The staff at Trust Women, a leading pro-choice and reproductive justice foundation, work to ensure that women have access to and control over their reproductive rights.
Julie A. Burkhart is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Trust Women. She worked side-by-side with Dr. George Tiller for seven years. She first began working with him as the Chair for the Wichita Choice Alliance. It was there that she led the community response against the anti-choice organizations that were attempting to “finish the job” and shut down Women’s Health Care Services, Dr. Tiller’s clinic, during the 2001 Summer of Mercy Renewal. Ms. Burkhart was the spokesperson for his clinic between 2002 and 2006.
In 2002, Dr. Tiller created ProKanDo, establishing what would become the largest political action committee in Kansas. Ms. Burkhart built and for seven years directed the organization, which engaged in legislative and political work on behalf of physicians and women’s rights constituents. Ms. Burkhart now continues Dr. Tiller’s vision for reproductive justice through Trust Women.
Before working for Dr. Tiller, Ms. Burkhart was at ground zero during the infamous Summer of Mercy in 1991. She worked at the Wichita Women’s Center, which was heavily targeted by Operation Rescue, the Lambs of Christ and other anti-choice extremists. Driven by political justice, she went on to manage a number of political campaigns in Washington State as well as work for the Washington State Democratic Party and the Washington Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.
Ms. Burkhart holds a bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University and a master’s degree from Wichita State University, both in political science with an emphasis on African studies.
Ms. Burkhart is a frequent speaker and commentator on reproductive justice issues and has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC Live, the Alan Colmes Radio Show, Democracy Now, The Young Turks, NPR and various local news and radio programs. She also has had opinion pieces appear in a variety of newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, CNN and Kansas City Star. She has been quoted and interviewed by national press including the New York Times, the Washington Post, MORE Magazine, Mother Jones, ThinkProgress, Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Pacific Standard Magazine, PBS News Hour and international media such as Annabelle in Switzerland and ARD in Germany. She has been interviewed in extensive pieces by MSNBC and for various documentaries.
Rebecca Tong is the Director of Development at Trust Women. She worked as a non-profit advocacy and political organizer with Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. (GCI) for three-and-a-half years. Most recently, she was as a regional director with GCI, contracted to run fundraising and membership building operations on behalf of national non-profits such as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Ms. Tong ran a petition campaign that successfully created a ballot measure to overturn Citizens United in Colorado; and she ran a large GOTV operation out of Boulder for the 2012 election cycle. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in political science and international development studies.
Haley Kottler is Advocacy and Canvass Manager at Trust Women. She is originally from Edmond, Oklahoma but got her degree from Kansas State University in Manhattan in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and Family Studies and Human Services. At Kansas State, she was the reproductive justice coordinator for FIRE- Feminists Igniting Resistance and Empowerment- and the campaign director for the Riley County Democratic Party. She was a research intern for Emily’s List in 2016 and runs Trust Women’s extensive canvassing efforts across Kansas.
Erika Harris is the Director of Communications at Trust Women. She has worked in political communications for two presidential campaigns, a Gubernatorial race and a Senate race, as well as in communications for NGOs and non-profits in the U.S. and internationally. She taught women’s health and wellness courses in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and worked with the Roma Rights Centre in Prague, Czech Republic. She has a B.A. in both Communication and Political Science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She has lived in Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Tanzania, and has found traveling is the best way to better her understanding of communications.