Student Champions of Women's Health
Student Leader: Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Erin Carhart has devoted virtually all of her college career to educating, empowering, and advocating for young people’s sexual and reproductive rights. Currently a junior at Syracuse University, Erin strives to make a difference in the lives of her peers by ensuring that they have the resources they need to make healthy decisions and live healthy lives. Her passion for human rights and her dedication to the reproductive justice movement has inspired many of her peers to become activists, increasing the number of students participating in her local affiliate, Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region.
Student Leader: Eliminating Violence Against Women
Silkisha Sneed is a student leader at Planned Parenthood of Nassau County and a senior at SUNY College at Old Westbury in New York. Silkisha leads Women United, a campus advocacy group dedicated to preventing violence against women. Under her leadership, Women United has worked to ensure the campus women’s center–which provides students who have been victims of violence with critical resources—remains open. In addition, Silkisha has hosted a self-defense class for women, fought to improve campus safety measures, led Take Back the Night events and collected signatures to ask legislators to protect Native American women and LGBT persons in the Violence Against Women Act. Her passion knows no limits!
Student Leader of the Week: Gender Equity and Gender Discrimination
Lesli-Elsie Simms is a student leader at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and a senior at St. Edward’s University. Lesli began volunteering at Planned Parenthood during the 2012 election. She was then deputized to register community members to vote in her county. Through voting registration and education, Lesli aimed to empower women to take part in the civic process. Additionally, as an intern with Progress Texas, Lesli works to combat harmful legislation that restricts women’s access to safe abortions in Texas and other attacks on women’s reproductive health. She is dedicated to increasing access to reproductive health care for women because these services are imperative to advancing the rights of women everywhere.
Student Leader of the Week: Fighting the Battle Against HIV/AIDS
Mumal Usman is a junior at DePauw University and a Planned Parenthood Global Youth Advocacy Fellow. Over the past two years, she has worked to promote HIV/AIDS testing on both the DePauw University campus and the SUNY Stony Brook campus. This past summer, Mumal attended the XIX International AIDS Conference on behalf of Planned Parenthood and shared the politics and research she learned with her community. The conference inspired her to go beyond the GYT (Get Yourself Tested) campaign held every April and host more events surrounding the global impact of AIDS with a focus on World AIDS Day. During these events, Mumal promoted awareness about the stigma often associated with the disease as well as engaged students in discussions surrounding the criminalization of HIV/AIDS.