‘Reproductive Freedom for All’

The UIC community is invited to participate in the “Reproductive Freedom for All” artmaking events to be held Thursday, Nov. 3, in Student Center East, and Monday, Nov. 7, in Student Center West, respectively. The events will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

Local artists, including UIC students and faculty, will be onsite to screenprint designs. UIC community members are encouraged to bring a personal item to print on. A limited supply of posters, T-shirts, tote bags and tea towels will be available. UIC student organizations that focus on reproductive health will table alongside voter education and reproductive justice organizations. The Nov. 3 event at SCE coincides with the Party to the Polls voter education program organized by UIC’s Student Civic Leadership Engagement office.

Co-organized by community organizer Roxana Espoz and Natalie Bennett, who is director of UIC’s Women’s Leadership and Resource Center, the RFFA event is intended to use collective artmaking to broaden support for reproductive justice on campus, increase awareness about the organizations working on reproductive issues in Chicago, and energize conversations about how UIC can go beyond making reproductive health care accessible towards realizing reproductive justice. Illinois has become a critically important state in terms of providing reproductive health care in the Midwest since the Dobbs decision in the U.S. Supreme Court. As more people come to the state in search of health care, public universities like UIC have a unique opportunity to shape the national conversation about what health care should look and feel like.

UIC is a Minority-Serving Institution that is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Many of UIC’s students are also interested in health-allied fields, so they learn about the social determinants of health in classrooms. But some also confront the inequities in their personal lives, including challenges around access to reproductive health and parenting supports, etc. Alongside courses taught by UIC faculty and public programs offered at the university, creative interventions like “Reproductive Freedom for All” can ignite students’ interests in and passions about social justice. Through art, students can connect their personal and academic interests about reproductive health to larger movements, and begin to think differently about what they focus on in their professional and civic lives.

RFFA is supported by UIC Gender and Womens’ Studies Program, UIC Women’s Leadership and Resource Center, Blood Buds, SHAPE, Injustice Watch, Just Seeds, and Chicago Abortion Fund. For more information, contact Natalie Bennett, ndab1@uic.edu.

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