Founded in 1999, Young Women United (YWU) works to build communities where all people have access to the information, education, and resources needed to make real decisions about their own bodies and lives. While YWU understands that the issues facing LGBTQ people in New Mexico are similar to the issues New Mexico faces everyday, whether it is poverty, anti-immigration policies, incarceration and detention, criminalization of substance use and addiction, and inadequate access to health care, they uniquely address these issues through a LGBTQ-centered reproductive justice lens. Additionally, they are one of very few organizations in New Mexico working to address reproductive health in Spanish. Working in a rural state with specific histories of displacement and colonization that deeply affect their base of LGBTQ youth, women, people of color, and indigenous/Native peoples, YWU moves through and within movements for criminal justice reform, birthing justice, and reproductive justice. They uplift the voices of their base through community organizing, cultural work, policy change, leadership development, and culture shift strategies.
Image credit: Nina Freer