After four years as Executive Director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, the time has come for me to step aside and make space for new leadership. This movement is a relay race, not a sprint, and while I leave the TEA Fund having accomplished a lot for the abortion access and reproductive justice movement in Texas, I know that it is time for new energy, perspective, and vision at the TEA Fund.
When I came to the TEA Fund in 2014, I had a vision of an organization that did so much more than fund abortion. Funding abortion is the central guiding principle of our organization; people who are pregnant right now deserve access to their full reproductive rights, and they cannot wait for laws or attitudes to change to experience true reproductive freedom. That’s why we fund abortion. But I also envisioned an organization working toward a world in which we no longer need to exist. True reproductive justice is people having complete access to reproductive decision making – whether that means Medicaid funding for abortion, a clinic in their community so they don’t have to travel to access abortion, economic security so they can afford abortion or afford to parent, or freedom from racial oppression that so often creates barriers to reproductive freedom for people of color. To this end, we started organizing. We created programming like the Repro Power Dallas agenda and the Texas Abortion Funds Advocacy Day at the Texas legislature to send the message that abortion is healthcare and part of a broader reproductive justice vision. We built relationships with organizations doing work around immigration, criminal justice, worker’s rights, and healthcare access to deepen people’s understanding of why abortion access is not a fringe issue. I envisioned a truly intersectional approach to our work.
During my tenure, the TEA Fund budget went from less than $175,000 to more than $500,000. The organization has more than quadrupled our abortion funding budget, tripled our staff from one full-time person to three full-time people, launched a new client engagement program to organize our callers into leaders in our movement, and opened our very first physical office. We have built relationships with economic and racial justice organizations in our Dallas community, and increased our visibility as a member of the social justice movement in North Texas. We recently joined as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against terrible abortion restrictions in Texas. My proudest and most meaningful moments was being included in actions like the Black Mamas Bail Out with our partners at Texas Organizing Project. When I started 4 years ago, very few people knew who we were. Then they knew who we were but weren’t sure why they should work with the abortion-out-loud group. Now they call on us to work together for a better and more just world.
I’m leaving TEA Fund the strongest it's ever been. That’s why it feels like time to go. I always knew there was a time limit on my tenure – we've built a sturdy foundation from which new leadership can launch an even bolder vision for abortion access based in racial, economic, and gender equity. I look forward to seeing what this organization can accomplish going forward; I have full faith that it will be powerful and have a huge impact on abortion access in Texas.
Do you want to be the next executive director of TEA Fund? Check out the details! I can't wait to meet the next leader of this beautiful, powerful work.
In love and solidarity,