Reproductive Justice and Human Rights Advocate
In the midst of one of the greatest battles of the reproductive justice movement's history, it's worth recognizing one of the movement's most influential founding mothers who, in 2022, continued to fight the good fight. Ross joined the women’s movement in 1978 by working at the first rape crisis center in the United States. But Ross didn’t stop there. In 1994, she came together with a group of other activists to create the reproductive justice framework that we still rely on today. The three key tenets of reproductive justice, as they designed it, are "the right to have a child, the right not to have a child, and the right to parent a child in a safe and healthy environment.” Ross and her fellow advocates also brought attention to how women of color, and Black and Indigenous women in particular, have been subjected to racist reproductive policies, such as forced sterilization and forced births. Ross co-founded the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective in 1997, and in 2022, the professor, author, organizer and public speaker continues her work as a powerful voice in the reproductive justice movement. For her decades of tireless work on behalf of Black women and women of color in the United States, Ross has more than earned her place on The Root 100 list.