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Media Contact:
Mary Jane Maharry
[email protected]

CHICAGO - Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) proudly announces a new Black Community Town Hall series in honor of Black History Month. The series of virtual discussions will tackle topics such as community wellness and care, climate policy, prison and policing, and LGBTQ+ rights. Featured speakers include Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, State Senator Michael Simmons, State Senator Robert Peters, and State Representative LaToya Greenwood, among others. The Black Community Town Halls will be held every Tuesday in February at 6 p.m. They are free and open to the public, however advanced registration is required by visiting bit.ly/PPIA-BlackOrganizing.

“During Black History Month, we are taking the time to address issues that affect the Black community year-round,” said Michael Morgan, Program Manager of PPIA’s Black Organizing Program. “We hope these discussions will shine a light on the good work that is being done statewide and on the people doing the work, while also highlighting areas that are still in desperate need of attention.”

PPIA’s Black Community Town Halls series will focus on:

February 1 - Community Care & Wellness

U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, State Representative LaToya Greenwood, and Lauri Sanders, Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, will discuss the impact the pandemic has had on the collective physical and mental health of the Black community. This discussion will highlight Illinois’ health care infrastructure and community organizations in Chicago providing essential care.

February 8 - Climate Policy and Environmentalism

State Senator Michael Simmons and Ariel Hampton, Legal & Policy Researcher at the Illinois Environmental Council will address how climate policies affect environmental disparities. The discussion will focus on recent amendments made to the Underground Natural Gas Storage Safety Act that disproportionately affect the Black community. 

February 15 - Prisons and Policing

State Senator Robert Peters and Frederique Desrosiers, Policy Associate at Chicago Votes, will discuss some of the steps Illinois has taken to right some of the injustices in the Illinois criminal legal system, such as the SAFE-T Act.

February 22 - LGBTQ+ Health Care

Noted Black queer activist Alana Banks, the first transgender woman elected to a public school board, and State Representative Lamont Robinson will discuss health care policies that have improved access to affordable and safe health care for the Black LGBTQ+ community in Illinois.

Visit bit.ly/PPIA-BlackOrganizing to RSVP for a Black Community Town Hall in February or to learn more about PPIA’s Black Organizing Program.

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Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is an independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)4 not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. PPIA engages in educational and electoral activity, including public education campaigns, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy on behalf of commonsense policies that protect and foster the sexual and reproductive health and rights of individuals, families, and communities.