Hampton University is on the path to making a change. A newly founded Planned Parenthood: Generation Action chapter is giving students the opportunity to get engaged, informed, and involved in the efforts of Planned Parenthood, an over 100 year old nonprofit organization working to advance access to sexual health. Being one of the few HBCU’s to host a chapter, we spoke with local Planned Parenthood correspondent Marklyn Louis about the organization that fights to protect the rights of women as well as what students should expect at the HU summit.
What is Planned Parenthood all about?
In terms of the local level, I am the community organizer for the Peninsula, from Hampton to Williamsburg. I work within the advocacy department of Planned Parenthood in Virginia. Similar to facilities across the country, we host volunteer programs and events, community outreach such as tabling and door-knocking and legislative advocacy as well. Part of outreach duties is to reach out to the college campuses. I feel like it’s my personal responsibility, being Haitian American, to share with people of color these facts that they might not know and want to make sure that people don’t associate Planned Parenthood with just abortion. It doesn’t make sense why Planned Parenthood is such a taboo topic when one in five people visit their facilities. I wanted to make sure that students on campus start these important conversations; that Planned Parenthood services are not a privilege, but a right.
How do you see this organization bringing light to issues that affect college students?:
In terms of the Generation Action Chapters, I like whoever is leading the executive board to make it their own. The chapter itself is tailored to creating a conversation and advocating for reproductive freedom.
What should students expect at the summit this year?:
It’s an all day, about 9am-7pm, summit. We’re basically bringing out topics that can hone organizing skills and/or introduce people into the organizing world of Planned Parenthood that they didn’t know existed. This is a perfect way to obtain skills, bringing them back on to your college campus. We’ll be talking about the basis of what being a chapter means, how to set it up, how to retain volunteers, how to make colorful events on campus, and working with other organizations as well. But we’ll also be talking about Planned Parenthood, the organization itself, a little bit of our history, and our fight for the reproductive justice movement. Other experienced Generation Action members will also be attending, sharing their ideas and experiences on what they’ve done on their college campus. Vital professional skills such as networking and public speaking will also be discussed. These are important to have under your belt while trying to build up and organization such as this on any campus.
Planned Parenthood: Generation Action chapters are here for students. To promote and educate not only reproductive freedoms but the many issues that play a role such as race, personal identity, and so forth. If you’re interested in starting a chapter on your campus, contact your local correspondent or click the photo below for more information!