Civil Rights Activist Monica Raye Simpson Elected to Woodhull Freedom Foundation Board

Respected organizer amplifies Woodhull’s presence with unique blend of art & activism

WASHINGTON, DC — Sept. 8, 2016 — Human rights organization Woodhull Freedom Foundation has elected acclaimed civil rights activist and artist Monica Raye Simpson to its Board of Directors. Simpson is Executive Director of SisterSong, a collective dedicated to improving reproductive rights among women of color, and uses a unique blend of art, song and activism to promote social justice among African American women and the African American LBGTQ community in the South.

Simpson’s unique approach, known as “artivism,” led her to be named as a New Civil Rights Leader by Essence magazine and selected as one of The Advocate’s 40 Under 40 leaders. In 2015, Simpson was honored as a recipient of the Vicki Sexual Freedom Award, an accolade that recognized her landmark contributions to the sexual freedom movement through education, advocacy, research, sexual health and activism.

“Monica is, literally, a mover and a shaker with a deep passion for human rights and the work of Woodhull, and we are excited to welcome her to Woodhull’s Board of Directors,” Woodhull Freedom Foundation President and CEO Ricci Levy said. “We believe her strong experience in so many areas, including southern movement building, and her inspiring vision for a better world, coupled with her phenomenal energy and enthusiasm for social change will be extremely valuable as Woodhull continues to grow and expand both our organization and the work we do.”

Simpson has organized extensively against human rights violations, reproductive oppression, the prison industrial complex, racism and intolerance and is deeply invested in southern movement building and the fight for Black liberation. She is also committed to birth justice as a certified Doula and works to strengthen and amplify the voices of indigenous women and women of color through the art of song. Simpson’s first live album, entitled Revolutionary Love, showcases this work through a blend of gospel roots and passion for social justice, ultimately inspiring the sound now known as Revolutionary Soul.

“It is an honor to be chosen to serve on the Board of Directors for Woodhull,” Simpson said. “I value their commitment to human rights and sexual freedom, and I am dedicated to bringing my skills and expertise to this organization to help further their mission and to advance Reproductive Justice.”

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The Woodhull Freedom Foundation is a nationally recognized organization that works to advance the recognition of sexual, gender, and family diversity in the fight for fundamental human rights. The group’s activism, lobbying, and community outreach is dedicated to improving the well-being, rights and autonomy of every individual thru advocacy, education and action. As the nation’s leading sexual freedom and human rights organization, honored by Proclamation in Washington, DC, The Woodhull Freedom Foundation connects allies with partners to maximize reach, impact and results.

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s core mission is to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right and promotes change through a wide range of social issues, including immigration equality, reproductive justice, prison reform, anti-discrimination legislation, medically accurate and nonjudgmental sexuality education, and the right to define our own families. The organization runs the Family Matters Project, dedicated to advancing and protecting the right to family by eliminating discrimination based on family structure and relationship choices, and lobbies at the State and local levels for sexual freedom, ensuring that the discussions and debates at hand include a focus on human rights. Most notably, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation successfully ended shackling of incarcerated women in labor in Florida through a collaboration with the Florida ACLU.

Annually, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation hosts the Sexual Freedom Summit and the Vicki Sexual Freedom Awards to continue the conversation and connect like-minded activists and individuals in the fight toward sexual freedom.

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