WASHINGTON — In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund virtually acknowledges its second annual Invencibles Awards, to recognize Latinx leaders for their contributions to reproductive health, rights, and justice. The Invencibles Awards are rooted in the foundational role that sexual and reproductive health plays in achieving full equality. The awards recognize community leaders, national partners, and congressional members whose body of work aligns with those values.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“We are so honored to be able to award the recipients of the second annual Invencibles Awards, this Latinx Heritage Month. This year’s distinguished honorees — Angeles Soria Rodríguez, Liliana Vanessa Santos Vera and Voto Latino Foundation — have fought tirelessly for the people they serve. They continue to work to expand and protect access to reproductive health care in their communities, at a time when Latinos are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Planned Parenthood Federation of America is proud to stand with Latinx patients, providers, Raíz organizers, Promotoras de Salud, and partners who represent the diverse and extensive leadership of the Latinx community we serve.”
Statement from Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino Foundation:
"Since our inception, Voto Latino has incorporated reproductive health and abortion access into our core values. PPFA's work in providing critical care for millions of women across the country is a necessary part of our healthcare system and women everywhere would suffer without them. It is an immense honor to be recognized with PPFA's Invencibles award."
This year’s recipients of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Invencibles Award include:
- Angeles Soria Rodríguez, Invencible Promotora of the Year
- Liliana Vanessa Santos Vera, Invencible Raíz Advocate of the Year
- Voto Latino Foundation, Invencible Partner
This year’s Invencibles Awards are being announced on National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, observed annually on October 15. Planned Parenthood Federation of America plays a crucial role in providing HIV prevention tools, information and education, and support testing for Latinx communities. Currently, one-fourth of people with HIV in the US are Latino and as of 2019, nearly a quarter of Planned Parenthood patients were Latino — more than 540,000 people. Planned Parenthood health centers provide more than 770,000 HIV tests and many health centers offer HIV prevention tools like PrEP, a daily pill that can help prevent HIV, and PEP, a series of pills you can take after you’ve been exposed to HIV that lowers your chances of getting it.
Furthermore, Planned Parenthood Action Fund awarded the Invencibles Award to:
- Karina V. Sosa, Invencible Planned Parenthood Generation Action Leader of the Year
- Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Invencible Champion for Reproductive Health
These awards come at a time when COVID-19 continues to ravage Latinx communities. Black and Latino Americans make up a disproportionate rate of COVID-19 cases in this country — and are three times more likely to get COVID-19 than their white counterparts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Latinos make up roughly 30% of COVID-19 cases, while only making up around 18.5% of the country’s population
Today’s honorees have had to adjust their work to this new, devastating reality. They have had to continue to provide health care, education, or simply advocate for the community at a time of such need, demonstrating true innovation and leadership in this moment.
Statement from Zipatly V. Mendoza, director of Latino leadership and engagement, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“This pandemic has made it perfectly clear that our health is not something to be meddled with — access to an equitable health care system should not be determined by your race, ethnicity, immigration status, or native language. It is not a coincidence that our community is being hit particularly hard — it is a direct result of a health care system that was not built to serve us. As members of a community that has been historically denied access to health care, this year’s Invencibles Awards honorees know they cannot stand idly by as a broken system ravages their own communities. That is why we are proud to honor their leadership as they work tirelessly to ensure this pandemic doesn’t erase or diminish our communities.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.