Foundations of Our Movement: Childfree-Parenthood-by Choice

March 1, 2022
Hosted by Christine Erickson

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Our focus for this episode, will be on the origins of the childfree-parenthood-by-choice movement, the fight against pronatalism in the United States, and where we are today. Pronatalist culture, policy and language continues to permeate within personal relationships, across cultures, in the workplace, and through media and entertainment narratives. How do we become fully acknowledged as a diverse community of people who comprise approximately 25% of the overall population? Today we will honor the foundational work of the National Organization for Non-Parents (NON), later renamed the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood (NAOP), founded by Ellen Peck and Shirley Radl, in 1972. And although not having children wasn’t new, and has been a reality for centuries, creating a visible movement, and speaking publicly to these issues was, particularly as it relates to the matter of choice. The purpose of NON was to support those who chose not to have children, educating the public around non-parenthood as a choice, bringing greater awareness of overpopulation, and supporting other groups with aligned goals. Our guest for this episode is social justice activist and entrepreneur, and former NON spokesperson, Joan Eisenstodt. Joan will share her journey to being childfree, and her history making experience in her home state of Ohio, as well as their experiences in the childfree movement. We will discuss reproductive justice, and voluntarily sterilization, for those who choose not to have children. We will reflect on what has changed since the start of the childfree-parenthood-by-choice movement, and not. Our conversation will assess the status of reproductive rights today, the perception of those without children, and what is needed going forward, for our community.

New Legacy Radio

Tuesday at 10 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

New Legacy Radio is a social justice platform about people without children. This space is intended to bring visibility and change to our experiences, to connect with our allies and anyone committed to learning more from our community, which is reaching an estimated one-third of the global population. The show addresses the social, systemic, and structural realities perpetuated by reproductive and relational identity bias. We discuss the impact of pronatalist behavior and policies, through the perspectives of our community and allies, as we work to achieve meaningful change that recognizes the truly diverse, intersectional continuum of our experiences. New Legacy Radio is brought to you by New Legacy Institute (NLI), which is policy institute, focused on the global culture and impact of pronatalism. The Institute’s social justice advocacy serves the growing, global community of people without children. NLI’s mission is to generate constructive change in cultural, organizational, and institutional policies that exhibit biases against people without children.

Christine Erickson

Christine Erickson (she/her) is the founder of New Legacy Institute. The Institute’s purpose is to advocate for change around social realities and policy inequities faced by those who do not have children. Christine is involuntarily childless by circumstance (cxc), and touched on her experiences in her award-winning book, The Mother Within: A Guide to Accepting Your Childless Journey. (2015) A revised edition is forthcoming. Her current writing focuses on the unacknowledged impact of women who are childless/childfree due to circumstances. Christine is dedicated to advancing the diverse narratives and experiences of people without children. She is a staunch advocate of our community’s equitable inclusion and belonging in the workplace, media & entertainment narratives, and making visible the ways in which our community is impacted by culture and policy, and the change we seek. As an executive and entrepreneur, she has lived and worked globally, for the majority of her career. She is an experienced executive coach, leadership educator, and the founder of the Center for Consent-Driven Leadership. She is writing a forthcoming book: Consent-Driven: Rethinking the Culture of Leadership. Christine is an advocate for justice reform in family law and court procedures, involuntary pro se representation, and multifaceted accountability regarding violence against women. She has also consulted on international women’s law and development, gender equity and healthcare access initiatives.

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