1. Advocacy: BREHA elevates the stories, voices, activism, and knowledge of Afro-diasporic people by foregrounding their everyday responses and movement-building against reproductive injustices. Grounded in a transnational approach, the collective is invested in engaging people and places across the diaspora to employ multiple innovative approaches to reduce health inequities, enhance health outcomes, and inspire structural change. We employ intersectional ethnography, public writing, storytelling, and workshops to drive sociopolitical action and to address the simultaneous elisions and pathologization of Black women, girls, and gender diverse people in global, mainstream discourse, and health action. Our initiatives and approaches grow up and out of the belief that community power emerges first from local voices. We listen, assist, and employ our resources in service of community goals, always through a lens of reproductive justice and equity.
The BREHA Collective launch event at the Center for Human Inquiry (CHI) in Frost Library, spring 2023.
Member of the BREHA Collective at the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History at Smith College.
2. Engaged Research: As we connect reproductive justice theory and practice, our collective supports the creation of knowledge production and research-informed political action that remains accessible to community members both inside and outside traditional research communities. Our work combats deficit ideologies in traditional research on Black communities that emphasize pathology, and instead, foregrounds asset-based perspectives that prioritize the cultural wealth, complex agency, and selfhood of Black people throughout the African diaspora. Our collective approach to interdisciplinary research is rooted in Black and Caribbean feminist methodological and epistemological frameworks as well as in transnational feminisms, African diaspora studies, reproductive justice theory, and Black queer studies. Dissemination will be expansive and take the form of public lectures, speakers, Brown Bag lunches, symposia, a community of practice, and research graphics.
3. Community Collaborations: BREHA is invested in building equity-based relationships with local and transnational RJ political actors and organizations. We aim to responsibly and responsively leverage the resources and capital that institutional backing engenders to support the practical needs and strategic interests of people engaged in on the ground movement work. Therefore, we commit to various modes of community-based learning : long-term partnerships, course projects, public scholarship, study trips, and guest speakers. We understand that community engagement grounds and makes material our inquiries on reproductive autonomy, bodily integrity, and community care. The tenets of active listening, cultural humility, equity, and coalition-building guide our entrance into and prolonged engagements with our collaborators.
4. Student Research: We invest in collaborative student-faculty relationships to encourage intergenerational knowledge and pedagogy, including developing student undergraduates research and community engagement experiences. Undergraduates can expect to develop their skills as writers, researchers, collaborators, and public speakers through engagement with scholars, activists, practitioners, organizers, and other actors who apply frontline scholarship to their work around movement-building, community interventions, and public policy. BREHA offers multiple options for engagement that create alignment between the vision of the research collective and students’ personal, political, and professional interests and investment.