Loretta Ross


Founder, National Center for Human Rights Education and National Coordinator, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective


Loretta J. Ross is a co-founder and the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a network founded in 1997 of 80 women of color and allied organizations that work on reproductive justice issues to fulfill a need for a national network that would organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement. SisterSong is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and one of its major projects is fighting the anti-abortion billboards and legislation around the country targeting African American communities. Loretta is an expert on African American women and abortion politics in the U.S., having written extensively for the past 20 years on the subject.

Ms. Ross was National Co-Director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants. As part of a 35-year history in social justice activism, between 1996-2004, she was the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia. She taught more than 1 million people about human rights violations in the United States, and helped many social justice activists learn how to use the human rights framework in their work.

She was one of the first African American women to direct a rape crisis center in the 1970s. She is the co-author of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, written with Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, and Elena Gutiérrez, and published by South End Press in 2004 (awarded the Myers Outstanding Book Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights), and author of “The Color of Choice” chapter in Incite! Women of Color Against Violence published in 2006. She has also written extensively on reproductive justice theory and activism.