AMHERST, Mass. – Tina Reynolds, co-founder and chair of Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH) and this semester’s resident Five College social justice practitioner, will speak on “A Human Rights Perspective: Reproductive Justice and Mass Criminalization of Black and Brown Women” on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Black and brown women, she says, are the fastest growing population within the criminal justice system. In the United States penal system, more than 5 percent of women arrested are pregnant. Reynolds’ talk focuses on the needs of this growing population and women’s right to give birth and to parent their children while incarcerated.
Reynolds will outline the impact of criminalization on black and brown women and discuss reproductive justice looking through a human rights lens. “While this talk is about reproductive justice as a human rights issue, it also focuses on the resistance of women behind bars and their ability to lead legislative change after incarceration,” says Reynolds.
WORTH is an association of formerly and currently incarcerated women who have been empowered by their own experiences while involved in the criminal justice system and beyond. Through mutual support, leadership development, organizing and telling stories, WORTH transforms the lives of women who have been directly impacted by incarceration and changes in public perception and policy.
Reynolds is currently an adjunct professor in the behavioral science department at York College, City University of New York, teaching “Impact of Incarceration on Families, Communities, and Children.” Reynolds is also the editor of the anthology “Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States” and has published pieces on the abolition of prisons, the impact of incarceration on women and children, formerly incarcerated women and policy change. She holds a master’s in social work from Hunter College.
The talk is part of the Distinguished Lecture Series on Social Thought and Political Economy sponsored by Commonwealth Honors College. The series is an opportunity for students to gain an interdisciplinary understanding on a variety of social issues.
The final lecture,“Europe’s ‘Entangled Histories’and the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes, France” will be presented Nov. 13 by Anna Schrade, a Five College associate at Hampshire College.