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Sahra Harvin

Sahra Harvin - 2019 Nominee
Position: Board Co-Chair
Organization: Clinic Access Support Network
Current Location: United States, North America
Bachelor's Degree from University of Houston - Downtown, English
Not only does Sahra work professionally as a counselor for people who are seeking abortions at the Houston Women's Clinic, she's also on the board of CASN: an org committed to providing direct abortion access services to people in the Houston area. – Aracely Garcia, Houston Field Coordinator at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

CASN was a relatively new organization with very informal procedures when I started
volunteering. When I became a board member, I made improving our hotline and
volunteer management my top priority. I researched and implemented a safer, more efficient system
for coordinating rides for callers, created standardized hotline procedures and case manager
training, and created caller funding tracking systems. In my tenure as board member, CASN has grown from a small organization with a few dozen
volunteers to a network of around 100 volunteers and two teams of 11 case managers. Last year, we
provided over 700 people with transportation, lodging, and other logistical support for their abortions.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I've had a passion for reproductive rights since high school, when a friend of mine became pregnant. We went to a religious school, so we really didn't know our options and that she had a choice about whether or not she wanted to be pregnant. The school ended up kicking her out, and wouldn't change their policy on abstinence-only education even when students urged them to. Since then, I've been passionate about access to the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare, particularly abortion.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

I display leadership by encouraging others to lead! A few months ago, CASN's founder and Executive Director left the organization. I saw this as an opportunity to change how the board operates and governs, and advocated for a transition from hierarchical leadership to a collective leadership model. Now, each board member is the expert on their role and no one has more authority than another. This allows for better leadership from the board as a whole and better collaboration.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I would donate it back to Clinic Access Support Network! We expect that these abortion bans across the South will lead to a high increase in callers who need long distance transportation to receive abortion care in Houston. This money could be spent on bus tickets, gas money, and hotels for out of state callers seeking abortion care in Houston.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work

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