Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Making the Population Connection at Columbus EcoSummit

By Amy Phillips Bursch, Media Relations Manager

Population Connection is getting our message this week at the EcoSummit in Columbus, Ohio. There's an amazing number of experts here from more than 70 countries discussing ecology, sustainability and how we can protect the planet in a world of more than 7 billion people.

Rebecca Harrington is Population Connection's national field coordinator.
Our own national field coordinator, Rebecca Harrington, is on hand to talk with EcoSummit participants about Population Connection's mission: Advocating for universal access to voluntary family planning programs. She took time between handing out information (and stickers! And T-shirts! And reusable shopping bags!) to answer a few questions:

Q: What are you doing this week at EcoSummit?
A: We are sharing Population Connection's materials with researchers and students from around the globe and raising awareness about population issues. We're also trying to get them engaged with grassroots work we're doing in Columbus and other cities.

Q: What grassroots work are you doing in Columbus?
A: Population Connection works to engage local activists and students in the suburbs of Columbus, Minneapolis and Seattle on the importance of voluntary family planning through advocacy training sessions, film screenings and discussion groups on campus. We also recruit students and adults to come to D.C. for Population Connection's Capitol Hill Days.

Q: How are the crowds reacting to Population Connection's mission of voluntary access to family planning?
A: Positively. The crowd here seems on board with our mission and the work we're doing. They definitely have an understanding of population issues beyond the basics, which is encouraging.

Q: When you're not at conferences, what else do you do in your job with Population Connection?
A: I'm out in the field -- traveling around the country hosting community events such as documentary film screenings, panel discussions with family planning providers, classroom presentations and advocacy trainings, among other things.

Q: Why are you interested in population?
A: I care very deeply about the health and wellbeing of women everywhere. I believe access to family planning is a fundamental right and need. Decisions on how to plan your family are incredibly personal and should not be legislated or directed by lawmakers. When women are able to control the reproductive aspect of their lives, they're more likely to pursue education, be economically self-sufficient, and ultimately attain their goals.

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