Loretta J. Ross is the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, a network founded in 1997 of 80 women of color and allied organizations that work on reproductive justice issues. In 2004, 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. Between 1996-2004, she was the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia. She lectures frequently on human rights, women’s rights, hate groups and right wing organizations. Ms. Ross was one of the first African American women to direct the first rape crisis center in the United States in the 1970s. From 1985 to 1989, she served as the Director of Women of Color Programs for the National Organization for Women, organizing the first national conference on Women of Color and Reproductive Rights in 1987. Prior to developing NCHRE in 1996, she served as the national program research director for the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR) (formerly the National Anti-Klan Network) from 1990 to 1995 and program director of the National Black Women’s Health Project from 1989-1990. She is a political commentator for Pacifica News Service, and has appeared as a political commentator on Good Morning America, The Donahue Show, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, and BET. Ross has also been a keynote speaker at numerous statewide and national conferences focusing on human rights, reproductive justice, and sexual and domestic violence.
Recent publications include “African American Women and Abortion After Roe,” in Abortion Wars: A Half Century of Struggle: 1950-2000 (Beacon Press) edited by Rickie Solinger and Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice (South End Press), co-authored with Jael Silliman, Marlene Fried, and Elena Gutierrez, published in 2004. She is the co-author of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, co-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 is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University. She is presently enrolled in the Women’s Studies PhD program at Emory University in Atlanta. Ms. Ross is presently writing a book on reproductive rights entitled Black Abortion. Ms. Ross’ papers are currently housed and accessible in the archives of The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.