On February 18th at the Acts of Courage gala, a packed house of 320 Planned Parenthood Northern California (PPNorCal) staff, volunteers and supporters gathered at the St. Regis San Francisco to celebrate 100 years of Planned Parenthood and honor brave allies and generations of clients who fight for reproductive justice.
PPNorCal President/CEO, Heather Saunders Estes, presented Senator Barbara Boxer with the first ever Planned Parenthood Northern California Lifetime Achievement Award. Poets Terisa Siagatonu and Natasha Healy delivered a powerful tribute to Senator Boxer comparing her tenacity, strength and resilience to that of the mighty California redwood tree.
Senator Boxer thanked PPNorCal for the award and then reassured the audience that although she was not running again for the Senate, she would not be retiring. Senator Boxer said she would continue fighting for what’s right and now she would be, “unplugged and uncensored”.
The night continued with a stirring conversation with Jonathan Eig author of The Birth of the Pill led by Chinaka Hodge, a poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter. Some of the discussion focused on the struggle to provide contraceptive information to women in the early 20th century and the parallel to current restrictions on accessing reproductive healthcare across the nation.
The Acts of Courage gala was a huge success and raised more money than ever before with guests making generous donations to support medical services, education and advocacy across PPNorCal’s 20 county service area.
PPNorCal looks forward to next year’s Acts of Courage gala.