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AAPI Heritage Month: Lisa Factora-Borchers

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“Reproductive Justice has so many ports to enter and participate, and now more than ever, it is imperative for people of all genders and backgrounds to have access to and advocate for reproductive health care for all. My work focuses specifically on working with and advocating for women of color, particularly survivors of sexual abuse, trauma, and violence. We are in a social and political time where more and more people are learning how to critically listen to the needs of marginal folks, and my hope is that that radical listening transforms the listener into a person of action.” 

Like many of the activists and storytellers spotlighted, Lisa Factora-Borchers was prompted to act by being exhausted of the status quo. During her college years, she worked as a medical and legal advocate for survivors of sexual violence, rape and incest. As she approached another survivor’s door with another folder full of more materials related to 1-800 numbers and pamphlets, she grew frustrated that this was the best society had to offer survivors and their situation. After being approached years later by a friend who requested a letter from Factora-Borchers to give to a survivor as a message of solidarity, she recognized the value in the notion that survivors could band together and write notes to each other via a book. Thus, Dear Sister was born and has now entered its second printing due to its success. Full of stories about sexual assault experiences, strength and healing, with the publication of Dear Sister, Factora-Borchers began a career in what was previously a storytelling experience. A graduate of Xavier University with a BA in English, a joint master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, she has led workshops, retreats and discussion forums on race, feminism, political consciousness, spirituality, and everyday activism. As a Filipina-American woman, she is both an example and a fighter for making publishing and editing more inclusive, equitable and accessible for writers of color. She has served as a contributor to The Rumpus, Refinery29, Mutha and Bitch. She has also contributed to anthologies such as Versus Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets and Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines.

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