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Black Organizing Program

The Black Organizing Program is an organized effort to elevate voices within the Black community and center our advocacy work in civic participation.

Through thoughtful engagement and coalition-building, we work alongside Black leaders, community members, elected officials, and institutions advancing the safety, protection, and wellness of Black Illinoisans.

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action knows that when we support and uplift the political and social power of Black communities through advocacy, education, and resource distribution, we will build an equitable, sustainable, and inclusive movement that centers those who are most impacted.

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action kicked off Black History Month with a series of important conversations around issues that affect the Black community year-round.

We hope these discussions will continue to 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.

Learn more about the series below.

Community Care & Wellness

We joined U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, State Representative LaToya Greenwood, and Lauri Sanders, Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health for a conversation focused on the pandemic's impact on the collective physical and mental health of the Black community.

The discussion highlighted Illinois’ health care infrastructure and community organizations in Chicago providing essential care.

Climate Policy & Environmentalism

We joined State Senator Michael Simmons, and Ariel Hampton, Legal & Policy Researcher at the Illinois Environmental Council for a discussion on climate policy and environmentalism.

In this session, we addressed how climate policies affect environmental disparities. The discussion also focused on recent amendments made to the Underground Natural Gas Storage Safety Act that disproportionately affect the Black community.

Prisons & Policing

We joined State Senator Robert Peters, and Frederique Desrosiers, Policy Associate at Chicago Votes to discuss prisons and policing in Illinois.

We highlighed the steps Illinois has taken to right some of the injustices in the Illinois criminal legal system, such as the SAFE-T Act and SB 828.

LGBTQIA+ Health

We joined State Representative Lamont Robinson, and noted Black queer activist Alana Banks—the first transgender woman elected to a public school board— for an important conversation on LGBTQIA+ health.

For many Black LGBTQIA+ people, accessing affordable and safe health care is difficult and often traumatizing. We dived into the health care policies that have improved access to affordable and safe health care for the Black LGBTQIA+ community in Illinois and what work we still have ahead of us. 

Get Involved

The sexual and reproductive health care choices of Black women, femmes, and pregnant people have long been politicized. Despite the ongoing threats against their personal safety, Black women have demonstrated a profound commitment to the liberation of all people. But it is not enough to merely acknowledge these structural systems; we must honor the tireless work of Black reproductive justice leaders by eradicating these systems.

Join PPIA’s Black Organizing Program today as we focus on reproductive justice activism by and for Black communities.

Our Goals

The goals of the Black Organizing Program are aligned with Planned Parenthood’s 4 pillars of organizing: 

  • Expand access to legal and safe abortion

  • Improve access to sexual and reproductive health care

  • Ensure comprehensive sex education

  • Build a powerful, intersectional movement

Get to know our Black Organizing Program

We’ve launched our Black Organizing Program to prioritize the voices and needs of Black Illinoisans and advocate for meaningful access to needed resources at every level of government. Our program is led by Michael Morgan and Mariana Thomas.

Read on to learn more about our staff and their goals for the program.

The Black Action Council

The Black Action Council

PPIA's Black Action Council is a group of Black professionals and grassroots partners, who work together to achieve the program's goals of racial, social, and economic equality.

Michael Morgan, Program Manager for the Black Organizing Program, recently sat down with Black Action Council members for a series of one-to-one conversations.

Michael and the BAC members discuss a variety of things, including PPIA’s current legislative agenda, members' personal experiences with Planned Parenthood, and the intersections between their professional skills and personal advocacy goals.

Visit our YouTube page to see the full series of interviews.