Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

February 8, 2012

Good Vibrations And OBOS = A Perfect Match!

Good Vibrations image

We are delighted and honored that Good Vibrations selected Our Bodies Ourselves as one of  four nonprofit organizations it’s promoting during the months of February and March. That means shoppers can select OBOS during checkout online and in stores and make a donation that goes entirely to the organization.

We’re in excellent company! From the Good Vibrations press release:

Good Vibrations, the trusted San Francisco-based company that takes pride in providing accurate information on sexuality and toys for grown-ups, is delighted to announce a new partnership with four regional non-profits as part of their corporate giving initiative, GiVe. Beneficiary organizations are La Casa de las Madres of San Francisco, AIDS Project of the East Bay in Berkeley, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice in Oakland, and Our Bodies Ourselves in Boston.

From February 1st to March 31st, Good Vibrations’ customers can support these regional nonprofits in Good Vibrations retail locations: San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Boston and online. Shoppers can make a financial gift at the time of their Good Vibrations purchase and 100% of your contribution goes to the nonprofit of your choice. [...]

Staff Sexologist Dr. Carol Queen says, “With people celebrating romance and connectedness during Valentine’s Day, we invite them to experience the pleasure of generosity to these worthwhile organizations that support people through some of the more difficult aspects of relationships and sexuality. We are honored to be able to bring the GiVe program to this remarkable group of non-profits.

And if you’re in the Boston area, you can join Dr. Queen and OBOS’s Judy Norsigian this Sunday, Feb. 12, at a special pre-Valentine’s Day Mixer and Info Tour at Good Vibrations in Brookline!

Photo of Good Vibrations in BrooklineIt’s a free event, and you’ll enjoy a light reception and store tour led by Dr. Queen. This is a great opportunity to learn everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

Pease RSVP (office AT or call 617-245-0200) so we can provide Good Vibrations with an accurate number for refreshments. Here are the details:

Sunday, Feb. 12, 3 – 5 p.m.
Good Vibrations Brookline Store
308A Harvard Street Brookline, MA

Hope to see you there! If you can’t make it, stop in at a Good Vibrations store or shop online through March 31!

September 7, 2011

Registration Open for Southern Black Midwives and Healers Summit

Registration is now open for the Southern Black Midwives and Healers Summit, themed “Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality by Building Community Leadership.”

From the program description:

This is an action and solution-oriented leadership development event designed to reduce health disparities, improve breastfeeding rates and build capacity in the Southeast region of the United States. Our goal is to increase the number of midwives, doulas and healers so they can empower families…Midwives, doulas, birth workers, community members and all those committed to reducing health inequities in the SE region will have the opportunity to collaborate with ideas and skills to create leaders and advocates in their communities to ensure improved birth outcomes.

The International Center for Traditional Childbearing organizes the summit, to be held in D’Iberville, MS on October 14-16 this year.

Relatedly, ICTM has a page up on the history of Black midwives, including a video series, “The Legacy of the Black Midwife.”

June 15, 2011

Upcoming Webinar on FDA Drug Approvals and Breast Cancer

An upcoming webinar may be of interest to readers:

Patients Before Profits: What You Should Know About the FDA, Big Pharma, and Breast Cancer
June 21, 2011 10:00AM – 11:00 AM Pacific (1:00 pm – 2:00 PM Eastern)

Featuring Miriam Hidalgo, BCAction Volunteer Program Coordinator and Jane Zones, Medical Sociologist and Former BCAction Board Member

We will focus on how the competing interests of pharmaceutical companies and regulatory governmental bodies can fail to deliver safe and effective drugs that patients need. If you sign up, you will learn about power players at the FDA, the origins of the accelerated approval process, and more.

You will need to register online for this webinar and then will receive an email with instructions on how to join in on the 21st.

April 10, 2011

Get Your Tickets to Benefit Performance by Comedian Wendy Liebman to Support OBOS

promotional photo of Wendy LiebmanCommunity Works, a coalition of social justice organizations in Massachusetts, is holding their 4th annual comedy benefit on April 21st at the Wendy Liebman, who has performed many times on national television and has won the “Funniest Female Stand-Up Comic” award from American Comedy Awards, invited several of her comedian friends to join her for this rollicking evening.

