Giving Compass' Take:
- Jess Jacobs shares her philanthropic work and investment in storytelling to normalize reproductive experiences and fight the stigmatization of abortions to achieve reproductive justice.
- How can you invest in storytelling to create societal changes? How does the power of storytelling impact help create cultural shifts?
- Learn more about the role of philanthropy in advancing reproductive rights.
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I have always believed in the power of storytelling. From adolescence, I was writing short stories, forcing my brothers and my cousins to act out skits I devised, gabbing away in the backseat of the car to my parents regaling them of tales from the playground. But it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I truly experienced the power a story could unleash.
I have committed myself to the work of destigmatizing abortion, fighting for reproductive health, rights, and justice and using the power of storytelling to break the shame and find our power. I use all the tools in my toolbox, aligning my professional skills, my network and my resources to pursue real, substantive change. I envision a world in which all people can make their own informed choices and exercise bodily autonomy and self-determination, with dignity and freedom from stigma or constraints.
And while every piece of the reproductive healthcare ecosystem needs attention—including but not limited to contraception access and technology, maternal health and wellness, infertility and comprehensive sex education—I see a huge opportunity in working to change the culture around abortion. Because the reality is policy, research, technology… none of it sticks if culture isn’t ready to accept it. I experienced that first-hand. However, the philanthropic and impact investment sectors struggle with qualitative and anecdotal approaches. They are well-versed in quantitative data, but numbers don’t change hearts and minds. Stories do.
With that knowledge, my mom and I have come full-circle. Together, we are co-funding a project in partnership with Population Services International to further safe abortion culture change and storytelling.
If you want to make an impactful investment in reproductive health, rights and justice, invest in the power of storytelling. Invest in organizations and movements that are helping to normalize the sharing of stories about reproductive experiences and creating cultures of support rather than stigma. Boldly speak up against oppressive, dehumanizing anti-abortion language and rhetoric.
Read the full article about storytelling for reproductive rights by Jess Jacobs at The Conscious Investor.