To our community,
For twenty years, the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) has worked to build a world where every person can access abortion without barriers or judgment. As we embark on a period of transformation so that we can best deliver on our mission, we will continue to fund abortions.
Anyone who lives in or is traveling to New York State and needs help paying for an abortion can reach us at 212-252-4757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYAAF is an all-volunteer organization that provides direct financial assistance for abortions. NYAAF is led by a nonhierarchical, working board of directors who collectively do the day-to-day work of running the organization, share the responsibility of governance, and ensure that we have the resources to fulfill our mission.
NYAAF aspires to be an organization that centers people who have had abortions, dismantles oppressive systems, and operates in compassionate and equitable ways. We will use this transformation period to address the ways we have not lived up to these values and perpetuated white supremacy culture.
In August 2020, we welcomed and onboarded 9 new board members, the majority of whom are people of color. Since then, the Board has had a series of difficult conversations leading to the creation of our first-ever anti-racism committee and board demographic survey. The survey laid bare that NYAAF’s leadership is extremely disconnected to the communities we claim to serve. Most notably, our leadership is predominantly white and middle or upper class, the overwhelming majority of us have not had an abortion, and none of us has ever sought assistance from an abortion fund. Following the results of the demographic survey and subsequent conversations, several new board members decided to leave the board. A number of longer-serving board members have also left or plan to leave within the year. The loss of so many board members, coupled with the findings of the survey, engendered a long overdue reckoning.
The NYAAF board has been operating with an unsustainable urgency that prevents us from taking the time required to reflect, connect, and become an anti-racist organization that serves our clients with radical empathy and compassion. This period of transformation is an opportunity to stop cycles of harm by investing in restorative justice, values alignment, strategic planning, organizational restructuring, and the transfer of leadership to existing board members who more closely represent our callers.
Our most important work continues: during this period, NYAAF will continue to operate our call line and fund abortions with the support of our dedicated volunteer case managers. We will also continue the essential work that enables us to fund abortions. This includes our annual Fund-a-Thon, through which we raise funds that support our callers across New York State and beyond.
During the transformation process, we will not recruit new volunteers, take on new advocacy work, or host events or volunteer activities unrelated to the call line. We will be quieter on our website, email, and social media. We will share periodic updates in service of transparency, and we will likely reach out to you, our community, to provide feedback and input. In the meantime, if you have questions or considerations you’d like to share, please email us at email@example.com.
We are humbled by the opportunity to transform NYAAF into an organization grounded in and aligned with its values, with a re-imagined, long-term vision and strategic framework that centers and is led by people most impacted by barriers to abortion access.
NYAAF Board of Directors
Alex, Alicia, Ambika, Anna, Chelsea, Dory, EJ, Julia, Kaitlyn, Karla, Maddy, Puja, and Vanessa