Digging Deeper: In Conversation with SisterReach

If we aren’t speaking for ourselves, our issues, families and our communities are an afterthought. Not only in the state, but also in the country. The recent presidential election proved that.

As the first version of this project winds down, I’m delighted to share more information on SisterReach. A big thanks to Cherisse A. Scott, Founder & CEO, for taking the time to talk passionately about both the organization and grassroots organizing in the state of Tennessee.

Why is it critical to serve the population you support in the state where you are?

Before the founding of SisterReach, there was no Black woman or WOC-led organization focused solely on the reproductive justice, health and rights of not only ourselves, but other marginalized populations here in the state of TN. We needed to be visible on the ground and on the hill around our own lives and that is the void SisterReach has attempted to fill with our work. If we aren’t speaking for ourselves, our issues, families and our communities are an afterthought. Not only in the state, but also in the country. The recent presidential election proved that.

What will SisterReach main focus(es) be in 2017?

SisterReach will be focusing on voter and elected official education, voter suppression, increasing our comp sex ed organizing, increasing our faith based organizing and education and completing our research projects on the effects of the fetal assault law & DV and its impact on Black women in Memphis. The focus of our RJ summit this year is RJ & Faith, and we are excited to engage theologians from all over the country.

While you struggle against serious challenges in a red state, what is something positive that those of us outside of Tennessee should know about the state or its people?

Tennessee is one of the greatest places in the country to do grassroots organizing because the people are real, their issues force you to work intersectionally (if you’re really about that life and not the whitewashed cliché of what it means) and once the people trust you, they will protect you. Like a relative. I LOVE my state. #RedStateRJ

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