The Reproductive Justice Walking Tour was an outgrowth of the work of Words of Choice and our determination to find new creative ways to open conversations about reproductive justice and human rights. While designing this as a walking tour in New York, we also kept in mind the elements that might make it replicable in other locations.
Five key elements emerged:
1) Planning a route that included “conceptual” sites — a garden to talk about the herbs that women use for abortion or contraception or a hospital to talk about maternal mortality;
2) Incorporating text and performers to expand the discussions and offer walkers points of conversation: these pieces included speeches by the radical thinker Emma Goldman, birth control activist Margaret Sanger, reactionary 19th century moralist Anthony Comstock, and African-American attorney and litigator for abortion legalization Flo Kennedy; poetry by June Jordan, Judith Arcana and a young New Yorker (who performed it); other material from sketches, books and plays (one on immigration); news clips, and more;
3) Utilizing anchor landmark sites– a former condom factory, for example; an underground railroad station; the location for the Clergy Consultation Service and the first abortion speak-out;
4) Creating a written text for “guides” or facilitators that drew together the concepts;
5) Finding a final location where people could talk, connect, collect literature, and hear about ongoing events.