The Woman Project met and interviewed a seasoned reporter Kiersten Marek, a Cranston, RI resident working between physical/mental health as well as feminist reporter.
1. We are curious about who you are and what kind of work that you do; would you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a clinical social worker by day and a feminist philanthropy publisher by night. I believe in the power of women to change the world and try to work toward that end professionally. As a therapist, I specialize in treatment for trauma, particularly for sexual assault. I also specialize a number of other issues including emotional issues related to financial problems and helping foster and adoptive families. I feel it is incumbent upon me to continuously update my toolbox as a change-work practitioner. Most recently, I became certified in hypnotherapy, to help refine my skills in communicating more fully with my clients in order to guide them toward wellness.
2. TWP has been working to pass a bill that codifies Roe V Wade into RI state law. We are interested in the ways that Reproductive Freedom impacts your life and the work that you do?
It is essential to the practice of health care at every level that reproductive freedom is maintained. As a therapist, I am perhaps more aware of this essential nature of reproductive health care because I am privy to the difficult decisions that women and men make regarding reproduction. I see it as part of my job to ensure that we have all options available reproductively.
3. When you think about your community what is something you would like them to know about Reproductive Freedom in RI? Why?
Planned Parenthood does an admirable job of continuing to be a resource for people in Rhode Island who need help with reproductive health care. There are also more options available for women reproductively and they need to be aware of all the options. We need to maintain the current levels of access to reproductive services for all women.
4. What are the best ways in your opinion to educate people about this issue?
I think we need to ask people to look at their own lives and notice the times that reproductive freedom played a critical role in ensuring the safety and well-being of themselves or others. When we are honest about how life works, we know that reproductive freedom is a necessity.
5. Is there anything else you would like to add- this is wide open to your voice and sharing your perspective on the issue of intersectional reproductive freedom?
Since I’m a feminist philanthropy publisher, I want to suggest that you read about funding for reproductive rights and think about what we can do to enhance that funding pipeline. It is an essential issue to many progressive women donors — the maintaining of reproductive freedom — and yet we are losing some of the battles on this issue in parts of the country. We need to pay attention to this work and make sure that we are adding what we can to the movement, both in the U.S. and globally. I would also like to ask members of your community to consider subscribing to Philanthropy Women as a way to support the growth of feminist philanthropy as a powerful agent for social change. Feminist philanthropy is about justice, inclusion, and systems change, and when you add all of those strategies together, you have the capacity to unlock a new paradigm for civil society.
Question: What issue keeps you up at night?
Answer: “I wonder how, with the mounting evidence that gender equality is good for society — that people sleep better in more equal societies, that business performs better with more gender diversity, that countries are more peaceful where there is more equality between the genders — I wonder how we can let people know about this so the world can survive and our daughters can live better than we do.”