May 2020 Activists of the Month

Liza Draper, New Hampshire

What are your pronouns? 

she/her/hers

Tell us about yourself!

I grew up in Boston, went to college in Philly, and worked in data networking technology on both coasts, before moving to New Hampshire. I now live in Claremont with a rescued donkey, draft horse, goats, a chicken, four cats, an extremely elderly dog, and a very good-natured spouse.

Why do you #Fight4HER?

It’s genetic: My grandmother worked for Planned Parenthood and my father is an OB/GYN and has served as an abortion provider. As a community health educator, I spent the last five years delivering teen pregnancy and STI prevention programming (PREP) across Sullivan County through a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services.

What has been your favorite part about working on the #Fight4HER campaign? 

The looks that my brass ovaries sticker gets when I park around here in very “red” parking lots! Seriously, it’s getting to work with passionate people like Sadie, the #Fight4HER NH organizer, and as a result, feeling empowered to make a difference on such an important issue.

If you had one piece of advice for new activists, what would it be?

Maggie Kuhn said it best: “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”

What other issues do you care about?

I care about civil liberties in general (I’m an ACLU volunteer), particularly LGBTQ+ rights/gender equality. I am the Regional Coordinator for GLSEN’s New Hampshire chapter, helped launch the Rural Outright program to support and advocate for rural LGBTQ+ youth, and act as an advisor for local GSTAs.

Michaiah Wilson, North Carolina

What are your pronouns? 

she/her/hers

Tell us about yourself!

I am a native of Durham, NC, and a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I love to cook and bake, and I have participated in cheerleading since I was five years old.

Why do you #Fight4HER?

Reproduction is the legacy and backbone of communities. When you restrict reproductive rights and access to healthcare, you destroy communities. I stand with people everywhere to stand up against the biased and conservative reproductive health legislation that conservative governments try to force on us.

What has been your favorite part about working on the #Fight4HER campaign? 

My favorite part of working on the #Fight4HER campaign has been the opportunity to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and being able to learn from them.

If you had one piece of advice for new activists, what would it be?

Be yourself! The best way to connect with people is to smile, be yourself, and find a way to connect with the campaign. When you’re passionate about something and you make it personal, people can sense it and it breathes life into a conversation.

What other issues do you care about?

I am an Exercise and Sports Science major with a minor in Social and Economic Justice. That being said, I am passionate about the overrepresentation and exploitation of African American males in sports! I am also passionate about the effects of social class on the ability to make and maintain healthy living choices.

Geneva Hein, Colorado

What are your pronouns?

she/her/hers

Tell us about yourself!

I am a high school senior in Fort Collins, Colorado. In the fall, I will be attending Fort Lewis College to study music education. During my time in high school, I was head of the “Locker 226” project – a locker dedicated to providing feminine care products, condoms, and pregnancy tests, as well as information about healthy relationships and domestic violence, and contact information for organizations that help women in crisis. In addition, my school didn’t have a sex education program, so I partnered with Planned Parenthood to create a course that I taught to my peers for two years and have passed on to a teacher so it can continue to be taught in the future.

Why do you #Fight4HER?

I joined #Fight4HER because there have been victims of sexual assault or harassment in each generation of women in my family, which is not a legacy that I want to pass down. I #Fight4HER because women should have the freedom to decide what happens to their own bodies, particularly considering the increasingly overpopulated planet, high maternal and infant mortality rates, children and youth in at-risk situations, and the financial drain an unplanned pregnancy can have on lower and middle-income families.

What has been your favorite part about working on the #Fight4HER campaign? 

I have found that working for #Fight4HER has been incredibly rewarding. It has given me an opportunity to not only create global change but also has become a source of self-empowerment. When I first came into the campaign, I had a lot of passion but not a lot of knowledge about the issue and no way to direct my passion. Now, I am constantly learning new things and doing more and more to contribute to the outstanding work being done by my fellow #Fight4HER activists. Being a part of this team has allowed me to channel my passion and find healing. While this been hard work for me, it has also given me a great community of people in which to find comfort and strength.

If you had one piece of advice for new activists, what would it be?

Find a cause you are most passionate about and learn how you can help your community. Sometimes the idea of changing laws or fixing global problems can seem like too much to handle all at once, but it’s easy to give back a little bit at a time. Activism doesn’t have to be a full-time job in order to mean something. Even giving an hour a week can make a difference.

What other issues do you care about?

I’m also very passionate about the environment and I work often with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, restoring riverbeds after flood damage, rebuilding trails damaged by fires, and planting trees. I also do a lot of volunteer work for local CSAs and farms in my town. Additionally, as a high school student who has to hear about another school shooting every week or so, I quickly became passionate about ending gun violence in schools as well. I wrote a song titled “Sincerely the Students of the United States” that addresses the concerns from a student’s perspective and demands change. I’ve performed it at many events, including the Colorado Peace Festival and the Earth Day Festival.

Categories: Activist Profiles
[item.name]
[item.name]
[item]
[item]