Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska is very proud to call Kamryn Sannicks the Vice-Chair of our board.
We recently asked Kamryn some questions about her role as Vice-Chair, the work of Planned Parenthood, and how both can and should support the crucial racial justice work that is happening in our state and beyond.
How do you see racial justice work overlapping with the mission of Planned Parenthood?
Planned Parenthood and racial justice work can and, for a period did, exist without an overlap. However, Planned Parenthood’s mission and work continues to be inherently intersectional.
There is no one type of person you could describe and say, “that’s Planned Parenthood.” Planned Parenthood opens its doors to everyone regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, immigration status, or sexuality. Because of this, their work is most successful when it considers everyone who walks through their doors as needing something different from the person before them, while still deserving the same quality of care.
This means that Planned Parenthood can and should continue to show up as an ally that lends it power and brand as an organization (when invited) to amplify voices of the racial justice movement as it exists today even in places where it can be hard to do so, like Nebraska. Because of all this, I would say that Planned Parenthood’s mission should have the broader goal of supporting racial justice work.
As the Vice-Chair, what is your role in advocating for racial justice in sexual and reproductive health?
Access to sexual and reproductive health resources is a racial justice issue. As a queer Black woman in Nebraska, I see my role as Vice-Chair in two ways. First, being an active board member that adds to and challenges our conversations to be more inclusive. Our board and the organization must continue to think about the unique ways that issues surrounding sexual and reproductive health play out differently for folks that look like me. Second, showing up in community spaces to share my experiences with elected officials and other community members.
Our state routinely forgets to consider the impacts its laws can have on its residents of color because it is viewed as a white state. People of color have and will continue to reside here, so it is necessary to bring voices and experiences like mine into the conversation at all times.
How does PP show up to support racial justice?
Planned Parenthood collaborates with local organizations and elected officials to support racial justice work happening in our state. This legislative session, that looks like supporting bills such as LB 119, LB 416, and LB 451. It also looks like our PPAN board endorsing candidates of color and candidates prioritizing racial justice issues. Planned Parenthood’s (c)4 capabilities allow the organization to show up in a political capacity and advocate for change for Nebraska’s residents of color. In order for our state to truly become more inclusive, this work is vital and always ongoing.
How can supporters of PP reading this also support racial justice work in our communities?
There are always ways for anyone to get involved with the work happening in our communities. There are plenty of safe ways to help candidates running for office this spring, from mayor of your city or town to your local school board, even looking ahead to 2022 when we have statewide, legislative, and county races on the ballot.
If there is a bill that you support or oppose, you can submit comments online or contact your representatives by phone or email. For Black folks and other people of color reading this, know that you are not required to always show up for your voice to matter – it is okay to take a break. For white folks reading this, find ways to center and promote voices of color because our voices are too often silenced and forgotten about.
More About Kamryn
Kamryn is from Lincoln, NE and is a 2020 graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Ethnic Studies with a concentration in African American studies, and Political Science.
Kamryn got involved with political campaigns during the 2014 mid-term elections at the age of 16. Kamryn has worked every election cycle since. This past summer, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd, she worked with the ACLU of Nebraska to develop resources to teach young Nebraskans how to get involved and speak to their local elected officials.
Kamryn attributes her interest in politics and the community to her third-grade walking field trip to the Capitol. There she saw Senator Ernie Chambers passionately involved in a debate. This was enough for her to want a job in something that she could be just as passionate about. Kamryn will be attending law school starting in the fall of 2022.
When Kamryn isn’t working in politics, she’s chasing her Pug, Huey, around whatever corner he isn’t supposed to be going behind or playing an intense game of tug-of-war.
If you are interested in helping Planned Parenthood in the work they do for racial justice issues reach out to one of our Advocacy Strategists and they will help get you plugged in!
- Lincoln: Anna Singharath, Advocacy Strategist, [email protected]
- Omaha: Claire Wiebe, Advocacy Manager, [email protected]
- Greater Nebraska: Jon Marx, Advocacy Strategist, [email protected]