The concept of self care has shifted in recent years from a medical recommendation for healthy habits to an election-inspired response to growing national stress levels after Trump took office. But for those who work in progressive spaces, fighting for justice in this volatile political era can be emotionally and physically draining, and self care has become increasingly vital.
On the September 28 episode of “The Progressive Happy Hour,” cohost Drew Courtney and guest host Addie Stan, PFAW’s research director and editor of Right Wing Watch, chat with Yamani Hernandez, executive director of National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), about how NNAF fights for progressive power at the intersections of reproductive, economic, and racial justice and the ways that they prioritize and integrate self care into their work.
Hernandez discussed how the changes in abortion access have shaped the landscape since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision. She explained, “Roe has never been a promise of abortion access for folks of color [and] folks with lower incomes. People of wealth will always be able to travel to get an abortion. The way that things have changed is that we have that legal right, but we don’t always have that access.”
Hernandez stressed the urgency for self care among progressive activists and leaders, and shared some specific examples of how she makes self care an organizational priority at NNAF. She said, “We incorporate different things into our work, like mindfulness. There’s this practice, generative somatics, that really focuses on being embodied in your leadership. There are several of us in that practice … it looks at how we hold our stress and our trauma, and looks at embodied ways to get it out, and notice how we’re holding ourselves.”
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