All out for Abortion Access! Organizing at CUNY and Beyond


Date(s) - 10/15/2022
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Background animated images of a diverse group of protestors with a poster that reads: “PublicsLab and CUNY for Abortion Rights present: All out for Abortion Access! Organization at CUNY and Beyond; Saturday, October 15th, 12-5pm, @ The People’s Forum;”

The PublicsLab and CUNY for Abortion Rights welcome you to an in-person gathering to learn and strategize with the movement for safe, legal, and free abortion access. In an opening panel, breakout sessions, and a concluding assembly, we will exchange lessons between organizers, scholars, and frontline workers. All participants will emerge from this event with connections and tangible skills to contribute to the urgent struggle for reproductive justice in New York and beyond.

Intentions for the day include:

  • Hear firsthand accounts of recent abortion rights victories in Latin America and Ireland.
  • Gain insight from Black liberation analyses on bodily autonomy.
  • Build bridges between abortion care inside and clinic defense outside.
  • Activate media skills to document, educate, and disseminate information.
  • Strategize how to expand this struggle in our workplaces and universities.


12pm – Arrive promptly, meet each other

12:15pm-1:45pm – “The Shape and Future of Our Movement” panel with Vanina Mancuso (Pan y Rosas, Argentina), Njera Keith (400+1), Natalie Gomez-Velez (CUNY Law School); moderated by Dána-Ain Davis (CUNY Graduate Center)

1:45-2pm – Break

2pm-3:15pm – Breakout sessions 

  • “Activism on the Frontlines: building bridges between abortion care inside and clinic defense outside” with Zoey Thill and Lauren H (NYC for Abortion Rights)
  • “Organizing on Campuses” with CUNY for Abortion Rights
  • “Framing and Fighting for Abortion Rights through the Media” with Simin Farkhondeh (Democracy Now!) and Brenna McCaffrey

3:15pm-4pm – Food* and conversation

4pm-5pm – Next-steps assembly

*Food will be provided. Please be sure to include any dietary needs on the registration form.*

Registration & Event Details:

This event will be held in-person, at The People’s Forum: 320 West 37th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues), New York, NY 10018. Please note: proof of vaccination and a photo ID are required for this event (see Community Safety section below).

Participants must register on Eventbrite here. Please reach out to the PublicsLab with any logistical questions or accessibility needs at

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women and Society, and the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics.

The PublicsLab thanks Ally Ganster, Britt Munro, Conor Tomás Reed, Janelle Poe, Karanja Keita Carroll, Nina DeMeo, Raura Doreste-Méndez, and Tatiana Cozzarelli for their work in organizing this event.

Community Safety:

COVID vaccination for this event is required by The People’s Forum. Participants can show proof of vaccination by any the following:

  • Original vaccination card and photo ID
  • Photo (e.g. on a phone) of original vaccination card and photo ID
  • NYS Excelsior Pass and photo ID

To ensure the health and safety of our community as we gather together, we strongly encourage attendees to wear a mask when not eating or drinking, and to take an at-home COVID test prior to attending.

Any changes in the vaccination and/or masking policies is subject to guidelines established by the People’s Forum, the PublicsLab, and/or state and local public health entities. If the public health landscape changes significantly, we will contact registrants with updated guidelines.

Headshot for Dána-Ain DavisDána-Ain Davis is Professor of Urban Studies and Anthropology. She is the director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the Graduate Center. Davis’ work covers two broad domains: Black feminist ethnography and the dynamics of race and racism. She is the author or co-editor of five books and her most recent book is the award-winning, Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth (2019). Davis has participated in reproductive rights and reproductive justice movements for nearly thirty years and has worked with a range of reproductive justice including NARAL-NY, the Reproductive Rights Education Project at Hunter College, National Institute for Reproductive Health and the National Network of Abortion Funds. Davis worked with Sexual and Reproductive Justice Project for the New York City Department of Health, and Mental Health and has served on two New York State Maternal and Morality Task Forces.  Davis also supports birthing people as a doula and trained at Ancient Song Doula. Davis is the co- editor of Feminist Anthropology, and has served as editor of Transforming Anthropology.

