It’s our State Programs Manager, Evelyn’s, workiversary and we’re beyond excited to be celebrating the 1-year mark of her time at All-Options! From her community-building skills to her passion for increasing abortion access for all Hoosiers, Evelyn has been an amazing addition to our team and we can’t wait to see what she does in the year(s) to come! Check out her mini-interview below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you come to work at All-Options?
I’ve lived in Bloomington for about twelve years now. I came for school but stuck around because I felt connected to the activist community I’d built up, which did a lot of work on feminist and LGBTQ+ issues. After school, I worked in a warehouse for about a year, then got a job at a domestic violence shelter I’d been volunteering with for several years.
I worked for the DV shelter for about five years, and remember it being a big deal when All-Options PRC opened. It was a place that we could direct clients comfortably, because we knew they weren’t going to be shamed or attacked and would be given complete, accurate information about their options.
When the position with the Hoosier Abortion Fund opened up, I’d been working on expanding my domestic violence and sexual violence prevention work beyond the scope of the agency I was in for a while, partnering with LGBTQ, disability, and homelessness service orgs. I really loved the idea of continuing my work in an adjacent field, and learning new skills in the process!
What’s your favorite thing about the work you do here?
I like that it’s so connected to all different kinds of movements for justice! Every struggle includes people who are or might be parents, who are or might have to to deal with a pregnancy. I love that I’m part of a movement that can facilitate so many others, and I especially love that I have coworkers who see those connections, even if we’re not able to act on every single thing we’d like to. When you don’t have to fight to explain how diaper access is connected to disability justice, why medical care for trans folks is a feminist issue, how universal childcare would benefit struggles for racial justice, you can focus on making those things a reality!
Why is an all-options approach to reproductive health & support important to you?
It means a lot to me that when we talk about providing all options, we don’t just mean information, or just people knowing their rights. It means material investment in people and communities. A person who knows abortion is legal but still can’t afford one is hardly better off than someone who was misled by anti-choice propaganda. I like that the all-options philosophy pushes us to think about structural changes in our communities as solutions to the problems we face.
What’s your best All-Options memory to date and what are you looking forward to as we grow?
It’s not a single thing, but all the little moments where my perceptions and knowledge base were challenged and I got a chance to grow and build a more comprehensive, complete understanding of our work and the world. I love that I work with so many folks that are so widely experienced and bring so much knowledge and experience to our work, and glad that I get to both benefit from that and contribute to it with my own knowledge!
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your All-Options colleagues.
I actually think I tend to wear myself on my sleeve, so what you see is what you get. Maybe the thing that comes to mind is that I was a big rule-follower when I was young — I was always afraid of getting in trouble. Nowadays I feel like the trick is knowing when getting in trouble in the best strategic option!
What’s your favorite thing to do for fun?
I love films! I like watching them, talking about them, and sharing them with friends. I don’t have any formal training in film but I like thinking about them through the feminist frameworks I’ve used for my activist work, and exploring cinema by women and about women’s lives, especially in the genres of horror and historical fiction.
If you could have any one person, living or dead, over to your house for dinner, who would it be and what would you make?
Ursula K. LeGuin! The Dispossessed is one of my favorite books, and really informed the way I think about building just societies and working together in the face of violence or scarcity. I’d make falafel because it’s fun and I like deep frying things, and it’s also easy to do vegan.
If All-Options’ mission were achieved and all people had the support and resources they needed for pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption experiences, where would you want to give more of your time?
I already spend a lot of time doing work in and for the co-op I live in, but I really do believe in the value of communal life in facilitating a more just society! I’d like to keep doing work to build and expand communal living options so they’re more accessible to young people, elderly folks, people with disabilities, families with children, and more, and also getting communal living spaces active in politics and neighborhood life. Sharing my life so closely with others means a lot to me, and I know it’s not for everyone, but everyone should have the option, at least!