Cherisse Scott - CEO & Founder
Cherisse Scott has been working in the Reproductive Justice movement for over 10 years. Ms. Scott came to know the framework of Reproductive Justice as a woman in need of a safe abortion. Her experience of being misguided by services offered through a crisis pregnancy center posing as an abortion clinic set in motion the work she would commit to and women she would fight for. As many Black women, Scott knows exactly what it is not to have the necessary social supports in order to make informed decisions about her reproductive health. In that same spirit, Scott also knows how life changes positively when a woman is empowered with access and information about her reproductive and sexual health.
In 2011, Scott relocated to Memphis, TN. Later that year she founded SisterReach, currently the only Reproductive Justice organization in the state of Tennessee. With the visionary support of her mother and grandmother, the work of SisterReach was created to focus on empowering women and girls of color, poor women, rural women and their families.
Some of SisterReach’s recent accomplishments under Ms. Scott’s leadership include releasing their 2015 report on the need for comprehensive sexuality education for southern youth of color, their ProWoman Billboard campaign in opposition to anti-abortion billboards erected in Memphis targeting Black men, the roll out of their state and nationally based clergy cohort partnering with and training faith leaders on social justice issues and Ms. Scott’s presentation to the United Nations Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice (UNWGDAW) regarding the impact of the fetal assault law on TN women. SisterReach's work, along with their state and national partners, on the fetal assault law led to a victory of defeating HB 1660 which criminalized mothers struggling with drug addiction during the 2016 legislative session. Ms. Scott chairs the Education Advocacy Working group for Memphis Teen Vision, was recently featured in the NBCNews #31DaysofFeminism campaign, she is a 2016 Rockwood Institute Fellow, and was recently featured on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee sharing her story regarding her CPC experience. Cherisse is a sought out public speaker on reproductive justice and other human rights issues and works diligently with national partners and coalitions to bring awareness to the human rights injustices of Tennesseans.