Event - Defending Our Bodily Autonomy in a Broken System

Defending Our Bodily Autonomy in a Broken System

02.12.22, 1:00 pm

Photo credit: Zynab Cewalam Photo credits: Alex Strada & Tali Keren

 The ability to make your own reproductive choices goes to the heart of personal autonomy and the ability to live a life with dignity. Yet, many communities continue to struggle against different forms of reproductive and gender-based oppression. How did we get here and what can we do to protect ourselves and our communities? We will discuss the inadequacies of legal protection for reproductive rights, the current threat to Roe v. Wade and what it would take for all people to experience reproductive justice.


A presentation by CUNY Law Professor Cynthia Soohoo will be followed by a hands-on Self-defense workshop, led by Deena Hadhoud of Malikah. Self-defense is one of Malikah’s core programs to provide women and gender expansive people with skills to de-escalate violent situations and empower them to feel safe and secure. This program is organized by YoU artists Alex Strada and Tali Keren, and will take place within their participatory installation, Proposal for a 28th Amendment? Is it Possible to Amend an Unequal System?


The opening lecture is open to all participants. The self-defense workshop is for women and gender expansive people and will center the experiences Black, Indigenous and People of Color.


Please note that proof of Covid vaccination and ID is required for entry to the museum, along with mandatory mask-wearing. More info here.



Cynthia Soohoo is a Professor and Co-Director of the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic at CUNY School of Law.  Her work focuses on barriers to reproductive health and abortion services, including affordability, regulatory burdens, attacks on health providers, and criminalization of pregnant people.  She has authored submissions to the U.S. Supreme Court, appellate courts and international forums on access to abortion, forced sterilization and criminalization of reproductive choices.


Deena Hadhoud (she/they) is a Queens based organizer and trauma-informed facilitator. She is currently the Program and Operations Manager at Malikah, and has been with the organization for two years. Through her role, she creates and supports programming with the goal of building power and safety for gender marginalized communities. Prior to being hired as Malikah’s first full time employee in June 2021, she was a reproductive rights and sexual health care organizer at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. She has also worked a range of internships, fellowships, and jobs with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Center for American Women and Politics, the Center for Women and Work, and Nassau County Constituent Services. Deena also earned her certification as a New York Rape Crisis Counselor in 2019, and is currently working on completing an Abortion Doula program. Outside of work and advocacy, Deena is a practicing visual artist who has been featured in dozens of craft fairs and exhibits in New York and New Jersey.


Tali Keren and Alex Strada are New York-based artists and educators who are currently Year of Uncertainty artists-in-residence at the Queens Museum. Strada and Keren conduct fieldwork in cultural sites and institutions to deconstruct the systems of power that generate collective memory, with the aim of creating artworks that can help to create alternative narratives and social connections. Their collaborative work has been shown at the Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; Goethe-Institut, New York, NY; Museum of Moving Image, Astoria, New York; MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austria; Kaunas Biennial, Kaunas, Lithuania; and on the screens of Times Square, New York with Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment. In addition, Keren has had solo exhibitions at Eyebeam, Brooklyn, NY; Ludlow 38, New York, NY; CCA, Tel Aviv, Israel; and MOCAD, Detroit, MI. Strada is an alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program, a recipient of the NYFA Women’s Fund, and is an Assistant Professor of Photography at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University.