Welcome to #CLPSpotlights, our monthly series highlighting individuals and organizations that make a difference in their community. This month, we interviewed Tausha Bonner-Johnson, the SistahSpeak! Youth Project™ Coordinator, from New Voices for Reproductive Justice. NVRJ’s website describes their work as advocating for “the complete health and well-being of Black women and girls in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Our definition of health includes physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, political, economic, environmental and social well-being. Reproductive Justice is our innovative framework to engage Black women, femmes and girls in local, national and global movement-building for Human Rights, Racial and Gender Justice.” NVRJ’s SistahSpeak! Youth Project™ (SYP!™) is “a leadership development, mentorship, and cultural enrichment program dedicated to the complete health and well-being of young Black women, femmes and girls (16-24) in the City of Pittsburgh.”
Q. How has your work evolved during the pandemic to meet the community’s needs?
A. Before the pandemic our work was strongly based on advocacy and education, but after the pandemic we had to shift to more resources and direct service work to help our constituents.
Q. What is your favorite part of what you do?
A. Working directly with young Black women, girls, and gender expansive individuals.
Q. How did you come to work for your organization?
A. I’m familiar with the organization’s work with the community.
Q. What do you wish the public knew about your organization?
A. That the work we do is in direct connection to them living a complete and healthy life.
Q. Tell us your favorite story about the library!
A. When I was a child, the East Liberty branch of the Carnegie Library gave me a place to go and explore my imagination through reading. It was also one of the first places I learned how to use a computer.
Q. What role does CLP have in helping your organization?
A. CLP has been a great resource, with not only a place to go and educate but actual space to have events.
Q. Who’s your favorite author or artist at the moment?
Q. What was an especially fulfilling moment for you in your work?
A. Knowing that I come to work to break down a corrupt system so that POC can live a healthy successful life.
Q. What is a favorite local business or organization of yours?