Kelley Raye
September 28, 2022 6:00 AM EDT

As the National Network of Abortion Funds’ recently appointed executive director, Oriaku Njoku carries a clarity of vision that’s absolutely needed to lead people toward a better future.

They have been on the ground for over a decade—from working in an Atlanta abortion clinic to co-founding and leading the abortion fund Access Reproductive Care-­Southeast in order to provide help to people in states with restrictive abortion laws. Oriaku understands that providing direct services like funding and logistical support for abortions is a huge step in eliminating barriers for people. To learn about the reproductive-­justice movement over the past six years has been to fundamentally see the privilege I had to not only be able to access abortion care when I was 15 for an unwanted pregnancy, but to be able to determine when I ended up becoming a mother—on my terms.

Oriaku sees that true equality means a world where choosing how to live your life and choosing how to have your family isn’t the hardest part. They know that getting the work done means focusing on those who don’t currently have access to the same resources. And the way they are able to rally communities, while centering love and joy and acceptance of all people, is something I aspire to.

Philipps is an actor and activist

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