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What We’ve Been Up To 

It’s been incredibly busy at PPCWNY these past couple months – here’s a rundown of what’s been going on: 

PPESA Day of Action 2023 

On January 24, a group of PPCWNY staffers, supporters, and volunteers traveled to Albany to advocate on behalf of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts (PPESA)’s 2023 agenda. Not only did we present state lawmakers with PPESA’s key legislative asks for the year, we attended a rally of PP supporters from across New York State, and got to be at the capitol the day the Equal Rights Amendment passed! A lucky few of us even witnessed it receiving the majority vote in the Assembly. Here’s hoping the ERA finally becomes law when it’s on the ballot in 2024. 

Along with pushing for the passage of the ERA (which happened!), PP advocates spoke to state representatives about: 

  • Increasing Medicaid reimbursements to at least $550 for medication abortions and at least $1000 for in-clinic abortions – at the current reimbursement rate, abortion providers are operating at a significant financial loss 

  • Launching and funding the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program, which would invest in abortion access by establishing a grant at the Department of Health 

  • Ensuring all New York State youth have access to medically accurate, age-appropriate, and inclusive sex education 

If you attended our Day of Action – or were there with us in spirit – thank you so much for your support of PP’s mission and goals for 2023. And a very special thanks to our event organizers -- Public Affairs’ Maddie D., Meredith O., and Sara C. – for making the day a success! 

Keeping Up the Fight on Roe’s 50th Anniversary 

PPCWNY commemorated what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and recommitted to our mission of making true reproductive health and rights a reality for all, by participating in several community demonstrations on January 22: 

  • Bigger Than Roe, hosted by Women’s March Syracuse 

  • Roe v. Wade Press Conference: We Are Still Mad as Hell, hosted by Rochester NOW 

  • Bigger Than Roe Fundraising Party – Women’s March Companion Event, hosted by Roc.SRJ 

  • 50th Anniversary of Roe – Women’s March Companion Event, hosted by WE DISSENT – Canandaigua Coalition 

RIT Women’s Rowing Team Raises $7K for RESTORE 

The RIT Women’s Rowing team raised over $7,000 for RESTORE at an ergathon in November!  

Organized by Women’s Rowing teammates Arden Conybear (starboard), Mia Leone (star/port), and Jenna Olivieri (starboard), the Erg for RESTORE event saw athletes being sponsored to row specific distances on ergs (i.e., rowing machines). The participants – and sponsors -- showed up big time for the work RESTORE does in support of sexual violence survivors: the rowers racked up over 335 miles and blew the initial $2,000 goal out of the water. 

In support of the RIT Women’s Rowing team, PPCWNY will be organizing a group of anyone who would like to attend the RIT vs UR, Nazareth, and Fisher game on April 1, 2023. Further details as we get closer to the event. 

Peace, Fashion, and Photography at In Control 

In Control, a teen-centered PPCWNY program, is proud to share that it is a charter member of the Rochester Peace Collective! In Control has been serving youth in the City of Rochester for over 25 years as a teen pregnancy prevention program that provides educational opportunities through college visits, trade and career education, music production, dance teams, and more. 

In Control for Peace is a program for youth populations who are striving to achieve their dreams in school and life in the face of systemic racism and disinvestment in our communities. Most participants are youth of color who are seeking to build a healthy future for themselves and their families.  

A partnership of Educated Options and UTchat Vision, In Control for Peace features six programs – In Control of You Leadership, Culinary Arts/Healthy Eating, Art/Design, Clothing Production, Job Readiness, and Digital Media Production – designed to keep youth engaged in positive behaviors and gaining skills to help them reject violence. 

In other news, In Control held an exhibition of photographs taken by Rochester teens over the course of an eight-week program. You can learn more about the January 6 event, the photography program, and the artists’ process by checking out this video.  

Finally, In Control’s popular Teen Fashion Show will return Sunday, February 19! In Control is currently looking for models aged 13-18 to walk in the show. Keep an eye out for additional info. 

A New Kitchen at The Connection 

A brand-new kitchen has been the center of attention at The Connection, PPCWNY’s free space for teens in Niagara Falls! Its previous kitchen was dated, with an older refrigerator and a slow-heating stove and oven. But after some serious planning and construction – and thanks to a grant from the Garman Foundation -- the kitchen has been updated with a new commercial refrigerator, a deep freezer, and a stove with a built-in air fryer! 

The new Connection Café features a brand-new wood countertop, an overheard awning, and new cabinets for added storage. This countertop overlooks the entire first floor and is used daily to serve over 25 meals to youth participants. Another added feature: new warmers to hold precooked meals to temp for the youth that come in later than others. Last, but not least, The Connection has received a brand-new slushy machine that can serve over 100 slushies in one day. 

Supporters at Day of Action wearing pink shirts, holding pink signs

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