Trusting Black Women

Our Founders

New Voices for Reproductive Justice specializes in the wholly impossible inspired by the quote from early 20th Century Black feminist, civil rights activist and religious leader, Nannie Helen Burroughs, the founder of the National Training School for Women and Girls.

This vision has resulted in creating a powerful movement for Reproductive Justice – the Human Right to control our bodies, sexuality, gender, work, reproduction and the ability to form our families – in the Rust Belt of America. The spark for New Voices began with three young Black women college students who created safe and affirming spaces for Black women on the University of Pittsburgh campus and a community elder who had been a peace and justice activist for over 30 years. This work extended to the broader Pittsburgh community in 2004 when our Founder, La’Tasha D. Mayes, accepted the call to leadership and organized women of color from Western Pennsylvania to attend the March for Women’s Lives. This opportunity clarified how important it was to create a political space for young women of color to articulate our own ideas about social justice and develop our own activism for reproductive rights as this space did not exist. The Co-Founders are Bekezela Mguni, Lois “Toni” McClendon and Maria Nicole (Smith) Dautruche.