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Powering Change Breakout Sessions

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

We are proud to announce the breakout sessions for our 2019 Powering Change Action Summit that will take place in Lansing on April 16th.

Not registered yet? Reserve your spot at

Cost of attendance is $10 and includes lunch, cutting-edge activist training, Planned Parenthood swag, and a one-year PPAM Membership.

Angela Vasquez Giroux, Director of Communications at Media Relations, Planned Parenthood of Michigan

Talking About Abortion

How do you talk about abortion without getting “gotcha”-ed? By being prepared. Attendees of this breakout session will learn the facts about abortion throughout pregnancy to combat the inflammatory misinformation spread by the Trump administration and our own Michigan Legislative leaders. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to use them.

The session will include an overview of the most up-to-date messaging, specific dos and don’ts, a reality check on how voters really feel about abortion (spoiler alert: probably better than you thought!) and useful tips to speak confidently and with authority about abortion – including how to sidestep common landmines. Anti-abortion activists won’t stop lying – we have to be aggressive and accurate and lead with the truth. In this session, PPAM Director of Communications and Media Relations Angela Vasquez-Giroux will show you how.

Jordan Ebanaya, Carrie Ullery-Smith, Community Outreach Educators, Planned Parenthood of Michigan

Your Voice Matters! Applying Michigan Sex Ed Law in Your District

Get to know your sex ed laws with Planned Parenthood’s Community Outreach Education team! In this session, participants will be motivated to get involved with Sex Ed curriculum in their school districts; they will learn why and how to create diverse and progressive Sex Ed Advisory Boards and inclusive, comprehensive sex education programs within their local school districts by understanding Michigan Sex Ed Law.

Amanda West, Director of Government Relations, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan

Title X, family planning funding and the Trump gag rule: What does it all mean?

In this session, attendees will learn about family planning and the nation’s program to fund family planning- Title X. Our partners at the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NPFRHA) will share information about what “family planning” is, how it’s funded and the history of Title X. PPAM Director of Government Relations, Amanda West, will then discuss the Trump gag rule and how it will impact Michigan. And lastly, Annika Doner, Communications Coordinator for the Michigan House Democrats will lead an informative presentation on one way to fight back on the rule- letters to the editor. Annika will walk us through how to write and submit effective letters to local newspapers.

Chyrisha Rucker, Maternal Health Specialist at Mothering Justice Founding Birth Doula with Michigan Prison Doula Initiative Program Coordinator for WSU MedPeds Residency Program

Maternal Justice and Healthy Families

This session is an explorative opportunity to discuss the Mamas' Agenda that Mothering Justice relies upon to propel its work, mission, and intentions behind for mothers and families. We will touch on each of the pillars of the Mamas' Agenda that relate to what we are coining, a Continuum of Care Model for social justice.

In the session, we will also explore the goals of the organizations that allow up to align ourselves as agents of change, to begin the work of creating maternal and familial initiatives with realistic action plans. We will learn about how the pillars of the Mamas' Agenda, all come together to amplify the voices of the women and children who are plagued by injustices in the hopes of empowering equitable health and wellness outcomes through policy change.

Jey’nce Poindexter, Transgender Specialist and Victim Advocate, Equality MI

Being An Ally for Transgender Communities

Since day one of the Trump Administration, transgender rights have been under attack, and the administration’s transphobic, hateful policies have reaffirmed what we already know: that in this day and time it is dangerous to be a transgender person in America. But together, we can help to empower transgender communities so that they are celebrated with love and dignity rather than being met with hate and violence.

In this breakout session, you will hear from Transgender Specialist and Victim Advocate Jey’nce Poindexter of Equality Michigan. Ms. Poindexter has worked in various capacities with such esteemed community groups and organizations as Men of Color, The REC Boyz, The Ruth Ellis Center, the Trans Sistas of Color Project, and the Community Health Awareness Group addressing the health and advocacy needs of marginalized and disenfranchised communities in her native Detroit.

Ms. Poindexter will walk participants through what it is like to be a transgender person in this day and age and will cover a wide range of topics including survival, quality of life, sustainability, access, violence, and discrimination in the transgender community.

By providing an authentic overview of transgender experiences, Ms. Poindexter will also leave participants with solutions for allies on how we can better work with transgender people to combat microaggressions and uplift the community in positive and impactful ways.

Dree Cooper and Fiyah Angelou, Community Activists

Intro to Hood Feminism

Hood Feminism is a deeply intersectional form of feminism that centers the experiences and needs of Black non-men, especially those raised or living in impoverished areas. In this breakout session, participants will learn about the roots of Hood Feminism while developing diverse perspectives on historical non-white feminists, intersections of Blackness with current LGBTQ identities and movements, misogynoir, fetishism, and current uses of media in our social and political movements.

Samantha Heinrich, MSU Masters of Public Health Graduate, Volunteer Leader with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan

The Truth About Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) masquerade themselves as licensed medical facilities offering people facing an unexpected pregnancy a full range of reproductive health options. However, these agencies operate from a strictly anti-choice perspective and aim to convince pregnant people to choose parenthood or adoption. Since 2013, Michigan has siphoned off nearly 2.6 million dollars in funds meant for the assistance of needy families to Real Alternatives, a national anti-choice network. In this session, you can find out more about CPCs in Michigan, the harmful tactics they use to prevent abortion, and what you can do to stop them.

Kim Jorgensen Gane and Cassy Jones-McBryde, PPFA National Speakers Bureau Members

Story of Self: Stories as a tool for organizing

At Planned Parenthood, we place high importance on telling stories to illustrate the real-life impact of policy. We know that stories are the best tool we have in our activism and that each and every one of us has a story to share! Mastering our own stories helps to motivate others to use their stories to create change. In this breakout session, led by author and former PPFA National Speakers Bureau Member Kim Jorgensen Gane, you will learn the basics of how public narrative works, understand the criteria for an effective ‘story of self’, determine the best use for your story, and coach others on how to improve their storytelling skills.


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