In March of 2003, the Feminist Women's Health Center (FWHC) began its relationship with the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) through a grant initiative funded by Up the River Endeavors. Out of this relationship was born the Men Against Sexism Outreach Project (MASOP), a collaborative project evolving into Men for Equality & Reproductive Justice (MERJ) in 2008.
As advocates for positive social change, we recognize, along with others, that throughout the world there is an incredible need for institutions that are cooperative rather than competitive, feminist rather than patriarchal, egalitarian rather than domineering. In response to this need for such change, a relationship was born between FWHC and NOMAS. In April 2003, the national co-chair of NOMAS traveled to Atlanta to take part in a 2-day meeting and training at the Feminist Women’s Health Center. By the fall of 2003 we succeeded in working with National NOMAS to form an Atlanta chapter. Throughout our first year, we continued to recruit NOMAS members in Atlanta. We developed brochures that explain the collaboration between the FWHC and NOMAS, as well as, literature that outlines how men can be allies in the feminist movement. As a result of this outreach, we have seen a significant increase in the number of men attending our Voice for Choice and Focus on Feminist workshops, and in our volunteer ranks.
At the Feminist Center, we feel strongly that the reproductive rights movements and LGBT movements fight a similar battle to protect the fundamental right to control our bodies without interference by the government. Reproductive autonomy is as vital to the fight for LGBT rights as it is to the rights of heterosexual women and men.
If you are interested in participating in MERJ or looking to find out more, please contact our community education & advocacy director at 404.248.5445.