Updates & News

Announcing open seats for the next term of the inroads Steering Committee (2019-2020)

Posted 17 October 2018 12:00 AM by The inroads Team

Applications Due: 6 November 2018 7am EDT/12noon UTC using the online form only


The search is on for several amazing new members to serve on the inroads Global Steering Committee!

The 2017-2018 inroads Steering Committee has been a source of guidance, inspiration, and instrumental support for inroads staff and members over the past two-year term. Since the current Steering Committee began in 2017, inroads has seen amazing growth in the number of members and in the way members engage with one another and with the network. Inroads is also embarking on a period of organizational assessment and transition, and inroads staff are working to update the governance and operational structures to best serve this vibrant global community of practice.

With the network entering a new stage of growth, the Steering Committee is entering a new stage as well. At the end of this year, inroads seeks to fill several Steering Committee seats to help guide the network as it grows even further. Several Steering Committee members are remaining on for a second term to provide continuity to the Committee, while several others are transitioning off after the completion of their two-year term. Inroads staff are grateful for all that the Steering Committee has brought to this role for the 2017-2018 term, and grateful that they will continue to be active and engaged members of the network while supporting new members to take on leadership roles with the network.

Below you will find:

  1. A description of the open Steering Committee seats and the composition for the 2019-2020 Steering Committee;
  2. A description of the application, review and selection process for the 2019-2020 Steering Committee; and
  3. A description of the roles and responsibilities of the Steering Committee, inroads staff, and the inroads host organization.

If you are interested in applying to join the inroads Steering Committee for the 2019-2020 term, please review this document carefully before completing an application here:  https://goo.gl/forms/b3XhwJMS7oBOMVo93 All applications must be received through this form. Applications sent separately cannot be considered. If you have questions about the form or application process, please email info@endabortionstigma.org.


2019-2020 inroads Steering committee composition

The next inroads Steering Committee will be comprised of 9 - 13 members, reflecting the geographic and organizational diversity of the membership. There will also be content-specific seats. With representation from members with different expertise and lived experience, the Global Steering Committee is a leadership body that helps guide the inroads Directors as we support this network.



Asia/Pacific member


Open seat

A new or existing member based in Asia or the Pacific. This person’s role is to:

  • Identify key strategic Asia or Pacific-based events and partners for inroads co-conveners and members.
  • Ambassador and liaison with members and partners in Asia and the Pacific; particularly with regional and national networks on safe abortion, community-based organizations, youth-led and focused organizations working on abortion issues. Reach out with women human rights defenders working on abortion issues.
  • Offer strategic guidance on network strategy and activities
  • Serve as reviewer for inroads Partnership Fund opportunities

North America member

(United States and Canada)


Open Seat

A new or existing member based in the United States or Canada. This person’s role is to:

  • Identify key strategic North American events and partners for inroads co-conveners and members
  • Ambassador and liaison with North American members and partners, particularly with the active and vibrant Reproductive Justice and self-managed abortion movements
  • Strategic guidance on network strategy and activities
  • Serve as reviewer for inroads Partnership Fund opportunities

Europe member


Open Seat

A new or existing member based in Europe. This person’s role is to:

  • Identify key strategic European events and partners for inroads co-conveners and members
  • Ambassador and liaison with members and partners based in Europe; particularly with marginalized populations such as migrants and members from countries where abortion is highly restricted
  • Strategic guidance on network strategy and activities
  • Serve as reviewer for inroads Partnership Fund opportunities

[New] Clinical Provider Seat

A new or existing member who is an abortion provider (physician, midwife, mid-level clinician, etc.) within a health clinic or health system. This individual should also be connected to the larger provider community (nationally, regionally, and/or globally). This person’s role is to:

  • Identify strategies to recruit and engage with abortion providers
  • Strategic guidance on network strategy and activities so that the benefits of inroads are accessible to providers
  • Bring expertise about reducing stigma around later abortion
  • Ambassador and liaison with providers and provider organizations
  • Serve as reviewer for inroads Partnership Fund opportunities

[New] Youth seat

A new or existing young inroads member (29 or younger at the start of the term). This person’s role is to:

  • Identify strategies to engage with young people to destigmatize abortion
  • Strategic guidance on network strategy and activities
  • Serve as reviewer for inroads Partnership Fund opportunities

[New] Legal and Human Rights seat

A new or existing inroads member who has expertise and experience with law, policy, advocacy, and/or human rights. This person brings expertise in identifying tools and resources to support individuals who work on abortion in highly restricted and stigmatized climates. This person’s role is to:

