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

Summary: This is a multi-strategy initiative to strengthen the capacity of sexual and reproductive health care professionals to implement individual, organizational, and community-level practices that purposefully advance reproductive justice.

Opportunity: 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.

Initiative: The S+RIVE Initiative builds provider capacity to integrate the reproductive justice framework into services through three major activities: a mini-conference, a six-session training series, and a community of practice with individual coaching. We help 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; and create supportive structures for peer sharing, problem solving, and accountability among participants as they implement concrete actions aligned with the reproductive justice framework.

Impact: The S+RIVE Initiative aims 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 to 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: This program is funded by the Caring for Colorado Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation. The S+RIVE Initiative is led by CAI with support from Dimension Strategies and an advisory board of grassroots and clinical leaders.

Project contact: Adjoa Sankofia Tetteh, Project Director: strive@caiglobal.org.

S+rive Resources

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

Timeline of reproductive oppression and justice in the United States
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 (1.2 MB PDF). Includes journal articles, publications, and other resources on the topic.

Achieving Reproductive Justice in Colorado 2021 conference (register to access). S+rive brought 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.

Partner organizations