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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.

A Community Conversation on Black Mental Health

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action is kicking off Black History Month with a meaningful conversation on mental health and wellness in Black communities. Tune in on Wednesday, Feburary 22 for an opportunity to learn from mental health experts and professionals on how to prioritize your well-being and center Black joy.

Join us on February 22

Is it possible to receive trauma-informed, culturally relevant care? How does grief shape our mental health? How does systemic oppression intersect with mental illness? These questions are all discussed by our panelists, who represent professionals, academics, and persons with lived experience in mental health. 

Content Warning: This event discusses topics related to mental health and contains mentions of drug/alcohol abuse, systemic racism, self-harm, and suicidal ideation, among other sensitive subjects.

This virtual webinar is a collaboration among Disability Lead, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, UIC's Disability Cultural Center, and the Disabled People of Color Coalition. Hear our panelists discuss common topics centered around mental health.

ShopChat: A Community Conversation on Gun Violence

PPIA’s Black Organizing Program and Young Professionals are hosting a community conversation on the impact of gun violence in Illinois. There is no doubt that gun violence is a public health issue, but its racial justice implications disproportionally affect Black communities throughout the state. Our panel of community leaders and experts will discuss community-based solutions to ending gun violence and provide resources for processing gun violence trauma. Join us on February 23 to learn how you can become an advocate for change and help reduce gun violence in Illinois.

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 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. As part of our one-on-one conversation series with Black Action Council members, we discussed a range of topics, including PPIA's current legislative agenda, members' experiences with Planned Parenthood, and how their professional skills and advocacy goals intersect.