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Last night, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) presented several awards to champions of women’s health care and rights. The highest honor, the 2016 Planned Parenthood Federation of America POWER + PURPOSE award, went to the organization’s dedicated and fierce volunteers. Planned Parenthood would simply not exist without their commitment to the belief that all people deserve access to sexual and reproductive health services.


“This work cannot be done alone,” said Cecile Richards, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Without the day-to-day dedication of our volunteers, Planned Parenthood would look drastically different than it does today, and for that, we are honored to lift up their work with this award. They exemplify what it means to care, no matter what.”


Reflecting on our 100 year history, Planned Parenthood presented the first POWER + PURPOSE award to recognize the many individuals of vision and leadership who have built this Federation and the movement for reproductive freedom.


We also launched a second new award recognizing our commitment to the young people at the forefront of our movement who will be our leaders in the next century. The Peer Educator-Advocate Prize will recognize outstanding leadership among young educator-advocates around the country. This prize provides five $10,000 scholarships to peer educator-advocates from around the country. The prize can be used to further the young person’s education. We will be working with education leaders, board members and affiliate staff to develop a rigorous process for selecting the award winners.


The PPFA Media Excellence Awards were also given out, with journalist Amy Goodman receiving the highest honor for her groundbreaking work on Democracy NOW! which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.


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Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siup53-RU-I&feature=youtu.be


Other winners of the Media Excellence Awards include Sunnivie Brydum and Mitch Kellaway of The Advocate, Zuri and Staceyann Chin of Living Room Protest, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow of Call Your Girlfriend, Imani Gandi of Rewire, Dani McClain of The Nation, Alex Morris of Rolling Stone magazine, Caitlin Moscatello for Cosmopolitan, Raquel Reichard of Latina magazine, and Kayla Webley of Marie Claire. Planned Parenthood is proud to lift up the incredible work of these journalists. We honor them for their commitment to advancing social justice.


The Gala was part of Planned Parenthood’s “Power + Purpose: 100 Years Strong” conference, the organization’s largest annual gathering, attended by more than 1,000 Planned Parenthood national and affiliate staff from across the country, as well as elected officials, leaders of other national organizations, and prominent supporters.


Emceed by comedian Cameron Esposito of the upcoming Seeso comedy series TAKE MY WIFE and her recent comedy special Marriage Material, with a memorable performance by Kesha and headlined by up-and-coming artist Shamir, this year’s Gala also presented the Planned Parenthood Global Citizen Award to Teresa de Vargas, co-Founder and executive director of CEMOPLAF, the Medical Center for Family Planning and Education, an important partner to Planned Parenthood Global. Reina Schiffrin, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic took home the Ruth Green Award for her outstanding leadership and vision.


“I am proud to stand with Planned Parenthood,” said Kesha. "I have used the services of Planned Parenthood since I was a teenager.  They have been there, explaining how to maintain my health and giving me compassionate care when topics were hard to address with parents and teachers.  From birth control to Pap smears, they were the place I could go and ask for help privately and never had to pay a dime. They are the reason I could get health care before I could afford health insurance. They have been a silent angel for many women, myself included. I, for one, will forever stand with Planned Parenthood because they have always been there for me."


The Planned Parenthood “Care. No Matter What.” award went to the extraordinary staff of the Colorado Springs Health Center for their staunch commitment to bringing lifesaving sexual and reproductive health care to the people of Colorado, even in the wake of tragedy. It takes true passion and dedication to continue to serve a community after overcoming such an obstacle, but the staff members of the Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs exemplify what it means to provide compassionate care.


This year’s television hit Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, starring Rachel Bloom as a successful, driven woman who impulsively gives up everything in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness. Along with co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna,Crazy Ex-Girlfriend masterfully puts sexist stereotypes to rest while keeping its viewers laughing, and Planned Parenthood is proud to honor them with an Excellence in Entertainment award.


“We’re grateful everyday for the opportunity to work on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” said Rachel Bloom of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. “In a field that regularly stereotypes female characters, it is a privilege to work on a show that does quite the opposite. The fact that the show is so popular proves that viewers want to see more shows like this.”


Dawn Porter’s award-winning 2015 documentary TRAPPED, follows the struggles of clinic workers and lawyers who are on the front lines of a battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women. Premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking, TRAPPED  grasped the attention and admiration of its audience by thrusting them into the daily life of abortion providers in the South. Planned Parenthood, Center for Reproductive Rights, Whole Women’s Health and others are proud to be a part of such an impactful film.


“This is not just a challenge to abortion access. This is a challenge to the very fundamental rules of our democracy. ” said Dawn Porter, director of TRAPPED. “Despite this incredibly hostile environment, despite threats to financial stability, and physical safety, doctors, staff and patients at abortion clinics across America refuse to give up.”


Each year, PPFA recognizes exceptional contributions by the arts and entertainment community that enhance the public's understanding of reproductive and sexual health care issues and sex education.


Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards with Gala Emcee Cameron Esposito and performer Kesha.

Photo Credit: Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Cecile Richards onstage at The Parenthood Federation of America National Conference Gala during the 2016 Planned Parenthood Federation of America National Conference held in Washington DC, Thursday, June 9, 2016.

Photo Credit: Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Shamir performs onstage at The Parenthood Federation of America National Conference Gala during the 2016 Planned Parenthood Federation of America National Conference held in Washington DC, Thursday, June 9, 2016.

Photo Credit: Planned Parenthood Federation of America


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 over 650 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.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


June 10, 2016