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After more than a year of deep reflection and intentional collaboration with inroads members, staff, the 2020 inroads steering committee, and board , inroads is excited to announce our strategic plan! The 2021-2025 strategic plan sets the network on a focused path directed towards growing our network resources, not just in quantity but in depth and scope, and recommits to building relationships with and between members so that we can do the work of busting abortion stigma worldwide. Over the past seven years, the network's understandings of abortion stigma have continued to evolve, thanks to the enthusiastic participation of members in our community of practice. In a diverse network of 1,600 individuals, members from varied contexts and experiences around the globe have gathered at international and Regional gatherings and online meetings to support and exchange in solidarity about their work busting abortion stigma. Our strategic goals below are the roadmap to ending abortion stigma in the next few years. Please have a read, and thank you for joining us on this evolving journey to end abortion stigma worldwide. #wemakeinroads
We want to grow the network, and not just in numbers but also in terms of collaborations, relationships, and alliances. Our vision is for an expansive and spacious community, that includes people who have and support abortion experiences and folks who are in the wider movement for reproductive justice. We appreciate and celebrate that what #makesinroads is our members, and connections that people have been able to make to form other networks and build cross-regional solidarity to learn from one another. Inroads’ purpose is to facilitate these bonds and share out the work of members.
Many inroads members are on the frontlines and deeply engaged in their work within justice movements to support people who have abortions and end abortion stigma. We are prioritizing both financial and capacity strengthening resourcing that can facilitate the work, while also focusing on providing support spaces for folks in the movement. As we continue to focus our funding on abortion stigma busting projects and initiatives, we are making efforts to provide flexible, participatory funding that is directly guided by the voices and needs of inroads members.
In unprecedented times with unparalleled risks to privacy and safety, one of inroads’ organizational priorities is to ensure that secure spaces for people in the movement are normalized and integrated into members' work. Digital, emotional, and physical security are all important facets of abortion stigma busting, and it is crucial that stigma busters can assess the threats and build ways to safely connect and share information in their community.
The inroads network is being more intentional about practicing community care as a network of members. We learn from the work of abortion doulas, acompanantes, community care workers, and support the work financially and by doing our best to create a network for inroads members that is mindful of all of our needs. Inroads members who do this work of ending abortion stigma and creating transfrormational change in their communities have been successful by prioritzing community and building communities of care (read more here), and have shared their methodologies with the network (link resource compendium). We are intending to deepen our practice of community care for members, understanding the need for support and rest (read more about spacious solidarity here).
As a network, over the years we have established and explored the ways in which stigma is more than a theoretical, intellectual concept that goes beyond the mere legal right to choose. The social and cultural intersections of class, race, or caste background, position of power, gender expression, all have an effect on the real world implications of stigma. That is to say, not all people who have abortions experience abortion stigma in the same way, and it’s important that this understanding is central as we continue to attack stigma. We invite members to question why certain work is done, and by whom, and hope to reframe and shift systems that keep people from having dignified abortion experiences.
Inroads is a small, newly independent, and growing organization. Our globally dispersed staff is committed to the work, and largely interdependent on one another and network members to get work done. While inroads as an organization continues to grow and support network members, it's important to remain flexible to global changes and deeds. We aim to maintain an institutional culture of learning and reflection with an understanding that staff is also a part of the inroads community, and holds the same values that we apply to members to the organisation facilitating and managing operations for the network.