Earlier this year, the first anniversary of Reckon Women quietly passed while we all navigated life during a pandemic and racial justice uprisings in our communities across the South.
And though May 2020 marked a year since our online community was born, we are still celebrating today—all that we’ve done, and all that we’re going to do.
In 2019, we:
- Dedicated a reporting team to examine how Alabama treats its mothers and the intersection of policy and gender disparity.
- Created Reckon Women, a Facebook group dedicated to tough, moderated conversations to help women thrive in the South.
- Launched a weekly email newsletter authored by reporter Abbey Crain to explore and discuss issues relevant to Southern women.
- Partnered with the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham to convene events for women to be heard. We gathered across the state to learn strategies to force women’s perspectives and voices into the state’s policy conversations.
Reporter Anna Claire Vollers spent the year examining how Alabama treats its mothers. She uncovered solutions for how the state’s leaders could improve the lives and livelihoods of mamas all across our state. Her reporting amplified the voices of those who were working to understand why women in our state die in pregnancy, childbirth and in the first year after giving birth. And thanks to those efforts, the Alabama legislature approved funding this year for a maternal mortality review committee. We can’t know how to save mothers’ lives if we don’t have the data to show what’s killing them. And now we will.
Two women who both almost died from pregnancy-related complications met in our Reckon Women Facebook group. They united and recruited members to launch the MAMA Collaborative, a nonprofit organization to lobby for change. Their slogan: Every. Mother. In.
Following Alabama’s passage of the country’s most restrictive abortion ban, we turned to women. We dedicated our newspapers to essays written by women across the state about what it means to be a woman in Alabama. Then, we partnered with See Jane Write to help more women hone their writing. See Jane Write found Javacia Harris Bowser helps women publish their stories in our newsletter and on our website. We continue to publish those essays each week.
The Reckon Women team has turned our attention in the last year to identifying how we can better serve women in Alabama and across the South through our reporting, our events and our online communities. We are proud of our work thus far, but know we still have plenty of road ahead.
Join us on our journey.