Who We Are & What We Do
Organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice, Holler Health Justice builds power with Appalachian communities and individuals most disproportionately affected by health inequities, including people of color, those in rural areas, those with low income, and LGBTQIA+ folk.
We envision an Appalachia where all people have power, access, and resources to be healthy and have agency over their lives.
We value accountability, autonomy, community, joy, mutual aid, pleasure, transparency, and trust.
Our History & Work
Holler Health Justice (HHJ) was founded by a group of young reproductive health, rights, and justice activists looking to meet the substantial need of funding and practical support for West Virginians seeking abortion care. With guidance from the National Network of Abortion Funds and Kentucky Health Justice Network, HHJ launched in August 2018 to become the first and only financial and practical abortion support fund in West Virginia.
Led by a majority POC, queer, and low-income board of directors, HHJ believes that those directly impacted by an issue are best positioned to design and lead solutions. In addition to abortion funding and practical support, HHJ expanded its scope of work in 2019 to meet additional health equity needs of Appalachians by providing free emergency contraception, harm reduction materials and services, and ID obtainment. In 2022, HHJ partnered with Harvard University's FXB Center for Health & Human Rights and Project N95 to distribute high-filtration masks for free throughout West Virginia to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
As of 2022, HHJ offers the following programs and services throughout West Virginia and Appalachia:
ID Obtainment & Voter Engagement
Rapid Response & Mutual Aid
Highlights from 2019...
From 2019 to 2021...
We've provided $354,175 in abortion funding & practical support to West Virginians, Appalachians & others.
of free emergency contraception across West Virginia.
1,230 people obtain abortions throughout primarily Appalachia & the South.
We've moved $38,489 in mutual aid & rapid response funds to Black communities in West Virginia.
Our board of directors help guide the mission, vision, and values of Holler Health Justice. To be representative of the communities and individuals we're focused on lifting up and helping to build power—communities and individuals most disproportionately affected by health inequities—our board is majority POC, LGBTQIA+, and low-income.
Shayla (she/her) hails from Oakland, California, but calls West Virginia home. She is an entrepreneur, singer, and radio host, as well as the board president of Black Lives Matter West Virginia.
Hayley (she/her) is an abortion educator and researcher. Originally from Tennessee, she is a first-generation college graduate, pursuing a PhD with a focus on reproductive health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. She's held positions at carafem, Reproductive Health Access Project, and Reproaction.
Neera (she/her) is a disability rights advocate, writer, and gaming content creator. An Indian adoptee from New Dehli, she lives in West Virginia with her husband and two children.
Hunter (he/they) is an economic justice activist and grassroots organizer. A single parent, they live with their daughter in Charleston, West Virginia.
Ixya (she/ella) is a proud daughter of Guatemalan and Mexican immigrants. A recent first-generation college graduate of West Virginia University, Ixya is a field organizer at Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic and a newly elected city council member in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Our co-directors drive the day-to-day efforts of Holler Health Justice, including organizing logistics and raising resources to provide practical and financial support to Appalachians seeking abortions; overseeing our free emergency contraception program and harm reduction efforts; and recruiting, training, and managing our regional network of volunteer leaders.
Chela (they/them) is a founding co-director of HHJ.
Residing in Fayette County, West Virginia, Chela is a self-described "mexi-billy," with parents from both Mexico and rural West Virginia.
Specializing in rural grassroots organizing, Chela has worked on numerous political campaigns and with advocacy and social justice organizations across the country—from local city council and U.S. congressional races to Greenpeace International and the Sierra Club.
Peshka (she/her) is a co-director and prior board member of HHJ.
Peshka is a U.S. Army Veteran, single mother, and Afrolachian artist from Parkersburg, West Virginia.
As an abortion storyteller, Peshka has shared her story on national television and traveled across the country, speaking with elected leaders and presidential candidates to encourage them to stand with reproductive rights. She was recognized for her work in reproductive health access as a 2017 Mary J. Blige honoree at the ESSENCE Festival, and previously served on the board of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic.
Caitlin (she/they) is a founding co-director of HHJ.
Hailing from the southern coal fields of West Virginia, Caitlin is a granddaughter of both Mexican immigrants and Devil Anse Hatfield.
Caitlin's writing on reproductive and economic justice in Appalachia has been featured in HuffPost, VICE, and more. In 2021, they were named a Rockwood Leadership Institute Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice fellow.
Caitlin is the COO of Prism, an independent, nonprofit newsroom led by journalists of color.