Headshot for Njera KeithNjera Keith (she/her) is a practicing revolutionary, Orishan Communist, writer, sex worker, and witch. She is the co-founder of 400+1; a cooperative federation that houses a Black vanguard, Black social clubs, a Black intentional living community, solidarity economy networks, and a reparations corps. Njera is also the co-author of the reproductive revolution framework that guides her pro-abortion advocacy and activism. Born and raised in Texas, Njera’s work is influenced by Black southern and Black southwestern culture. She is committed to making revolutionary politics, lifestyle, and orientation more mainstream and recognizable among her native communities.


Headshot for Simin FarkhondehSimin Farkhondeh is an award winning filmmaker, educator, and activist. From 1995 to 2005 she was producer/director of the acclaimed TV show Labor at the Crossroads. Her films have been screened at the Whitney Biennial, Margaret Mead Film Festival, and MoMA, as well as on PBS and BBC Channel Four. As a professor of Film, Video Arts and Communications Theory, she has taught at numerous colleges and universities including Hampshire College, Fordham University and the School of Visual Arts. Farkhondeh’s personal works include Caught Between Two Worlds (2007), a documentary about the Iranian Diaspora in the US, and Who Gives Kisses Freely From Her Lips (2009), a film that combines fact and fiction to discuss temporary marriage in Iran.  Farkhondeh is the Education Director at the news program Democracy Now! where she conducts seminars focused on demystifying the process of news production. She is currently working on an experimental documentary about Dementia, War and Memory. Deep Dish TV and Third World Newsreel distribute her films.

Headshot for Natalie Gomez-VelezNatalie Gomez-Velez is a Professor of Law at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Fellow. In 2010, Professor Gomez-Velez received the Academic Leadership Award from the Hispanic National Bar Foundation. A summa cum laude graduate of Hunter College, where she was a Public Service Scholar, Professor Gomez-Velez was later inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame in 2005. She also was named an Outstanding Latina of 2003 by El Diario/La Prensa. Professor Gomez-Velez has served as a staff attorney at the national ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and at NYU School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, as Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Public Advocacy in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and as Special Counsel to the Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System. Professor Gomez-Velez has served on the New York State Board of Regents as the Regent representing the Twelfth Judicial District. She also has served as the Bronx Representative on the New York City Panel for Educational Policy. She currently Chairs the Education Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, serves on the Boards of the Latino Judges Association Foundation and the City Parks Foundation, and Co-Chairs the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on the U.S. Territories.

Headshot for Lauren HLauren H (she/her) or LaLa in many spaces, has been a social worker for over eight years working with survivors of intimate partner violence while supporting student activists working to end teen dating violence in NYC. Lauren, a survivor herself has had her own experiences of abortion and knows first hand abortion is liberation. The work with survivors and it’s intersection with reproductive justice is what drew her to becoming a full spectrum birth/abortion doula. LaLa’s birth/abortion care work centers people who hold stories of survivorship. Lauren organizes with NYCFAR to ensure we center survivors in access to abortion. On the first Saturday of the month Lauren uses her body to defend a clinic trying to protect patients from harassment and violence from the antis.

Vanina Mancuso is a member of the socialist feminist group Bread and Roses (Pan y Rosas) and the Socialist Workers Party (Partido de Trabajadores Socialistas), and is the president of the Madygraf workers’ committee. Madygraf is a factory under workers’ control since 2015 in Argentina.

Headshot for Brenna McCaffreyBrenna McCaffrey (she/her) in an anthropologist whose research explores the interaction of medical technologies, feminist activism, and biomedicine within the fields of sexual and reproductive health. She conducted fieldwork in the Republic of Ireland during the successful fight to change the country’s abortion ban in 2018 and is currently conducting research for a book about the history and impact of abortion pills on contemporary feminist movements. A longtime activist for abortion access, she shares information on self-managed abortion and the quickly-changing landscape of abortion rights in the United States through her TikTok account, @paigingbrenna. Brenna holds a PhD in Anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) and currently teaches courses at Fordham University and SUNY New Paltz.

Headshot for Zoey ThillZoey Thill, MD, MPP is a St. Clair Shores, Michigan native. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and completed post graduate training in Family and Social Medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She currently works as an abortion provider in NYC and volunteers with the People’s CDC.