Gender Justice Spring CLE

Gender Justice Spring CLE


Schedule Overview

  • 11:00 AM-11:05 AM Welcome
  • 11:05 AM-12:05 PM Reproductive Rights are LGBTQ Rights (1 Elimination of Bias credit)
  • 12:05 PM-12:10 PM Break 
  • 12:10 PM-1:10 PM Let Them Play: Title IX is About Inclusion Not Division (1 Standard credit)
  • 1:10 PM-1:15 PM Closing


Reproductive Rights are LGBTQ Rights (1 Elimination of Bias Credit)

Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman and Advocacy Directory Erin Maye Quade, and Abortion Care Network Deputy Director Erin Grant, will discuss the elimination of bias and inclusion of LGBTQ+ populations in gender-based lawsuits, using Gender Justice’s ongoing abortion restriction lawsuit, Doe v. Minnesota, as an example. By the end of the session, attendees will have gained a greater understanding about:

  • How the Reproductive Justice movement captures the ways in which reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights are intimately connected.
  • Why it is important that attorneys be inclusive of diverse populations when framing gender-based lawsuits.
  • The impact of abortion restrictions and other reproductive rights rollbacks on medical providers’ ability to deliver LGB and gender affirming reproductive health care.
  • What steps attorneys in gender-based lawsuits can take to ensure they are inclusive of LGBTQ+ people
  • Policy surrounding reproductive rights, including access to emergency contraception, sex education, and taxpayer funding for crisis pregnancy centers.
  • The current state of abortion restriction litigation in Minnesota and its impacts on abortion providers and diverse populations.


Let Them Play: Title IX Is About Inclusion Not Division  (1 Standard Credit)

Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman will moderate a panel with Senior Staff Attorney Christy Hall, Ashland Johnson, Founder of Inclusion Playbook, Heron Greenesmith, Senior Research Associate with Political Research Associates, and Elizabeth Sharrow, Associate Professor of Public Policy & History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Panelists will discuss the history and current status of Title IX, and the ways in which anti-LGBTQ advocates are trying to manipulate Title IX as a tool of discrimination. Attendees will leave the conversation with greater understanding about: 

  • The historical context of discrimination in sport and current issues hindering women’s athletics 
  • The original purpose of Title IX and how it operates in school sports
  • The ways in which anti-LGBTQ activists are using sport to pit cis women against transgender and non-binary athletes
  • Updates on sports-related litigation including cases brought under Title IX, the U.S. Constitution, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act



Megan Peterson (she/her), Gender Justice Executive Director

Megan J. Peterson joined Gender Justice in 2016, bringing her many years of experience in progressive social justice causes, primarily reproductive rights and justice. As Deputy Director for the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), Megan helped lead the organization through a period of significant growth and increased impact by expanding and strengthening its network of grassroots abortion funds and increasing its donor and foundation funding. Megan was instrumental in NNAF’s founding leadership in All* Above All, a national campaign to repeal the Hyde Amendment. 

Prior to her nine years with NNAF, Megan served as Director of Development and Communications for Pro-Choice Resources (now called Our Justice) in Minneapolis and as a patient advocate at Planned Parenthood in St. Paul. In college she worked with the National Organization for Women in Washington, DC, and the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now called Legal Momentum).

Jess Braverman (she/her), Gender Justice Legal Director

Jess came to Gender Justice from the Hennepin County Public Defender’s office. After representing hundreds of clients in felony matters in the Fourth District, she spearheaded the office’s Special Litigation Unit, where she focused on racial profiling in policing. Jess attended NYU Law School, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow with a focus on LGBTQ rights. After graduating, Jess worked at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Project, representing young people in delinquency and child protection cases in Brooklyn, New York. 

Erin Maye Quade (she/her), Gender Justice Advocacy Director

As Gender Justice’s Advocacy Director, Erin Maye Quade works to advance gender equity through public education, legislative outreach, strategic partnerships and coalition-building. She is also the Campaign Manager for UnRestrict Minnesota, a coalition of diverse community groups dedicated to educating Minnesotans about the current laws that restrict access to abortion care. Erin is a former Minnesota State Representative who was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016. In June 2018, Rep. Erin Maye Quade became the first LGBTQ person – and among the youngest – to be endorsed as the DFL candidate for Lt. Governor. 

Erin Grant (they/them), Abortion Care Network Deputy Director

Erin Grant is the Deputy Director at Abortion Care Network, a national membership organization of independent abortion providers, and their allies across the united states. In this role, they focus primarily on partnerships with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to promote sustainability and to deepen community-based support for independent abortion clinics.

With nearly a decade of experience as an independent abortion provider, community doula, and with a passion for organizational development, Erin embodies an intersectional lens in the fight for reproductive freedom. They are deeply committed to reproductive justice and bodily autonomy in healthcare, and is a fierce activist at the local and national level across many different movements, including reproductive justice, racial justice, economic justice, gender justice, and prison abolition. Erin believes we must build with many communities to make room for all of our complexity and humanity, and so works to build our collective power and collective impact. Erin believes that we will win.

Christy Hall (she/her), Gender Justice Senior Staff Attorney

As Gender Justice Senior Staff Attorney, Christy Hall represents clients challenging gender discrimination. She practices in both state and federal court and has argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Christy litigates cases involving discrimination in employment, housing, health care and education. She is proud of her ground-breaking work on transgender rights in the Affordable Care Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. She has a particular interest in representing clients who have experienced trauma. Christy graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and joined Gender Justice in 2011 as a Robina Public Interest Scholars Fellow. Prior to becoming an attorney, Christy worked as a computer programmer.

Ashland Johnson (she/her), Inclusion Playbook Founder

An attorney, equity and inclusion strategist, and former Division I athlete, Ashland Johnson has over a decade of civil rights experience working with social justice communities, advising sports leaders, and serving in leadership roles in advocacy organizations. Ashland recently served as the Director of Public Education & Research for the Human Rights Campaign, executing innovative, data-driven campaigns at the intersections of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, health care, sports, and faith. Prior to HRC, Ashland served as Athlete Ally’s Policy Director, working with sports leaders to promote LGBTQ inclusion both on the field and under the law. She previously served as Policy Counsel for at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she helped develop the first national LGBTQ Sports Project. In 2016, Ashland was named as one of the 40 best LGBTQ lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.

Heron Greenesmith (they/them), Political Research Associates Senior Research Associate

Heron Greenesmith is the Senior Research Associate with Political Research Associates. Heron has worked in LGBTQ advocacy for over a decade with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, the Movement Advancement Project, Family Equality Council, and the National LGBTQ Task Force. They specialize in advocacy for bisexual and pansexual people. Heron is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and American University, Washington College of Law. Heron is admitted to the New York and Massachusetts bars. They are a former board member of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, a former board member of the National LGBT Bar Association, a former Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellow, and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

Elizabeth A. Sharrow (they/She), Assistant Professor of Public Policy & History University of Massachusetts Amherst

Elizabeth A. Sharrow is Associate Professor of Public Policy and History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Policy. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota with a graduate minor in Feminist and Critical Sexuality Studies, and a Masters of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Dr. Sharrow’s research focuses on the history and impacts of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. She specializes in the politics of public policy and how policy has shaped the meanings of sex, race, sexuality, disability, and class in U.S. politics over the past fifty years. Her work is published in multiple peer-reviewed forums and her scholarship has been funded by the National Science Foundation, among others. Before becoming an academic, she worked as a NCAA Division I collegiate women’s rowing coach and previously served as captain of the UMN rowing team.

And special thanks to our friends at Nichols Kaster for making this event possible!