  • Provide strategic guidance on member security and risk
  • Ambassador and liaison with legal and human rights experts
  • Serve as a reviewer for inroads Partnership Fund Opportunities

[New] Development and Sustainability seat

A new or existing inroads member who has expertise and experience with organizational start-up, fundraising, and sustainability. This person may be quite new to inroads and to stigma, but brings governance and fundraising expertise. This person’s role is to:

  • Provide strategic guidance on network governance
  • To support inroads Directors in fundraising and revenue generating strategy
  • Ambassador and liaison with existing and emerging donors
  • Serve as a reviewer for inroads Partnership Fund Opportunities

*A note about the regional seats: While Mexico is part of the North American continent, inroads members from Mexico are part of the Latin America and Caribbean region due to language and the larger cultural and legal context around abortion.

Steering Committee Composition: Steering Committee members have the option to remain for a second term. Jedidah Maina (Africa Seat), Maria Luisa Sanchez Fuentes (Latin America Seat), Kinga Jelinska (Self-managed Abortion Seat), Kristen Shellenberg (Network Research & Evaluation Seat), and Laura Hurley (Institutional Seat) will continue to serve and will provide both continuity and mentorship to the new Steering Committee members and roles. The Europe, North America, and Asia/Pacific regional seats will be open for new members to join the Steering Committee. Inroads is adding several new seats, to better reflect the needs and actions of inroads’ diverse membership.

  • Two abortion-provider seats will represent the diverse ways that members are involved with the provision of care: Self-managed Abortion (currently Kinga Jelinska) and Clinical Provider (open). Self-managed abortion has been a clear priority of inroads, since supporting these method of abortion is a way to mitigate stigma and because self-managed abortion has been marginalized and further stigmatized within the abortion rights, health, and care movements. Abortion care within a clinical setting (regardless of method) is an essential component of care, and members bring dimensions of understanding and reducing stigma. A Clinical Provider seat will help make inroads with providers involved in clinical service delivery.
  • Young people often face higher barriers (and poor health outcomes) as a result of abortion stigma. Members of inroads are showing how young people form many strong activist movements and are pushing for social change. This Youth seat will allow for young people to be formally represented in network leadership.
  • Inroads members are working in highly restricted settings with increased appetite for prosecution. The inroads staff and current Steering Committee have chosen to add a Legal and Human Rights seat issues as a network and community of practice will help support members who are providing essential advocacy, information, and care in highly stigmatized settings.
  • Inroads membership and capacity continues to grow, outpacing the resources of the network. While the membership is excitingly driving the work of the network, the global Steering Committee needs specific expertise to help guide the sustainability in terms of funding, governance and operations.  A Development and Sustainability seat has been added to bring such expertise to this time of change with inroads.


Diversity and experience

Inroads members are not only of their geographic region or organizational type. Members are also individual humans moving and working in the world to disrupt and dismantle stigma and discrimination. In addition to the official geographic representation, we are also looking for individuals who bring some of the following:

  • Lived experience of accessing and/or providing abortion
  • Lived experience as a member of a marginalized population(s) (e.g., migrant, person with disabilities, person who has experienced racial or ethnic discrimination, LGBTQI people, etc.)
  • Network development and growth
  • Capacity strengthening approaches and methods
  • Stigma reduction program development and implementation
  • Intersectionality and Reproductive Justice
  • Participatory methods
  • Network impact
  • Digital security and digital risk
  • Non-hierarchical governance and engagement principles
  • Grassroots movements
  • Global and multi-lingual events and engagement
  • New technology and web communications
  • Health system reform and change
  • Virtual learning and collaboration
  • Supporting individuals in sharing personal or lived experiences


Steering Committee Application and Selection Process

Eligibility: Any new or existing inroads member is eligible to apply for an open seat on the Steering Committee.

Term limits: Steering Committee members may serve for up to 2 consecutive two-year terms. 

Steering Committee seat transitions: If a Steering Committee member leaves  at the close of their first or second term, then their seat will be open to member applications and review during the next transition process (Oct-Dec 2020). If a Steering Committee member leaves the committee during their term, then the remaining Steering Committee members will decide how to fill their seat (direct recruitment, open call for application, or replacement from the same member organization).

New Application: Any new or existing inroads member may apply for an open seat using this form. If you are interested, you will answer a few questions about your skills and lived experience and will write a short profile that will be shared with all inroads members during the review and selection process. Please direct any questions to info@endabortionstigma.org. Applications will be open until 6 November 12 noon UTC/ 7am EDT.