Tickets can be Filed at 5:34 pm in Events,Our Bodies Ourselves

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April 7, 2011

OBOS Anniversary Event Coverage in the Harvard Crimson

Earlier this week, several founding members of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (now Our Bodies Ourselves) spoke at Harvard about the creation of the book and development of the organization, leading up to this year’s 40th anniversary and new edition of the book.

The Harvard Crimson has a write-up of the event – great article except for the erroneous statement that OBOS has a staff of over 40 people. (We wish! There are 7 staff and 2 consultants — though we often feel like we’re doing the work of 40 ;-) .)

The Harvard panel is one of many events leading up to our 40th anniversary celebration this fall. On October 1, 2011, OBOS will host a celebratory symposium at the Tsai Performance Center, a lovely venue graciously donated by Boston University.

The event will bring together our global partners who are culturally adapting and transforming “Our Bodies, Ourselves” into different formats for use in their own countries. That same day, we will launch the new 9th U.S. edition of this groundbreaking publication.

If you are interested in supporting the symposium, we’d love to hear from you. We would also love to hear from anyone interested in hosting a house party to support the organization and these efforts.

We’ll have additional details posted later, but please save the date!

March 23, 2011

Upcoming Panel on Race and Reproductive Justice

On April 7, Northeastern Law School in Boston, MA will host what promises to be a great panel discussion on race and reproductive justice. Here are the details, from an announcement we received:

Northeastern LSRJ, LSRJ National, and Northeastern Law School present:

“Race, Rhetoric, and Reproductive Justice: How Current and Proposed Legislation Will Affect Communities of Color”

A Panel Discussion Featuring:

When: Thursday April 7th, 2011, 6:30-8:00pm, followed by RECEPTION (those wishing to attend reception MUST attend Panel). Event will begin on time.
Where: Northeastern Law School, Dockser Hall Room 240, 65 Forsyth Street Boston MA, 02115

Co Sponsored by:
Northeastern Black Law Students Association, Northeastern Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Northeastern Latin American Law Students Association, Northeastern South Asian Law Students Association, Northeastern Human Rights Caucus, Harvard LSRJ, Boston University LSRJ, Northeastern Feminist Student Organization, and the Northeastern Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department.

Reception after! Open to the public! Please FORWARD and distribute widely!

March 9, 2011

Our Bodies Ourselves Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Celebration

In 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves will release the ninth edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”.

This important milestone will be accompanied by another.

In 2011, we will celebrate 40 years of activism and the organization’s evolution from a small US-based group to a vibrant international network of social change activists.

“…We never considered writing a book, but simply planned to gather health information, talk with one another about it, hear everyone’s ideas and experiences, and share what we had learned with others…”
~ Jane Pincus, Co-Founder and Co-Author, Our Bodies Ourselves

Our journey started in Boston in 1969. Twelve women came together to talk about their experiences with the medical profession and share knowledge about their bodies, sexuality, and relationships. They published their discussions as a stapled newsprint booklet called “Women and Their Bodies” that sold for 75 cents.

In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and protests against the Vietnam War, this booklet – renamed “Our Bodies, Ourselves” in 1971 – suddenly placed women’s health and sexuality in a radically new political and social context. It was an instant success. There was no looking back.

Forty years on:
“Our Bodies, Ourselves” has influenced three generations of Americans. It has, according to historian Sandra Morgen, “changed the landscape of women’s healthcare in the United States and throughout the world.” Along with our other resources – “Our Bodies Ourselves Menopause” and “Our Bodies Ourselves Pregnancy and Birth” – and popular website and blog, we continue to provide trusted information and shape public attitudes and policy on the health and rights of women and girls.

Our dynamic Public Voice and Action Program brings a consumer perspective to debates in the media and community, so people are fully aware of the issues that affect their health and decision making. Our Latina Health Initiative develops resources and training materials, organizes outreach, and builds networks in the United States, Latin America, and Caribbean.

“[“Our Bodies, Ourselves”] lends itself to other languages and cultures. It really has no rival in this field”.
~ Sanlaap, Author of a Bangla resource based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for India and Bangladesh

Beyond the United States, “Our Bodies, Ourselves” is inspiring women worldwide to create health resources that speak to their cultural needs. As a result, materials based on the book are available in over 25 languages and different print, digital, and social interactive formats in every geographical region – Africa, Latin America, South and East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

These resources draw on local knowledge and experience. They increase awareness, encourage self-care practices, build grassroots and institutional alliances, and help secure policies that take the needs of women and girls off the back burner – often in places where health information is hard to find, female sexual behavior heavily regulated, and the work of defending women’s human rights an uphill challenge.

