The Mothers of Gynecology: Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey

Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey were enslaved women from plantations in and around Montgomery, Alabama. With neither consent nor anesthesia, they were experimented on by Dr. J. Marion Sims in the 1840s. After publishing the results of his “success,” Sims moved to New York to seek fame and fortune. Within a decade, he became known as the Father of Gynecology.  By contrast, Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy fell into history. They changed the world, only to be forgotten by it.

M Adams

M Adams is a community organizer and co-executive director of Freedom Inc. As a queer Black person, Adams has developed and advocated for a strong intersectional approach in numerous important venues. Adams is a leading figure in the Take Back the Land movement. She presented before the United Nations for the Convention on Eliminating Racial Discrimination, and she is also a co-author of Forward from Ferguson and a paper on Black community control over the police. She also authored a piece on intersectionality theory in Why Killing Unarmed Black Folks Is a Queer Issue.

Sevonna Brown

Sevonna Brown is co-executive director at Black Women’s Blueprint. She is a birthworker through Ancient Song Doula Services and the Doula Project. She dedicates her work to the survival strategies that Black women build from rituals, sacred truths, and the ways they honor the intergenerational narratives of their reproductive herstories.

Farah Jasmine Griffin

Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she also served as the inaugural Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies department. Professor Griffin received her BA in History & Literature from Harvard and her PhD in American Studies from Yale. She has authored and edited eight books altogether. Additionally, Professor Griffin collaborated with composer/pianist Geri Allen and director/actor S. Epatha Merkerson on two theatrical projects.

Imara Jones

Imara Jones (she/her) is a trans woman whose work has won Emmy and Peabody awards, is the creator of TransLash Media. TransLash Media is a cross-platform journalism, personal storytelling, and narrative project that produces content to shift the current culture of hostility toward transgender people in the U.S. In 2019, Jones chaired the first-ever UN High-Level Meeting on Gender Diversity, with over 600 participants. Jones holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Columbia University.