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Welcome to the Harness Community Dispatch. Each month, we look forward to highlighting members of our community of artists, activists, and movement leaders working to imagine and create a more equitable world. We hope this newsletter educates and inspires you to take action.

A NOTE FROM RENEE BRACEY SHERMAN 
Founder & Executive Director of We Testify

For abortion access advocates, this moment is crushing. For those of us who've had abortions, we are deeply heartbroken and grief-stricken because the moment we always knew would come is actually here. We know what access to our abortions meant to our lives and our ability to decide if, when, and how to grow our families. And, we know that abortion has been around for 4,000 years and this is just one moment in history in which people in power are trying to stop us from getting the care we need as they have for a very long time. At We Testify, we believe in the power of people who have abortions. We invest in people who have abortions to be the leaders we need because we know what’s at stake and what needs to be done to keep our communities safe. We know what we need. 

To ensure everyone has access to safe abortion care, without fear of criminalization, we’re all going to have to take risks and challenge ourselves to speak out. At We Testify, our goal is to create a world in which everyone who has and needs abortions sees their stories and experiences reflected in the conversation and normalized so they don’t feel alone. 

Abortion stories are radical. It is radical to share your truth. Abortion stories are more than the abortion itself; it’s weaving together everything happening to someone at a moment in time and how they were able to navigate it and move forward. Abortion stories are immigration stories, queer stories, survivor stories, economic injustice stories, and love stories. We can tell a new narrative about sex, sexuality, and pregnancy experiences for all, breaking down stigmas, when we share our stories—and warn about what happens when people don’t have the support they deserve.

Sincerely,
Renee

We are proud to announce the promotion of our former Acting Director, Miriam Fogelson, to her new position of Executive Vice President of Strategy, overseeing our programmatic and communications strategies so that we continue advancing racial, gender, and civic justice. 

Gathering for Justice held their UJC Summit - Inaugural Social Justice Convention, which brought together leaders, experts, and advocates who are committed to working together in the spirit of social and racial justice to enact change.

Harness Sr. Programs Manager Pacita Rudder helped organize the Narrative and Cultural Strategies track at the Allied Media Conference along with Nayantara Sen, Evan Bissell, Gina Acebo, and Catalina Rios, which featured 12 sessions led by experts in the field including individuals in the Harness network like Jeff Chang, Karim Ahmad, and Tia Oso.

Changing the Game, a film we highlighted as a Harness Features, received an Emmy nomination for "Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking" this year. 

Gathering for Justice will host Cause Village at the Made In America Festival in Philadelphia from September 3-4. Get tickets here.

On August 5th, the Sikh community will commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Oak Creek massacre. Join Valarie Kaur, the Revolutionary Love Project, and the Sikh Coalition in telling the story of Oak Creek. Click here to find videos, artwork, stories, educator's guides, and social media posts you can amplify on August 5th. 

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