“Instead of ‘importing’ western notions of… feminism, [Our Bodies Ourselves] is creating sustainable grassroots health and women’s rights projects [by] working in cooperation across the world.”
~ Women and Their Bodies, Author of Arabic and Hebrew resources based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for Israel, Palestinian Territories, and the Middle East

It is hard to overstate the courage these ground breaking projects demand. Our partners rely on each other to succeed. They also receive dedicated technical assistance and support from the Boston-based staff of the Our Bodies, Ourselves Global Initiative and have constant access to our products, networks, tools, and expertise. Together, we are the Our Bodies Ourselves Global Network. We exemplify the power of voices raised in action and movement building in the 21st century.

Looking ahead:
Our Bodies Ourselves – its staff, board, and founders – is proud of the organization’s history and ongoing role in building women’s collective strength and knowledge; and with more than 22 network partners, we are honored to support the tenacious and visionary women and men behind these transformative projects.

As we gather with friends and colleagues to celebrate our 40th anniversary, it is also the perfect time to recognize the organization’s transition from a women’s health group in the United States to an international coalition indispensible to the global movement for health equality and justice.

On October 1 2011, we are hosting a symposium and reception at the Tsai Performance Center in Boston, a space graciously donated for the occasion by Boston University. This event will be an opportunity to meet our partners and listen to their extraordinary journeys of claiming “Our Bodies Ourselves” to empower their own communities. It will also be an opportunity to celebrate a legacy and support the Global Our Bodies Ourselves Network in its tireless effort to effect change for millions of women and girls over the next 40 years.

We invite you to join us.

March 7, 2011

Odds and Ends

Call for Interviewees:
Reporter Molly M. McGinty is interviewing patients who were denied reproductive care at Catholic hospitals for a piece for Ms. magazine. Please contact her at or 212-531-1679 by Wednesday, March 9. Patients are welcome to use pseduonyms if needed.

Interventions to Reduce Early Inductions:
My local (Nashville, TN) newspaper has an article today on early inductions without medical indication. The paper reports that local hospitals implemented a pilot program that asked doctors to check a form if they were inducing labor for nonmedical reasons; rates of babies delivered at 37 to 39 weeks’ gestation with no medical reason subsequently dropped from 9.8% to 4.8%.

The Health Beat Blog also explored issues of inductions (including early inductions) and cesareans in a blog post last month.

Save the Date: Orgasm, Inc:
I expect we’ll have more on this soon, but readers are invited to attend a preview screening of the film Orgasm, Inc. at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA on March 24. More event info is available on Facebook. The film focuses on the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to produce and market Viagra-type drugs to women.

OBOS Stories: Submit Your Own!
Just a reminder that we are collecting readers’ stories of how OBOS has touched their lives, in conjunction with our 40th anniversary celebration. You can read the submitted stories on our blog, and submit your own here.

February 7, 2011

Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – Find Free Testing

Today is the 11th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, intended to promote testing, treatment and action in Black communities. As part of the day, many places throughout the United States offer free HIV testing, education and other community events; a state-by-state directory at for finding events and test sites near you.

Related resources:

January 21, 2011

Upcoming Event: EQUAL/OBOS House Party in Palo Alto

OBOS supporters in the Palo Alto, Calif., area are invited to attend a house party on Sunday, Jan. 30, from 3-5 p.m.

The house party will benefit both Our Bodies Ourselves and the EQUAL Health Network. Our own Judy Norsigian will be on hand, as well EQUAL co-director Ellen Shaffer. The invitation promises a brief talk about the organizations’ current work, dim sum and chocolate, and a good time!

RSVP: [address of the party will be provided upon response]

If you are interested in hosting your own house party in support of Our Bodies Ourselves, please visit to learn more.

