to date. Every day is an opportunity to dig deeper in to a rich history across her many identities. Campbell currently works at SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW as their public policy lead and can be found buzzing around the Georgia state capitol.

She is severely overjoyed at the opportunity to write, build and grow with other women as a writer. She looks forward to bonding virtually with many more activists in the pursuit of body autonomy and liberation!

Taja Lindley

Taja Lindley is a courageous, truth-telling creatures. An unapologetically proud queer femme feminist. Daughter of a single mother. Eldest of three sisters. Committed to the wellness, creativity and reproductive justice of women and girls of color.

An 80’s baby born in New York and raised in the south, she currently lives in Brooklyn with diasporic connections to Antigua, Panama, Costa Rica, China, Portugal and sub-Saharan Africa. In 2007 she received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she designed her own major concentrating in public policy and knowledge production with a focus on health and women of color. For the past 11 years she has worked in non-profits, research institutes, and government on policies and programming that impact women and girls, communities of color, low/no/fixed-income families, queer people, youth and immigrants.

She is the founder and Managing Member of Colored Girls Hustle, LLC, an Associate Artist with Body Ecology Performance Ensemble, a full-spectrum doula with The Doula Project and a proud member of Echoing Ida. Her writing has appeared on RH Reality Check, Feministe and Racialicious. You can follow her on twitter @tajalindley.

Gloria Malone

Gloria Malone is an outspoken and unapologetic proud teenage mother and advocate in NYC. She has been on major news publications like the New York Times and the O'Reily Factor discussing teenage pregnancy prevention through Comprehensive Sex Education and supporting teenage families, not abstinence only sex education and stigma.
 

Politics, policy, and people are her passions and she hopes to further pursue them upon graduating Baruch College with her degree in Public Affairs.
 

Gloria also writes for several online publications and blogs regularly on her personal blog teenmomnyc.com andrealteenagefamilies.tumblr.com you can follow her on twitter @gloriamalone.

Jasmine Burnett

Jasmine Burnett is a dynamic leader with a mission to collect a set of contributions that will transform the way society thinks about Justice, Love & Diversity. Since 2009, Jasmine has been a Reproductive Justice leader and grassroots organizer in New York City.  She is the Lead Organizer of New York Coalition for Reproductive Justice (NYC4RJ), formerly organized as SisterSong NYC.  Jasmine also advocates for the Right to Sexual Pleasure and to Define Families through her online community, Aunt Betty’s Basement.  This Sexual Rights community focuses on networking, dialogue and community building of Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender people of color.
Jasmine’s work was acknowledged and she was a recipient of the esteemed  2012 Gloria Award for her partnership and advocacy with Raising Women’s Voices for the Healthcare We Need on health reform and women of color in New York State. 
Currently, Jasmine is consulting with a number of organizations nationally and in New York City.  She is the Founder and Principal of a new domestic human rights consulting firm Organized Roots LLC  where she uses the breadth of her passions and skills in the service of, “Strengthening Solutions and Sustainability for Social Justice”.  In New York State, she has been a champion on addressing health equity for women and girls of color through a statewide consumer health coalition Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), focused on advocacy for the New York State Health Exchange. As a member of HCFANY she sat on the Health Equity Taskforce and the LGBT Taskforce. She is also a member of the New York Alliance for Women’s Health. She is also a participant in the Black Women's Blueprint Writing Circle. Follow Jasmine on Twitter at @BlkFeminst.

Renee Bracey Sherman

Renee Bracey Sherman is a reproductive justice and storytelling activist who shares her own abortion experience to encourage others who have had abortions to speak out and end the silence and stigma. Renee writes about abortion, public policy, allyship, health care, pop culture, and their intersections with Black women's lives. Her work has been featured on BBC Radio World Newshour, EBONY.com, Salon, RH Reality Check, Feministing.com, and Feministe.com. Renee is a graduate student at Cornell University pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration, and sits on the advisory board of Sea Change Program. In 2013, Renee received the Justice Award from ACCESS Women’s Health Justice for her volunteer work housing women traveling 4-5 hours for their abortions. Follow her on Twitter at @.

Elizabeth Dawes Gay

Elizabeth Dawes Gay believes that health is a human right and has devoted her life’s work to helping create a world where all people have the necessary tools, resources, and opportunities to live well and healthy lives.   She has a particular passion for maternal, reproductive, and sexual well-being.    

Elizabeth works as a reproductive health, rights, and justice advocate in Washington, DC.   She is also an active member of the Women’s Information Network and served as co-chair of both the Women’s Health Policy and Women of Color sub-networks where, among other activities, she helped plan and implement the network’s first political leadership training to address issues specific to women of color. 

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @edawesgay.  Learn more about her work at http://elizabethdawesgay.com.

Amber J. Phillips

Amber J. Phillips is an organizer who aims to empower women, people of color, young people, and underserved communities to have equal access to opportunities in order to produce the type of change that will create options. Amber was raised in Columbus, Ohio and currently resides in Washington D.C. She attended Chatham College for Women in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she earned her Bachelors of Social Work and Cultural Studies with a concentration in African American Studies. Amber currently works at Advocates for Youth as the Manager of Campus Organizing where she trains and supports young people in becoming activists on their campuses and in their communities as they fight for issues that include: sexual health awareness, LGBTQ rights, gender equality, and ending the stigma around abortion through the 1 in 3 Campaign. You can reach out and follow Amber on twitter: @AmberJPhillips.

Samantha Daley

Samantha Daley is a senior and soon-to-be graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Her major of studies is Biomedical Sciences and Health Sciences with a minor in Women’s Studies.  She is the president of the Choice USA chapter at her college, and also is a former Choice USA student correspondent.

In participating as a Choice USA blogger, she has been able to share her points of view on a number of issues. Samantha has helped perform research on bullying and harassment in middle schools, and also volunteers at The Inspiration Family Birth Center in Winter Park Florida. Samantha is passionate about all things surrounding reproductive justice, and one day hopes to open up a women’s clinic.

 

Cynthia Greenlee

Cynthia R. Greenlee is a writer and historian-in-training based in North Carolina. A native Southerner, Cynthia has a master's in journalism from the University of North Carolina (go, Heels!) and is now completing her doctorate in American history at Duke University. She specializes in African-American women's and legal history of the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. She began her writing career with an unintelligible picture book at age 5 and worked as a journalist in daily newspapers. As a journalist, Cynthia was awarded the National Association for Black Journalists Ethel Payne fellowship for reporting in Africa. In the wake of media consolidation, Cynthia transitioned into communications work for international health organizations. Today, she writes historically informed pieces that connect the contemporary (and sometimes the personal) with current events and policies related to race, the arts and reproductive issues. She fundamentally believes that it is possible -- and imperative -- for academics to be socially and politically engaged. She is a founding board member of the Carolina Abortion Fund, a nonprofit that helps women in need fund their abortion procedures. Her writing has been published at the now defunct-Africana.com, Dissent, Ebony.com, The Independent Weekly, Ms. magazine, and RH Reality Check, among other outlets. She is currently at work on a book about African-Americans and abortion. You can follow her musings about reproductive rights and justice, history, popular culture and her adventures as an animal-rescue advocate on Twitter @CynthiaGreenlee.