Storytelling to Benefit Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan (Connection)

Published February 25, 2013 in Connection, a Planned Parenthood Community Newsletter from PPFA President Cecile Richards.


Published: 02.25.13| Updated: 02.25.13

Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan (PPMSM) rang in Valentine’s weekend with a storytelling event themed “Love & War.”

“What better time to get the community thinking about safe sex and reproductive health than around the holiday of love?” asked Desiree Cooper, PPMSM’s director of community and media relations.

In 2012, PPMSM was approached by the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, a Detroit-based group dedicated to connecting seemingly divergent groups through stories, to collaborate to raise money and awareness about its services.

This Year's Storytellers

This year's Storytellers. Photo credit: Charlene Uresy

On February 15, more than 150 people gathered at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The lineup included Detroiters telling their true-life stories, including a three-time cancer survivor, an ex-felon, a daughter who battled a lifetime with her mother, a prominent minister who found true love after learning to love himself, and a Vietnam War vet who went back to the hill in the jungle where he lost half of his platoon.

Cheryl James

Three-time cancer survivor Cheryl James shares her story. Photo credit: Charlene Uresy

“It wasn’t intended to be a version of ‘Vagina Monologues,’” said Cooper. “The storytellers were allowed to interpret the theme ‘Love & War’ however they saw fit. It was a riveting evening where Planned Parenthood was allowed to share its story as well.” 

“My hope was that those who attended the event would learn that the organization is a vital, mainstream member of the community,” said Satori Shakoor, founder of the Secret Society and a mainstage performer for the national storytelling movement, the Moth. “When you remove the politics around reproductive health care, you are left with compelling human experiences that Planned Parenthood is there to help people navigate.”

Satori Shakoor

Satori Shakoor at the podium. Photo credit: Charlene Uresy

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