Tuesday, July 14, 2009

WPI Staff Attend Choice USA Event

On June 25th Kate Tullgren, Maggie Skelton, Evan Currie, Rachel Lerner, Shanika Yapa, and I were able to attend Choice USA's 7th annual Generation to Generation Celebration. This event was held to celebrate both individuals and groups that have had significant impact on pro-choice causes, organizations, and issue across the nation. The Awardees included Justin Diedrich, UCSF Medical Center; La’Tasha Mayes, New Voices Pittsburgh; Gaylon Alcaraz, Chicago Abortion Fund; and Students for Choice, University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign. Choice USA is a national pro-choice organization founded 15 years ago by Gloria Steinem and other feminist leaders and their Generation to Generation Celebration is one of their key events they hold every year along with various trainings and programs to educate and develop leaders in pro-choice; advocacy for pro-choice issues and candidates in government; and investing in college chapter programs across the country.

Opening remarks were made by Choice USA's Executive Director Kierra Johnson who captured the crowd with her charismatic personality and passion surrounding the issue of pro-choice and reproductive justice. After the opening remarks and as the awards were being presented each of the Awardees offered a little bit of their journey and how they had come to be passionate and dedicated to the issue of reproductive justice. I was particularly struck by how many of them emphasized the intertwined nature of pro-choice with a number of other social justice issues including poverty, equality for people of color specifically women, and health care access for women and families. This event was a great way for WPI to reach out to expand its connections and understanding of the issue of pro-choice, and it enabled us to get to know those individuals working in the field of reproductive justice more personally.