Toddie Peters takes part in Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute

Associate Professor Toddie Peters

The Center for American Progress has launched the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute, a new program of CAP’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative to train and provide resources to a new generation of faith-based leaders to be public champions of reproductive justice.

Twenty participants from around the country, including Associate Professor Toddie Peters in the Department of Religious Studies at Elon Univestiy, were selected to be Leadership Institute participants. Participants represent a wide swath of backgrounds, including clergy, sexuality educators, advocates, scholars, writers, and staff from mainline Protestant denominations.

A two-day convening March 20–21 inaugurates the Leadership Institute, followed by specialized trainings and events, and a second convening is set for September. The Leadership Institute will provide new and seasoned leaders with the resources they need to be effective faith advocates for women’s reproductive health.

“Women’s reproductive health is under serious attack,” said Sally Steenland, director of CAP’s Faith Initiative. “Too often conventional wisdom pits religion against reproductive rights. But for most women there is no conflict between their faith and their commitment to reproductive freedom. The Leadership Institute lifts up voices of conscience and faith that are standing up and speaking out for women. Safeguarding personal decision making and affordable reproductive health care is essential to women’s health and to their religious liberty.”

The Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute is supported by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation.

In addition to Peters, The 2012 Reproductive Justice Leaders include:

Urooj Arshad, Director of Equity and Social Justice at Advocates for Youth, Washington, D.C.
Rev. Elizabeth Barnum, Associate Minister, Barrington, Rhode Island
Darcy Baxter, After-Abortion Hotline Counselor at Exhale, San Francisco, California
Rev. Dr. Mariah Ann Britton, Founder and CEO of the Moriah Institute, Chestnut Ridge, New York
Rev. Victoria Ferguson, Family Violence Protective Order Compliance Officer for Dekalb County, Atlanta Georgia
Samantha Griffin, Program Assistant at the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Washington, D.C.
Heather Johnson, John Marshall Law School, Atlanta, Georgia
Catherine Levy, Executive Director of Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Columbus, Ohio
Kyle Meerkins, Operational Manager at Pro-Choice Resources, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kimberly Moore, Outreach Coordinator for Christie’s Place, San Diego, California
Sarah Morice-Brubaker, Assistant Professor of Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Lyndsey Godwin, Manager of Education, Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee
Courtney Hoekstra, Staff for the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns and the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns of the Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky
Rev. Lorena Parrish, Associate Minister of Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York, New York
Caryn Riswold, Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois
Rev. Madison Shockley, Pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Carlsbad, California
Kacie Starr Triplett, Elected Member of the St. Louis Board of Alderman, St. Louis, Missouri
Rev. Matthew Westfox, National Coordinator for Field Services for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Springfield, Massachusetts
Katey Zeh, Consultant for the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society, Cary, North Carolina