A Call to (Generation) Action

Kiera+Goddu+%28%6017%29%2C+and+Naomi+Vickers+%28%6017%29%2C+both+students+who+are+working+to+establish+a+Planned+Parenthood+Generation+Action+chapter+at+Maggie+Walker.++
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A Call to (Generation) Action

Kiera Goddu (`17), and Naomi Vickers (`17), both students who are working to establish a Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapter at Maggie Walker.

Kiera Goddu (`17), and Naomi Vickers (`17), both students who are working to establish a Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapter at Maggie Walker.

Nicoleta Gavris

Kiera Goddu (`17), and Naomi Vickers (`17), both students who are working to establish a Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapter at Maggie Walker.

Nicoleta Gavris

Nicoleta Gavris

Kiera Goddu (`17), and Naomi Vickers (`17), both students who are working to establish a Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapter at Maggie Walker.

Kamya Sanjay, Assistant News Editor

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Tour more than 275 college campuses and you might stumble upon a chapter of Planned Parenthood’s Generation Action, a venture established by the organization that exists to connect and unite students in the name of justice. Recently, all chapters of Generation Action have been exclusive to college campuses, but this month the Maggie Walker community will welcome its very own chapter to the school thanks to Kiera Goddu (‘17), Amanda Mier (‘17), and Naomi Vickers (‘17).

Goddu, Mier, and Vickers are more than enthused to bring a new experience to the student body of Maggie Walker. Goddu explained that Generation Action chapters operate by advocating for reproductive rights, keeping Planned Parenthood clinics open, offering a wide range of publicly available education services, and lobbying to remove targeted restrictions such as those imposed on abortion providers. Maggie Walker’s Generation Action club plans to meet the goals of its founders and of the Planned Parenthood organization through three primary branches.

“Our leadership structure has three vice presidents — one of education, one of advocacy, and one of outreach — so these are our concrete goals, or sectors,” said Goddu. Goddu is currently completing her mentorship at Planned Parenthood and hopes that the Generation Action club can be an extension of her work into school; she hopes, first and foremost, to introduce new health lessons through the Generation Action club. She came to Maggie Walker from a middle school that put an emphasis on abstinence only sex education and even promoted, in Goddu’s opinion, an incorrect definition of abstinence. “They said that the only definition of abstinence was that it was abstaining from sex until marriage between a man and a woman,” she reported. “And I was like — abstinence can be applied to many things — like abstaining from doing basically anything!” Goddu hopes that she can amend what she feels are discrepancies in the system through the education sector of Generation Action.

The other leaders are equally passionate about education and want to offer modernized and realistic reproductive health lessons to the student body of Maggie Walker. Mier’s goal for the education sector of the Generation Action club pertains to what she deems underrepresented groups. “Inclusive sex education that’s not just about…what’s between a man and a woman, but also is LGBTQ inclusive seems important,” she said.

Vickers emphasizes “choice” as a main talking point for the chapter’s curriculum. “A choice in any type of good society should be…the choice to abort if she wants to or [the woman] should have the choice to have the child if she wants to and feel like the government places enough value on the life of all people that they will support her and her child in every way possible. That is a choice, and that’s what I want people to know.” Vickers also thinks that discussions of “wholesome better sex education” and black empowerment are crucial, and personally believes that lack of reproductive justice in the black community is an issue that must be resolved. For this reason she wants education to become a focus for the club.

The other sectors of outreach and advocacy, however, have not gone overlooked by the club’s leaders. One of the first activities the club has planned is a virtual reality film in which the viewer enters a Planned Parenthood through the eyes of a woman looking for service. Goddu maintains that most people who picket outside Planned Parenthood clinics have never seen the inside of one themselves, so she hopes that the concrete experience will benefit all people at Maggie Walker.

All of the leaders believe that the public perception of Planned Parenthood may change due to outreach and advocacy for the organization. “People thinks it’s only about abortion,” said Goddu. She cites the “scare tactics” she has witnessed in family life lessons– pictures of untreated Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) — to state that students in the modern age are underserved when it comes to information they are receiving regarding their reproductive health. Goddu wants to see her peers leaving high school for college armed with knowledge on not just reproductive health, but intimate partner violence, and consent.

Mier and Vickers agree, and believe that Maggie Walker has the opportunities necessary to provide people with the information they deserve. Vickers especially thinks that many people expect that Maggie Walker students don’t need the education that Planned Parenthood has to offer because it is presumed “self-explanatory.” “Intuition won’t help. People should be trained, this is about the continuation of the human race, what it’s like to relate to other humans physically and emotionally and on other levels,” she said. Goddu added onto this assertion, stating that “glossing over education is a disservice.”

The leaders hope that the Generation Action club will prove to be transformational and provide a “space that is receptive to all identities within a school that is divided along so many lines,” according to Goddu. Mier believes that if people attend the first meeting of the club, they will come to understand the club fills a void. Goddu, who used to volunteer at the Planned Parenthood health center prior to her mentorship, said that, “[Planned Parenthood] is divisive in a public sphere but unites people from all walks of life that need it as an institution.”

Ultimately, none of the leaders wish for indoctrination into their set of beliefs. They believe that all political identities have something to gain from a Generation Action club, regardless of whether their ideals align with Planned Parenthood’s services. Goddu encourages dissenters to take advantage of the educational opportunities and seminars that the club will have to offer even if they are unwilling to take part in advocacy or outreach. Said Vickers, “It’s really about justice for all people and what they need and deserve.”

Maggie Walker’s Generation Action chapter is sponsored by Dr. Spencer. Its first meeting will be held in room 206 on September 19th to introduce attendees to the club and discuss plans for Fall Fest, and it will meet on Mondays afterwards.

 

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Kamya Sanjay, Editor-in-Chief

Kamya Sanjay is a junior at Maggie Walker and is elated to be serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Jabberwock. The Jabberwock has arguably been the most formative...

Nicoleta Gavris, Photography/Website Editor

Nicoleta Gavris is a junior at MLWGS and an avid photographer, graphic designer, actress, writer, and film editor. She loves foreign languages and is a...

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