LSRJ in the National Spotlight!
When the office of Representative Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Relations, asked us to put them in touch with an LSRJ member to testify at the Committee's hearing on religious freedom (you remember the one...), we knew that sending them to Sandra Fluke was, if we may toot our own horn, a brilliant decision.
As you'll recall, Sandra's testimony was banned from last week's hearing, but just yesterday, Representative Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee convened a hearing on women's health and contraception, where our very own Sandra was the sole witness.
Sandra Fluke ('12, Georgetown University Law Center), provides testimony on the importance of preventive health care
Sandra's words were powerful and poignant. You can watch the hearing here (Sandra's remarks start at 15:00). Said Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton, "If we had gone to central casting this morning, to find a representative to speak for American women, we could not have done better than you."
As we're sure you remember, Sandra was originally denied a seat at the table because she was deemed "unqualified" and characterized as a college student who appeared to have recently gotten energized by the issue who possessed no other qualifications. To that, Sandra said, "I will confirm that I was energized. As you can see from the reaction behind me, many of the women in this country are energized by this issue. I felt insulted [when I was banned from speaking] not for myself, but for the women I wanted to represent but who were silenced that day."
Sandra speaks with Congress members Cummings, Pelosi,
Maloney, and Holmes-Norton
Sandra rightly noted that she is not the only LSRJ member engaging in this important work, and we honor her and all other LSRJ members who have, as Representative Carolyn Maloney stated, "the courage for speaking out."
LSRJ trains and mobilizes student leaders, like Sandra, throughout the country to foster legal expertise and support for the realization of reproductive justice. We work every day with the next generation of lawyers, judges, and elected officials. LSRJ members are not only poised to influence law, policy, and public opinion in the future, they are already having a major impact in the present. Representative Elijah Cummings illustrated this fact by saying, "...out of your desire and your classmates' desires to make a difference, you now have not only Congress listening to you, but the country listening to you, and that is a powerful thing."
Help us continue to cultivate more leaders and empower more tenacious advocates like Sandra Fluke by supporting our work!