After a well-deserved holiday break, Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PP Gen Action) chapters on college campuses across the affiliate have begun dreaming up exciting in-person and virtual engagement opportunities, including: demonstrations, educational and sexual health awareness events, “condom crawls,” and even student book clubs that challenge preconceived notions about feminism. Discuss!
PPAMM community organizers who work with Gen Action groups engage students by helping to build their organizing skills and mobilize them to participate in our movement’s critical work, including election phone-banking, speaking at public meetings, and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts. The aim is also to inspire them to join Planned Parenthood’s mission in the future as they become elected officials, donors, and health care professionals. In fact, two of our current Gen Action students are hoping to attend medical school and specialize in reproductive health.
Here’s a snapshot of what PP Gen Actioners are up to this semester in our region:
- The Stanford Generation Action chapter recently held a very well-attended demonstration and tabling event focused on the 49th – and possibly last -- anniversary of landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. Students are emboldening their peers to get involved in the reproductive rights movement by educating them about how much is at stake.
Stanford PP Gen Action leaders are also revving up supporter energy to bring back their popular long-term reversible contraceptives (LARC) event, hosted by PPMM’s very own, Dr. Debbie Bamberger. The group had sponsored the LARC information session annually, and Dr. Bamberger has been a favorite emcee.
- At the University of Nevada, Reno chapter, PP Gen Actioners are committed to increasing STI-testing accessibility on campus and intend to raise awareness by hosting a “condom crawl,” where students go to popular campus spots and hand out small goodie bags packed with condoms, safe sex tips, and cards with contact information of local health care providers. Condom crawls are one of the core tactics that chapters use to encourage safer sex practices on campus communities.
- In the Central Valley, the Fresno City College (FCC) chapter continues to make us proud by engaging in what is known in community organizing circles as “mutual aid efforts.” The mutual aid philosophy is that, rather than depending on structured institutions, people are encouraged to assume responsibility for caring for one another by taking direct, personal action. Mutual aid efforts are a cornerstone of intersectional movement-building and recognizing the whole person.
FCC student leaders have utilized grant funds to purchase basic hygiene products, like shampoo and deodorant that they distribute during campus tabling events, helping to ensure that all students regardless of socioeconomic background have access to daily essentials.
Building and establishing these different opportunities to connect with their community is a powerful opportunity for the Fresno City College chapter to form deep connections and establish relationships with their peers.
- The chapter at UC Davis, known as Students for Reproductive Freedom, recently purchased 23 copies of Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall and distributed them to their membership. Eve, co-president of the chapter, writes, “Hood Feminism highlights the intersections of race, class, gender, ability, and sexual orientation through anecdotal storytelling and the critical analysis of topics that mainstream feminism has neglected.” With this new resource, the chapter hopes to build a theoretical foundation to inform future organizing efforts.
These foundational actions are a great start to the rest of the school year, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for our chapters on their journey to achieving their campus campaign and recruitment goals!
If you’re interested in seeing a closer look into the work that they’re doing, follow them on Instagram:
And if you’re on campus and what to learn more, see the PP Gen Action feature on our Get Involved page.