Belly of the Beast Film Screening and Discussion about Forced Sterilizations in California’s Women’s Prisons - Women's Foundation California
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Belly of the Beast Film Screening and Discussion about Forced Sterilizations in California’s Women’s Prisons

May 4, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


This engaging event will include a film screening and thought-provoking discussion on the topic of forced sterilizations. Centering around a documentary film, Belly of the Beast, that follows illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons and the struggle of impacted women and advocates to not just bring this illegal practice to light, end it, and to find some measure of justice for survivors.

We will host a community screening on May 4th from 12-1:30 pm PST, followed by a discussion from 2-3:30 pm PST, featuring key individuals in the film, the filmmaker, and representatives from the organizations (Back to the Basics, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and Latinas for Reproductive Justice) working on AB 1007.  Attendees will also have the option of viewing the film on their own in advance of May 4th. We hope you will join us.



Cynthia Chandler, Co-Founder, Critical Resistance and Justice Now
Cynthia Chandler
is the director of the Bay Area Legal Incubator, an Oakland, California-based, social-mission, legal incubator launched by the Alameda County Bar Association to accelerate the launch of affordable, community law practices. She has over 20 years’ experience as a social entrepreneur, activist, academic, and attorney. She co-founded and built several innovative social justice organizations, including Critical Resistance, Justice Now, and the Eviction Defense Center.


Erika Cohn, Director/Producer, Belly of the Beast
Erika Cohn is a Peabody, Emmy, and DGA Award-winning filmmaker who was recognized by Variety as one of the 10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch in 2017. Most recently, Erika directed/produced The Judge (TIFF 2017) and co-directed/produced In Football We Trust (Sundance 2015). Belly of the Beast, a NY Times Critic’s Pick, is her third feature documentary.


Kelli Dillon, Executive Director, Back to the Basics Community Empowerment
Kelli Dillon is a City of Los Angeles Commissioner and Co-Chair of Empowerment Congress Southeast in addition to the Executive Director of the non-profit Back to the Basics Community Empowerment. She is a survivor of domestic and state violence.


Aminah Elster, Campaign and Policy Coordinator, California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Aminah Elster is a Campaign and Policy Coordinator with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners where she leads its work to combat the reproductive oppression of those confined within CA women’s prisons. Aminah’s motivation to achieve racial and gender justice is rooted in her own lived experience as a Black formerly incarcerated woman and navigating the intersections of those identities. She is committed to fighting the impacts of decades of systemic oppression and liberating criminalized survivors.
Anuja Mendiratta, Manager, Race, Gender and Human Rights Fund (moderator)
Anuja Mendiratta (she/her) manages the Race, Gender, and Human Rights Fund, which promotes racial and gender justice by challenging the criminal legal system and mass incarceration in California. RGHR focuses on the system’s impact on women and girls (inclusive of cisgender, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals), prioritizes the leadership of formerly incarcerated women, and invests in efforts that build the justice movement and advance systemic change. Anuja co-founded the California Criminal Justice Funders Group (CCJFG) and serves on its steering committee. Anuja is also the Principal of Philanthropic + Nonprofit Consulting and works on critical environmental, gender justice, human rights, racial and social justice, and cross-movement issues.


Carly A. Myers, Staff Attorney, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Carly A. Myers is a Staff Attorney with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), where she works on a variety of litigation, legislation, and policy initiatives aimed at increasing nondiscriminatory access to healthcare and reducing health disparities experienced by people with disabilities.


Ena Suseth Valladares, Director of Programs, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Ena Suseth Valladares is the Director of Programs at California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. She has worked on reproductive justice issues for nearly 15 years, primarily working on reducing health inequities and improving access to social and health services through community-informed research and policy. 



May 4, 2021
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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