Loretta Ross

Loretta J. Ross is a Black academic, feminist, and activist for reproductive justice, especially among women of color. Driven by her personal experiences as a survivor of rape and nonconsensual sterilization, Ross has dedicated her extensive career in academia and activism to reframing reproductive rights within a broader context of human rights. Over her decades of grassroots organizing and national strategic leadership, Ross has centered the voices and well-being of women of color.

Ross is a Professor at Smith College in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender where she teaches courses on white supremacy, human rights, and Calling In the Call Out Culture. In 2022, she was announced a MacArthur Fellow for her work as an advocate for reproductive justice and human rights. Her forthcoming book, Calling in the Cancel Culture, models a more compassionate way of speaking to each other, of movement-building, and of redressing harm.

Prior to academia, Ross was the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective (2005-2012) and co-created the theory of Reproductive Justice. She served as the National Co-Director of the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C. and founded the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia. Her leadership has also included national programming for the National Black Women’s Health Project, the launch of the Women of Color Program for the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Year Honored: 2024
Birth: 1953 -
Born In: Texas
Achievements: Education, Humanities
Educated In: United States
Schools Attended: Howard University, Agnes Scott College, Emory University