Loretta J. Ross

Loretta J. Rosswas a co-founder and the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective from 2005-2012. SisterSong is a network founded in 1997 of 80 women of color and allied organizations that organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement. Ms. Ross is an expert on women’s issues, hate groups, racism and intolerance, human rights, and violence against women.

Ms. Ross was National Co-Director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants. As part of a 38-year history in social justice activism, between 1996-2004, she was the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia. Before that, she was the Program Research Director at the Center for Democratic Renewal/National Anti-Klan Network where she led projects researching hate groups, and working against all forms of bigotry with universities, schools, and community groups. She was one of the first African American women to direct a rape crisis center in the 1970s, launching her career by pioneering work on violence against women.

She is the co-author of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, written with Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, and Elena Gutiérrez, and published by South End Press in 2004 (awarded the Myers Outstanding Book Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights), and author of “The Color of Choice” chapter in Incite! Women of Color Against Violence published in 2006. She has also written extensively on the history of African American women and reproductive justice activism.

She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University. She is pursuing a PhD in Women’s Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.