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Washington, DC — On Wednesday night, Planned Parenthood Federation of America celebrated the launch of Charlas Saludables, Planned Parenthood's new series to help foster healthy conversations around reproductive rights, health and civic engagement in the Latino community. The bilingual conversation featured Amara La Negra, Planned Parenthood Federation of America board member Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson, and Cindy Cruz, a leader in the Planned Parenthood Promotora de Salud program. It was moderated by People en Español and People CHICA digital executive editor Shirley Velasquez. 

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“We are thrilled to host conversations like Charlas Saludables, which help propel and sustain bodily autonomy and freedom for the vast and diverse Latinx community who make up our patients, our fearless providers and staff, our Latinx organizers and Promotoras, and our fierce partners and supporters. Charlas Saludables is part of Planned Parenthood’s continued effort to engage the Latinx community, and address their needs in a culturally competent and sensitive way. Visiting a Planned Parenthood health center is an act of resistance, and you can see young people become empowered when they walk into our clinics and meet with trusted professionals who are able to help them ensure agency over their bodies. We know that talking openly about these topics in the community is the first step toward healing, change, and power, and we are happy to help facilitate these powerful discussions.” 

Last night’s conversation, the first in the series, encouraged viewers to care for themselves, and care for their communities. Topics ranged from tackling pressing health care issues like higher rates of cervical cancer among Latinas, to battling fatigue and finding a sense of joy and self care amidst the health crisis and rampant racism in the country. 

Cindy Cruz, a leader in the Planned Parenthood Promotora de Salud program, spoke to the outreach efforts Promotoras de Salud are conducting to help the Latino community meet their health needs amidst the pandemic. Promotoras de Salud have been hosting virtual Cafecitos, to discuss reproductive health, often with farmworkers, who make up a large part of the Latino community in California. As a health care provider, Planned Parenthood believes creating health equity — including access to quality, affordable, compassionate health care — is critical to ensuring that all people can lead healthy, safe, and empowered lives. 

Caring for our communities also entails reckoning with structural inequality, and Amara la Negra spoke to her work on colorism in the Latino community. “Since I was 17 years old I have been an activist, talking about colorism, racism, and inequality in the Latino community,” she stated. “As a Dominican Afrolatina, it is my right and my duty to protest. Before you know I am Amara la Negra, you see me as a Black woman.” Alexis McGill Johnson and Daisy Auger-Dominguez further linked the crisis of racism to decreased access to health care for communities of color. 

Planned Parenthood is in the fight to combat systemic racism and remains committed to working with other public health providers and reproductive justice and rights organizations to serve all patients, including those in communities of color, in all ways possible. With continued health care delivery, telehealth, and virtual resources like Sex Ed en Casa and the Roo chatbot, amidst the multiple crises, Planned Parenthood is here to help you meet your health care needs, no matter what. 

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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.