African-American women understand Planned Parenthood. They understand Planned Parenthood’s commitment to providing quality health care and eliminating health disparities; they understand Planned Parenthood’s commitment to bodily integrity and self-determination; and they understand Planned Parenthood’s vision for a world of social justice where people are able to fulfill their highest dreams. These issues are essential to African Americans. It is no surprise then that Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s participation in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference (CBCF-ALC) each year continues to be so rewarding for both Planned Parenthood and conference attendees alike.
In the course of four days, September 18 – 21, 2013, Planned Parenthood participated in several different events, setting out to inform eager and hungry conference attendees about various aspects of Obamacare as Planned Parenthood gears up for its implementation. The chance to engage key leaders in the African-American community is an opportunity that Planned Parenthood looks forward to each year. It is a chance to strengthen our relationships and celebrate our collaboration. With Obamacare just over the horizon, everyone feels the urgency and Planned Parenthood is ready to answer the call.
On Wednesday, PPFA participated in a workshop hosted by the Black Women’s Roundtable. Thursday marked the CBCF Spouses health fair breakfast where we partnered with Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, the CBCF spouses and Thrive a locally based organization that works to end homelessness. PP Metropolitan Washington offered HIV/AIDS testing.
On Friday, Planned Parenthood joined forces with Susan G. Komen for the Cure for an issue forum with Honorary Host CBC Chair Marcia L. Fudge, and on Saturday, for a finale, Planned Parenthood honored Congresswoman Fudge with a Champions for Care Award and State Representative Napoleon Bracy Jr. with a Champion of Women’s Health Award. In both of these events, Congresswoman Fudge reiterated how important it is that, “everyone has a right to make an informed decision about their health and family planning,”
Each year the CBCF-ALC is one of my favorite events. From the HIV testing at Thrive to witnessing the earnest questions at the issue forum, or staffing the booth with its steady stream of visitors taking the online quiz, you are acutely reminded of the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. I for one cannot wait for next year. Well, maybe in a few days, with some rest I won’t be able to wait.