Zoe is a racial and gender justice advocate who has five years of nonprofit experience, including time as a teacher in a Title I Charter school. She has lived in Colorado, Tennessee, New Jersey, Illinois, and has been really happily living in Brooklyn for the last three years. Volunteerism has been an important part of her life as far back as she can remember. However, really thoughtful advocacy and social justice involvement started when she moved to Evanston, Illinois in high school. Zoe is a Jewish woman proudly from an interfaith family, raised in the Lutheran Church. She is a certified confidential victim advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and a long-time abortion clinic escort.
BrownTown listens, learns, and sheds light on the ongoing fight for women's rights with Zoe. Through personal experiences in faith, changing public policy, and #MeToo, the friends discuss the nuance and robust process of intersectional movement building for gender equity. She details her experiences as a abortion clinic escort and working with survivors of sexual assault. As Zoe explains, her interfaith upbringing and finding institutional Judaism as a young adult is a large part of why she considers her advocacy work a duty, not a choice. As she elaborates on important facts surrounding the normalcy of abortion and the prevalence and costliness of intimate partner violence, the gang breaks down the narrative-changing importance of movements like Shout Your Abortion and the origins of #MeToo, giving a nod to organization’s founder Tarana Burke. Furthermore, the gang also discusses healthcare policy, alleviating poverty to uplift everyone, and the role of cultural rhetoric and discourse in systems change.
However, these avenues and narratives consistently meet pushback or co-option from powerful institutions and people every step of the way. With that, how can we better understand our complex history, polarizing present, and cautiously optimistic future? How do we remain unapologetic in our work, in our rhetoric, and still manage to bring more into the fold? Here’s our take.
Zoe’s referenced data is from the following sources: Guttmacher Institute / Planned Parenthood / National Organization of Women / Urban Resource Institute / National Coalition Against Domestic Violence / TESSA.
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