In Motion Magazine staff



Washington, D.C. Correspondent:

Leslie Watson Malachi

Leslie Watson Malachi
Leslie Watson Malachi is currently the Director of The Multicultural Programs Department of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The mission of the department is to assist the coalition meet its mission to bring the moral power of the religious community to ensure reproductive choice through education and advocacy through training and outreach efforts to communities of color and other under-represented populations. The largest program of the department is The Black Church Initiative developed to assist African American clergy and the community break the silence around sex by address teen childbearing, sexuality and reproductive choice within the context of African American culture and religion.

Prior to the position with the Religious Coalition, Leslie served as the National Coordinator and Field Director for the National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition where she had responsibilities in events planing, chapter development, issue education, field operations, coalition building, and voting participation. She also served as the Coordinator of the Public Policy Institute of the Citizenship Education Fund.

Leslie attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and majored in Political Science. While at Southern she founded Southern University's Students for Choice, the Union of Concerned Students for Peace in the Middle East, and the Southern University Chapter of Amnesty International. For two years she served as the president of the Political Science Association, is a member of Phi Sigma Alpha Honors Fraternity, and was the recipient of the National Association of University Women 1988 scholarship. She is a graduate and Graduate Assistant of Dale Carnegie where she is the only person in its history to hold five awards for Public Speaking and Personal Development.

From 1991-1993 Leslie was the National Campus Organizer for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) where she also served as a Grass Roots Organizing Trainer, trained by Midwest Academy, and the editor of its campus newsletter. Upon leaving NARAL she consulted in 1993-94 to non-profit groups such as: NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund;

The National Black Women's Health Project; The United Way of America; Public Allies; the Urban Youth Leadership Initiative; and many others. In 1994 Leslie was the Chief Executive Officer for Project Vote and with a very capable Executive Director and field staff raised $500,000 in six months to register over 150,000 new low income minority voters in seven states.

Leslie has served as chair of Choice Local (an affiliate of United Auto Workers District 65), a member of the Board of Directors for My Sisters Place (a shelter for victims and survivors of domestic violence), and the Center for Environmental Citizenship. For two years she chaired the Women's Committee on Human Rights and the Nominations Committee for Amnesty International USA, and was a member for four years of the Oversight Committee of the Women of Color Partnership Program of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights. She is a board member of American's for Democratic Action, and the Clerk of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Youth and Militarism Program (as well as the program representative to AFSC,s National Peace Education Division Executive Committee chairing the Nominations Committee).

In 1994 Leslie received from the Women's Information Network the "Young Woman of Achievement Award." She has written and published numerous poems and articles for a diverse grouping of publications and brings to Ready To Live! expertise in campaign and issue planning, public affairs, fundraising, meeting and events coordination, public speaking, grassroots organizing, strategic planning, voter mobilization, effective coalition building, and training development and implementation.

A great deal of Leslie's life has been committed to improving civil and human rights for women, youth, and the disenfranchised. Leslie is a co-founder and president of Ready To Live!, a non-profit organization that explores the impact of Rap music on culture, community, economics, and society, while creating, and supporting faith and community based initiatives that uplift youth. The work however that brings her the most joy is with The Renaissance Baptist Church of Southeast Washington, D.C., where she is a Trustee, Coordinator of the Pastoral Relations Committee, Coordinator of the Women's Ministry and the Mission Ministry, and a member of the New Members Task Force, the Education Ministry, and the By-Laws and Constitution Committee. Leslie is also proud to be the oldest, and only female, of nine.

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