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📢 Announcing Action Summit Closing Plenary Speakers

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

Our Powering Change 2019 Action Summit is just one month away!

On Tuesday, April 16th, we hope you will join us with hundreds of Planned Parenthood activists from across the state as we gather together in Lansing to strengthen the voice of our movement and embolden our supporters to be leading agents of change in their own communities for 2020 and beyond.

We think that our incredible line-up of guest speakers for our Powering Change closing plenary speakers are just the right people to inspire that!

Throughout the day, you’ll hear from political leaders, community partners, and Planned Parenthood staff about the tools and knowledge we need to continue building our power. And for our closing plenary, we’ll bring it back around to focus inward on ourselves and the creative power we can each bring to the fight for reproductive freedom.

Art can be a form of activism that has the power to break down barriers and bring people together. Sharing our stories can evoke an emotional response that can mobilize people to take action. Our closing plenary guests will remind us all that the personal is political as they join us for a conversation around the role of sharing our stories and creating art to influence change.

We are so proud to announce our guest speakers for our closing plenary!

Desiree Cooper is a feminist author, speaker, and former Pulitzer Prize-nominated Detroit Free Press columnist. As communications director for Planned Parenthood of Michigan from 2010 -2015, she received the Wayne County NOW Harriet Tubman Award for Community Service and the Headliner Award from the Detroit Association for Women in Communications.

Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother (Wayne State University Press, 2016), is a 2017 Michigan Notable Book and a 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award winner. Her short film about reproductive rights, “The Choice,” received a 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Berlin Flash Film Festival, and was a finalist in the 2019 Los Angeles Indie Short Fest. A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Cooper currently resides in Chesapeake, Virginia where she continues to combine art and activism while caring for her aging parents.

Mira Krishnan is a neuropsychologist, consultant, and public speaker. She advocates for a world that celebrates difference – cultural differences, gender, and sexual diversity, and neurological diversity – both locally and nationally. Mira has previously presented to the Planned Parenthood Action community on changing US demographics and what they mean for the continued fight for reproductive justice. She serves on the board of Equality Michigan, a statewide voice for LGBTQ equality, on the board of the Association of Children’s Residential Centers, and in divisional leadership roles within the American Psychological Association.

Zoë Ligon is a Detroit-based sex educator, journalist, and artist who is also the proprietor of a progressive online sex toy emporium, Spectrum Boutique, where she has made it her life's work to blast away the stigmas and misinformation that prevent us from having the amazing sex we all deserve. Zoë has a background in social psychology, harm reduction, and inclusive pleasure-focused sex education.

Natasha Thomas-Jackson is a writer, performer, administrator, and organizer. She is currently the Genesee County Coordinator for the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH), which mobilizes youth voices, engages community partners, and informs decision-makers to advance sexual health, identities, and rights. From 2009-2018, she served as co-founder and Executive Director of RAISE IT UP! Youth Arts & Awareness (RIU), an award-winning organization that promoted youth engagement, expression, and empowerment through performance, literary art, and social activism. In 2018, she served as a Regional Organizing Director for NextGen America, a youth organizing and voter mobilization initiative and in 2019, she collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma and the University Musical Society, serving as curator, for a Day of Action in Flint, Michigan.

And that’s just a sneak peek at the amazing guest speakers and conversations that will be in store for you at our Powering Change 2019 Action Summit! Register today:


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