Black History Month is a time to reflect, celebrate, and lift up the voices of leaders who dedicate their lives to ensuring equality for all.
Last week, Planned Parenthood Action Fund partnered with ESSENCE magazine to hold a special cocktail reception in New York City to honor the 99 Planned Parenthood Dream Keepers.
The evening event welcomed over 100 black leaders and influencers from New York City, Atlanta, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and beyond. Included among the evening’s attendees were several of the Planned Parenthood Dream Keepers, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Board Chair Alexis McGill Johnson, Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE magazine Vanessa K. DeLuca, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Dawn Laguens.
The evening was a true celebration of leadership and their contributions to social justice, featuring soulful vocal performances by Dream Keepers and reproductive justice leaders Monica Simpson (executive director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective) and Cherisse A. Scott (founder and CEO of SisterReach). The program also included an artistic piece by award-winning poet, activist, and Dream Keeper Sonya Renee Taylor, founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology.
From Left to Right: Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. DeLuca, American Black Film Festival Founder Jeff Friday, Producer, Author and Lawyer Tonya Lewis Lee, screenwriter and producer Mara Brock Akil, Chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Alexis McGill Johnson, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens at the #PPDreamKeepers reception in NYC on February 12th.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund staff and several “Doers” from the Dream Keeper’s list ham it up for the camera.
“Doer” Dream Keepers Emma Akpan (far left), Renee Bracey Sherman (middle left), Jasmine Burnett (far right), along with freelance writer and reproductive justice advocate Gloria Malone (middle right), were celebrated for their grassroots activism and work bridging access to health care and opportunity at the #PPDreamKeepers reception in NYC on February 12th.
“Storyteller” Dream Keepers Mychal Denzel Smith and Zerlina Maxwell were honored for their impactful writing and advocacy on racial and reproductive justice.
“Tastemaker” Dream Keepers Tonya Lewis Lee and Johnny Nunez, and “PowerPlayer” Dream Keeper Mara Brock Akil were honored for their artistic contributions to entertainment, elevating positive portrayals of black women, as well as supporting women’s health and rights.
“Doer” Dream Keepers Mario Lopez and Kassandra Harris celebrated the achievements of young leaders in the black community with Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards at the #PPDreamKeepers reception in NYC on February 12th.
Planned Parenthood Director of African American Leadership & Engagement Angela Ferrell-Zabala addresses the crowd at the #PPDreamKeepers reception in NYC.
“Doer” Dream Keeper Cherisse A. Scott performed with a live band at the #PPDreamKeepers reception in NYC on February 12th.
“Storyteller” Dream Keeper Joy-Ann Reid was honored for her work in TV and radio at the #PPDreamKeepers cocktail reception in NYC on February 12th.
“Doer” Dream Keeper Monica Simpson performed with a live band at the #PPDreamKeepers reception in NYC.
“Doer” Dream Keeper Sonya Renee Taylor, Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, performs a powerful poem called “What Women Deserve” at the February 12th reception in NYC.