ONWARD I The Next 50 Years - University of Houston
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AMANDA BEATRIZ WILLIAMS

Name, age, occupation:

Amanda Beatriz Williams, 30, Executive Director, Lilith Fund

Why did you select your social justice icon?

Frida was a bisexual Mexican artist, feminista, and activist who produced a series of autobiographical canvases that dealt with everything from the consequences of the terrible injuries she suffered in a tram crash to abortion and miscarriages. Her artwork regularly contained themes of her reproductive journey, including her struggles with fertility and the devastation of learning she was unable to have children. As a queer Chicana who works in the reproductive justice movement, I find deep inspiration in Frida’s powerful artwork that continues to spark international dialogue around the nuances of diverse reproductive journeys, gender, Latinidad, and feminism — showcasing the critical role art and culture play in political activism.

Do you have a favorite quote from your social justice icon?

“I paint flowers so they will not die.”

What social, racial, economic, or political justice issue does your work address?

Reproductive Justice

Are there any books, documentaries, films, articles, etc that you would recommend for others to learn more about the work of your social justice icon?

Never miss the chance to see a Frida Kahlo exhibit in person. Go visit La Casa Azul in Mexico City!

When did you first become aware of/interested in
Frida Kahlo?

I was very young, my mother had prints of Frida’s work in our house.

If you could have everyone in the world do one tangible thing to help advance the cause of the issue you work on, what would it be?

Donate or volunteer with your local abortion fund!

Can you describe the biggest accomplishment/most gratifying moment you've had working on your issue to date?

Expanding the work of Lilith Fund and building the team that we have today. Most recently, I’ve been so proud of our victory with the Austin City Council to allocate $150,000 towards practical support for Austinites seeking abortion care.

Who or what gives you the hope and motivation to keep going when you feel fear or doubt about achieving justice? 

Young people using their voice — organizing walk outs, sharing their own experiences with abortion, getting their friends involved, lifting up their own stories about why social justice is important to them and their futures.

What advice do you have for those who care about social justice but don't know how or where to begin? This could be related to the issue you work on or even in general?

Reach out to people on the ground doing the work. Ask questions. Figure out where you’re needed and plug in; there’s more than enough work to go around and we need you!

Who or what else inspires your work?

My mother

If you were stranded on a desert island with your social justice icon, what is the one question you would ask them?

I would just want to know all about her life — what’s not written in the dozens and dozens of printed biographies. I would want to know the little things.

FUN FACTS

Are there any books, documentaries, films or articles that you would recommend for others to learn more about the work of your social justice icon?

Podcast: The Read

What are some of your hobbies? 

I love to rock climb, drink red wine, watch cooking shows with my boo, play games, and spend time with friends and family. I also sing in a choir and have recently taken up kickboxing.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Probably nothing because I’m an open book :)

ABOUT

As the GCSW officially beings its 51st year, we are committed to moving ONWARD to achieve social, racial, economic, and political justice local to global. In order to bridge the past with our future, we are highlighting GCSW students, alumni, and community activists in a series of striking portraits by artist Anat Ronen. ONWARD | The Next 50 Years features those committed to social justice. In each portrait, the subjects appear alongside their social justice inspirations.

Over the next year, we will be unveiling the portraits of those whose work spans the breadth of today's modern activists as well as the stories behind them. We invite you to learn more about each of these talented, dynamic, and determined modern-day activists.

(LEARN more)