Selection process: The selection process will be a two-phased process. We highly value member participation in network leadership. With the trust and participation of inroads members, we know we will end up with a Steering Committee poised to strategically guide us in the next phases.

  • Phase one: member comment and endorsement. Any inroads member (new or existing) can apply for an open seat by filling out this brief form [https://goo.gl/forms/b3XhwJMS7oBOMVo93]. Once the application window is closed, inroads staff will make the application profiles and a brief endorsement form open to all members. This member input process will be open from 12 through 25th November, 2018.
  • Phase two: current Steering Committee makes selections. After the member endorsement period closes, inroads Staff and the current Steering Committee will review all applications and endorsements. Final selections for the Steering Committee seats will be made by the outgoing and continuing Steering Committee members based on a range of skills and characteristics across applicants to ensure diversity and representation, as well as the unique governance needs of the network.

Inroads Steering Committee 2019-2020 Timeline At a Glance

Call for Steering Committee applications open              

October 17, 2018

Steering Committee applications due on https://goo.gl/forms/b3XhwJMS7oBOMVo93

November 6, 2018     7am EDT/12noon UTC

Member profiles available to inroads members for endorsement

November 12 – 25, 2018

Current Steering Committee and inroads Directors officially select and notify Steering Committee members

December 5, 2018

Steering committee members sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (agreement)

December 19, 2018

Steering Committee term begins

January 1, 2019

Steering Committee orientation (Virtual meeting)

January 10, 2019

Standing Steering Committee meetings

(usually) First Thursday of the month at 10:00 am Eastern time

Steering Committee in-person meeting (Required)

February 5 – 8, 2019 (Seattle, WA, USA)

Call for nominations and applications for new Steering Committee members (for open seats)

October 2020

Steering Committee Term closes

December 31, 2020


Roles and Responsibilities

Role of inroads staff

Katie Gillum and Kati LeTourneau lead inroads with a collaborative and partnership-based approach.

Katie Gillum, inroads Executive Director, articulates the vision, designs the strategies, and oversees the execution of the complex and fast-moving elements of inroads programmatic, development, and governance work. She also serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Steering Committee.

Kati LeTourneau, inroads Research and Operations Director, manages the inroads Partnership Fund; leads a community of practice grounded in mutual learning and co-mentorship; manages and moderates a member-driven online Collaboration Workspace; directs the network’s monitoring and evaluation strategy; and creatively fosters a culture of continuous quality improvement and rapid response to member-driven needs. She facilitates the Steering Committee.

Kati will facilitate the open call for Steering Committee seats and conduct a member endorsement period and make the member profiles and endorsements available to the Steering Committee, which is ultimately responsible for the final selection of the 2019-2020 Steering Committee. Both Kati and Katie will meet regularly with the Steering Committee, provide information and updates, and seek strategic guidance on network activities and approaches.

Role of the inroads Host Organization

The host organization for inroads (currently Ipas) employs the staff who lead the network. The host organization will provide the operational support including website hosting, development, and maintenance. The host organization is also responsible for administering the network budget, administering small grants and consulting arrangements on behalf of the network, and supporting the network leadership in fundraising. Ipas and inroads have in place a host agreement outlining the roles and responsibilities of each party, which will be made available to Steering Committee members.

Role of the inroads Steering Committee

The inroads Steering Committee is a leadership group of individual members responsible for strategic guidance and advisory support to the inroads staff. The Steering Committee is an advisory body, with increasing decision-making roles. Members reflect the geographic diversity of the network and reflect a diversity of topical expertise and lived experience. Steering Committee members are individuals who are committed to understanding, challenging and mitigating abortion stigma. Steering Committee members will have the option to remain for a second term, with a maximum of two terms for all Steering Committee members.


Steering Committee Responsibilities

  • Two-year commitment to serve on Steering Committee (Jan 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020), with option to remain on the Steering Committee for a second term for new members
  • Select and designate Steering Committee members to convene topical working groups
  • Identify key area(s) of focus in collaboration with other Steering Committee members for the duration of their term
  • Develop 2018-2020 inroads Steering Committee workplan with support from inroads staff
  • Collaborate with inroads’ organizational effectiveness consultants
  • Provide input into and review of the inroads Strategic Plan for network organization and growth.
  • Provide overall direction in terms of prioritizing key areas of network focus.
  • Provide advice and guidance to the inroads advisors during monthly meetings, by email, and through occasional ad-hoc meetings.
  • Serve as an ambassador for inroads with partners and colleagues. (E.g., Share about inroads activities, members and membership when appropriate. Encourage partners and colleagues to participate in inroads activities.)
  • Liaise with regionally-based inroads members and partners.
  • Share relevant tools, resources and contacts with the Steering Committee members and the inroads staff
  • Meet regularly by web-meeting with inroads co-conveners and other Steering Committee members.
  • Attend the Steering Committee and Governance Retreat in Seattle, Washington (4-11 February, 2019). Attend at least one inroads member meeting annually (travel is supported by inroads).
  • Periodically engage with inroads members and grantees on the inroads online community.
  • Review applications for inroads Partnership Fund opportunities.


