Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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A Message From Answer's Executive Director

Like many of you, we at Answer are heartbroken over the ongoing tragic loss of black and brown people throughout the country.

George Floyd
Ahmaud Arbery
Breonna Taylor
Botham Jean
Stephon Clark
Philando Castile
Freddie Gray
Tamir Rice
Michael Brown
Eric Garner
Trayvon Martin

And so many more.

I share their names, because their lives matter. I know, unequivocally, that Black Lives Matter. I am, however, clear that there are no words that can capture the gravity of the pain and suffering caused by centuries of overt and covert racism in our country. Instead, I want you to know that Answer is working to advance change.

Two years ago, we launched an initiative to increase our understanding of how racial bias intersects with sexual and reproductive health. We have spent time together learning and unlearning to build a foundation in which we would center racial and reproductive justice in our work. We explored the work of Loretta Ross, Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, Margaret Sanger and others. We examined the impact racist ideas have on the provision of health care for people of color as well as the exploitation of subjects of color in unethical research, such as the Tukskegee experiment and the Puerto Rico pill trials. Finally, in August 2019, we put some of our learning into action. During the Sex, Etc. teen staff’s orientation, we provided training for the 2019-2020 teen staff on reproductive justice, including a session on intersectionality and its impact on the sexual and reproductive health of young people, and next month we will host our first Sex, Etc. Racial and Reproductive Justice Youth Summit.

We are two years in, and I recognize that we are only at the beginning of our work. We have many projects in the planning stages, and I am committed to using my platform as the executive director of Answer to fight the plague of racism and turn my words into actions. I invite all of you all to join us in our journey of learning and unlearning. For those who are interested, I have included some great resources below, several of which have helped me along in my personal journey and the remainder are in my “to read” pile. Should you decide to make the investment in time and money, I encourage you to purchase any of the books below from black owned bookstores. As a country, we are long past the time of action, so we must do our own work while also actively working to disrupt the system of racism.

In solidarity,

Dan Rice, M.Ed.
Executive Director

Resource List

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Reproductive Justice by Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo