S+RIVE Initiative: Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health Equity in Clinical Spaces

S+RIVE is a Colorado-based, multi-strategy initiative to strengthen the capacity and commitment professionals providing sexual and reproductive health care to implement individual, organizational, and community-level practices that purposefully advance reproductive justice.

Reproductive justice is a movement and framework founded in 1994 by a group of Black women that unites social justice, human rights, and reproductive rights. Applying a reproductive justice lens to health care practice requires confronting the role racism and other biases play in health care; uplifting the leadership of communities most impacted by inequity and oppression; honoring the expertise patients have on their own lives; fostering a better understanding of and approach to addressing structural and social determinants of health; and expanding person-centered approaches to care. This approach can help advance health equity and address persisting disparities in sexual and reproductive health, but many health care professionals struggle to translate the framework into concrete changes to their practice.

Furthermore, research has shown that even among professionals who espouse values of equity, justice, and person-centered care, their clinical practices may not reflect these values. S+RIVE seeks to lessen these gaps between values and practice.

The initiative

The S+RIVE Initiative builds provider capacity to integrate the reproductive justice framework into services through a mini conference, a six-session training series, and a community of practice with individualized coaching.

Through these activities, the project aims to:

  • Build awareness about the need for a reproductive justice–informed approach
  • Provide opportunities for participants to examine their relationship to power and privilege as individuals and as health care professionals
  • Help participants build a reflective practice to continuously examine and reduce individual and organizational biases
  • Share concrete strategies for applying the reproductive justice framework to clinical practice, broader organizational systems, and community partnerships
  • Create supportive structures for peer sharing, problem solving, and accountability among participants as they implement concrete actions aligned with the reproductive justice framework.

The impact

The goal of the S+RIVE Initiative is to foster greater awareness among health care professionals throughout Colorado about reproductive justice and their role within it, and to develop a cadre of health care leaders committed to implementing concrete actions at the individual, organizational, and community levels that incorporate a reproductive justice–informed lens.

Through the initiative, CAI is identifying tools, resources, and opportunities to sustain change and continued learning for professionals on this journey with the hopes of creating a replicable model for building the capacity of health care professionals to take patient-centered, justice-informed approaches to care.

Project funder and key partners

  • Funder: Caring for Colorado Foundation’s Repro Collab and the Colorado Health Foundation
  • Partners: Dimension Strategies and an advisory board of reproductive justice, reproductive health, community health, and clinical leaders

Leadership and contact

Adjoa Sankofia Tetteh, S+RIVE Project Director: strive@caiglobal.org.

S+RIVE Resources

Stay in touch with S+RIVE: sign up for our email list.

Archived Recording of 2021 Achieving Reproductive Justice in Colorado Conference with free CME, CNE, and SW credits 
S+RIVE brought together more than 80 healthcare professionals from across Colorado together to reflect on historical and present-day examples of reproductive justice and oppression and learn about the critical role that healthcare professionals play in the pursuit of reproductive justice. You must register on CAI’s e-learning platform, Learning Stream, to view.

Timeline of reproductive oppression and justice in the United States and Colorado
Adapted from the Western States Center’s We are BRAVE: Building Reproductive Autonomy and Voices for Equity Toolkit, Reproductive Justice Timeline and the COLOR/Forward Together RJ 101 Timeline and developed by CAI for the S+RIVE Initiative.

Reproductive Justice Resource Sheet (250 KB PDF). Includes key organizations, journal articles, videos, and other resources on the topic.

Partner organizations