  • Expected Time commitment:
    • Up to 6 hours/month for regular virtual meetings and work between meetings
    • Time required to travel to and attend at least two inroads meetings annually, including an in-person Steering Committee meeting in February 2019 (5-9 February in Seattle Washington)
    • 12-15 hours to review finalists for inroads Partnership Fund grants between June and September 2020
    • Remuneration. Small stipends ($500 USD/year) are available for Steering Committee members for whom participation would not be possible without a stipend. Individual Steering Committee members will indicate whether they have need of or waive a stipend during the Memorandum of Agreement process. Inroads also provides financial support for Steering Committee members to travel to inroads events. All necessary provisions will be made to ensure accessibility for members attending inroads events.


Steering Committee Principles of Engagement

  • Commitment. We are committed to the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights, including the right to abortion. Abortion stigma contributes to the social, medical and legal marginalization of abortion worldwide. As part of inroads, we are committed to understanding, challenging and mitigating abortion stigma.
  • Global voices. We encourage global voices to be heard respectfully, and we add our own voices to stimulate conversation. We create a safe space – intellectually and emotionally – to address big topics and tough questions.
  • Lived experience as expertise. Our experiences in life affect how we experience, dismantle, and understand stigma. People who experience stigma are experts on that stigma. We work to build a network where lived experience is valued and guides strategy and allocation of resources.
  • Trust and mutuality. Trust is how we build a space to explore big topics. We work to build trust with one another and with the inroads membership and recognize that building trust is hard work. We bring people together to build trust and look for ways for everyone, regardless of status or language, to share and listen.
  • Advocacy. We are open-minded, but we are not neutral. We believe that stigma harms and silences women and creates barriers to safe and supported abortion experiences. These issues can only be tackled through collective and collaborative effort. We recognize that different groups and individuals have a role to play, and we don’t think that anyone has all of the answers.
  • Realism. We know that global transformation is difficult and takes a lot of time and effort. We strive to be realistic, accountable, fully committed, appreciative of the opportunity to fail and learn, and living into the reality that there are many paths to great outcomes.
  • Partnership. We are partners with inroads members. We strive to build long-lasting and collaborative relationships with members and with other organizations, campaigns, coalitions and networks.


Challenges/Balances/Realities of the work

  • Time zones and Distance: We are a global network, as the bodily clocks of the members who have joined calls or attended meetings know all too well, we have to hold meetings at odd times or make requests for travel. We do focus on choosing times that work both for our schedules and for environmental or technical factors
  • Expertise and Experience: We acknowledge the value of a wide set of personal experience and technical expertise. We place value firmly on the full spectrum between these two. We look to our Steering Committee to keep us focused on just on technically ending stigma, but in lifting up and applying the expertise and skill that comes from lived experience of abortion stigma. 
  • Hierarchies and Power: We acknowledge that we all work and live in systems of power and privilege and codified hierarchy. On the Steering Committee we want to acknowledge the wealth of experience, courage, and progress outside traditional hierarchies.
  • Inclusivity: It is part of the inroads mission to be inclusive of all identities. Our inclusion practices are underpinned by intersectional feminist principles. We welcome applications from people of all identities and look forward to selecting a diverse and representative Steering Committee.  
  • Language: We have been to date a nearly entirely English-speaking Steering Committee and know that this reduces the possibilities for engagement. We do encourage those with other languages to participate in the network; the day to day operations of the Steering Committee will conducted in English.  
  • Technology and connecting: We live in a differently connected world, and all have different technologies that work best for us. Early in the period we expect to encounter bumps along the road as we try out technologies as a group. We hope that once we have established a best-possible fit, that members will continue to engage with us about how the connection and communication method is working for them, ask if they need extra support early and often, and seek out solutions for the technology problems as they happen!



Apply here to serve on the 2019-2020 inroads Global Steering Committee





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