January 17, 2011

Upcoming Conference: The Body and the State

The New School for Social Research’s Center for Public Scholarship is holding a conference titled, “The Body and the State: How the State Controls and Protects the Body.” From promotional materials for the event:

Join over 35 distinguished experts in discussing the body as an international human rights arena in which many forces, such as religion, science, media, and the market struggle for control over policies that control our bodies. We hope to illuminate how the often tacit assumptions about the “normal,” “healthy,” and “acceptable” body lead to policies which are, at their core, unjust.

Topics include the sexual body and behavior, religion, gender, citizenship, punishment, the impact of media, race and class, reproductive rights, sustaining and ending life, death, biology, illegal organ trade, genes and DNA ownership and use, prostitution, sex trafficking, and the pharmaceutical industry in an international/multicultural context.

The conference will be held in New York City on February 10-13 at the New School’s John Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street, NYC. The complete agenda, speaker bios, and ticket info are online here.

November 29, 2010

Upcoming “Let’s Talk About Sex” Conference from SisterSong

Next July, SisterSong – an organization that focuses on women of color and reproductive justice – is hosting a Let’s Talk About Sex Conference in Miami, FL.
The conference announcement explains that the program will include:

workshops and plenary sessions on topics such as birth control, senior sexuality, STDs, microbicides, gynecological health and wellness, erotica, militarism, youth sexuality, and more, all through a reproductive justice lens.

Discounted early registration is open through January 31. The call for papers/workshop proposals is open through January 30, and the scholarship application is open through March 1.

November 9, 2010

2011 Conference on Social Justice, Health Disparities, and Women’s Health

In January 2011, the DePaul University Master of Public Health Program will host the “The Health Disparities and Social Justice Conference,” with a special focus on women’s health. The conference itself will be free of charge and will be held in Chicago, IL.

Limited information about the program is available at this time; the save-the-date announcement indicates:

Presentations will take the form of skills-building workshops. Sessions will be focused on some aspect of the intersection of health disparities and women’s health among diverse populations, such as: immigrants, communities of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, low-income families, seniors/elders, and/or youth. In addition to the workshops and keynote speaker, a community lunch-hour session will include opportunities for networking and discussion.

October 27, 2010

Tell Us Your “Our Bodies, Ourselves” Story

At the recent Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare Advocacy Summit and joint colloquium of the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations (#ccckeystone), I met many interesting people with fond memories of their first experiences with the “Our Bodies, Ourselves” book. I loved hearing these stories, about how a small group of friends used the book to perform self-exams, how it motivated women to advocate for themselves or become active in women’s health and rights, and the many other ways in which the landmark book has inspired so many people.

Believe it or not, 2011 is the 40th anniversary of the first edition of the book. As part of the celebration, OBOS is releasing a new edition of the book and hosting a symposium that will bring together women who are culturally adapting and transforming “Our Bodies, Ourselves” into different formats for use in their own countries.

We’ ll be writing more about these events over the course of the next year, but for now, we invite you to share your own stories. If you have an OBOS story – however brief, or however “small” it may seem to you – please share it with us. We love to hear it, and plan to use the stories in conjunction with our 40th anniversary celebration and book release next year.

For more information on the upcoming anniversary and book, including how to support the new edition, check out our anniversary page.  Also check out our history section for lots of cool and interesting information about how the book came to be and the impact it has had over the years.

October 25, 2010

Meeting Dispatch: Resources from the CUE/Cochrane/Campbell Colloquium

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare Advocacy Summit, followed by the joint colloquium of the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations. Each of these organizations is focused on promoting evidence-based healthcare, through consumer advocacy organizations (CUE),  systematic reviews and meta-analyses on healthcare (Cochrane) and social, education, and justice work (Campbell).

Over the course of the conference, I attended a lot of great sessions, met plenty of interesting people, and learned about many resources of interest. Here are a few from that last category:

Beyond these resources, I met or saw speak lots of interesting folks working in various forms of healthcare and consumer advocacy, from groups such as the National Women’s Health Network, Black Women’s Health Alliance, National Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Health, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition, Childbirth Connection, the Children with Diabetes Foundation, and more. If you were there, say hi to us in the comments!

Tweets from the meeting, full of links, quotes, and other commentary, are archived at What the Hashtag using the tag #ccckeystone; here’s a transcript. Mine are listed under @rachel_w.

I would like to express my thanks to the personnel of the U.S. Cochrane Center who arranged a scholarship and provided support for the meeting. It was a great, useful experience.