|President of Planned Parenthood|
February 2006 –April 2018
|Preceded by||Gloria Feldt|
|Succeeded by||Leana Wen|
|Born||July 15, 1957|
Waco, Texas, U.S.
|Relatives||Ann Richards (Mother)|
|Residence||New York City|
|Education||Brown University (BA)|
Cecile Richards (born July 15, 1957)is an American activist who served as the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund from 2006 to 2018. In 2010, Richards was elected to the Ford Foundation board of trustees. In spring 2019, Richards co-founded Supermajority, a women's political action group.
Richards was born in Waco, Texas, and is the daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards (née Willis), an American politician and activist. Her father, David Richards,practiced law and built a practice dealing with civil-rights plaintiffs, newspapers, and labor unions. He also won several landmark cases, including a voting-rights lawsuit that went to the Supreme Court. Cecile Richards initially went to public school, but, in ninth grade, she was disciplined for protesting the Vietnam War, after she wore a black armband. She then attended the progressive St. Stephen's Episcopal School for the remainder of high school.
Richards' parents were immersed in political activism from her early years on. In January of 1971 at the age of 13 she was named an honorary page to the 62nd Texas State Legislator. At the age of 16, she helped her mother campaign for Sarah Weddington, the attorney who won Roe v. Wade , in her bid for the Texas state legislature.
Richards graduated with a bachelor's degree in history from Brown University (1980).After graduation, she became a labor organizer for service workers across several states, running union campaigns for garment workers, nursing home workers, and janitors. When she was 30, she moved back to Texas to help with her mother, Ann Richards', campaign for governor. She is currently on the board of the Ford Foundation, a global private foundation with the mission of advancing human welfare. She was one of the founders of America Votes, a 501(c)4 organization that aims to co-ordinate and promote progressive issues, and is currently serving as president. Before that, she was deputy chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. She has also worked at the Turner Foundation. In 1996, she founded the Texas Freedom Network, a Texas organization formed to counter the Christian right. She also serves on the board of advisors of Let America Vote, an organization founded by former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander that aims to end voter suppression.
Richards stepped down as president of Planned Parenthood in 2018and was succeeded by Leana Wen. In April 2019, Richards co-founded a new political action group, Supermajority, to educate and train women to further women's political agenda for the 2020 elections.
In April 2019, Richards co-founded a new political action group, Supermajority, that "aims to train and mobilize 2 million women over the next year to become organizers, activists, and leaders ahead of the 2020 election” to create a “multiracial, intergenerational movement for women’s equity.”Founded with activists Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo, the group hopes to “push politicians to adopt an agenda akin to what Richards called ‘a women’s new deal,’” with issues like “voting rights, gun control, paid family leave, equal pay, and others” viewed as “‘soft issues’” being seen as “issues that impact everyone.” Since women comprised the majority of the electorate in the 2018 midterm election, Supermajority hopes to further this trend, educating women on "basic organizing skills like voter registration" and building a larger platform for female candidates in the 2020 election. Richards says "[the group will be successful] if 54% of the voters in this country are women and if we are able to insert into this country the issues that women care about and elect a president who’s committed to doing something about them.”
She contributed the piece "Combating the Religious Right" to the 2003 anthology Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium , edited by Robin Morgan.
In 2018 Richards published her memoir "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, And Finding The Courage To Lead." The memoir discusses her upbringing and career.
Richards is married to Kirk Adams, a labor organizer with the Service Employees International Union, and has three children.Their eldest, Lily Adams, served as press secretary for Tim Kaine, later as an advisor of communications for Hillary Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign and communications director for Kamala Harris' presidential campaign. Richards and her husband live in New York City.
Dorothy Ann Richards was an American politician and 45th Governor of Texas (1991–95). A Democrat, she first came to national attention as the Texas State Treasurer, when she gave the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Richards was the second female governor of Texas and was frequently noted in the media for her outspoken feminism and her one-liners.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (PPFA), or Planned Parenthood, is a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care in the United States and globally. It is a tax-exempt corporation under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and a member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). PPFA has its roots in Brooklyn, New York, where Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in 1916. Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, which changed its name to Planned Parenthood in 1942.
Sarah Ragle Weddington is an American attorney, law professor and former member of the Texas House of Representatives best known for representing "Jane Roe" in the landmark Roe v. Wade case before the United States Supreme Court. In 1989, she was portrayed by Amy Madigan in the television film Roe vs. Wade.
Faye Wattleton is an American reproductive rights activist who was the first African American and the youngest president ever elected of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the first woman since Margaret Sanger to hold the position. She is currently Co-Founder & Director at EeroQ, a quantum computing company. She is best known for her contributions to family planning and reproductive health, as well as the pro-choice movement.
Lila Grace Rose is an American anti-abortion activist who is the founder and president of the anti-abortion organization Live Action. She has conducted undercover, investigative exposés of abortion facilities in the United States, including affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Gloria Feldt is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, commentator, and feminist leader who has gained national recognition as a social and political advocate of women's rights. In 2013, with Amy Litzenberger, she founded Take the Lead, a nonprofit initiative with a goal to propel women to leadership parity by 2025. She is a former CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, directing the organization from 1996 to 2005.
The Margaret Sanger Award was an honor awarded annually by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1966 to 2015. Created to honor the legacy of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, it is the Federation's highest honor. It is given to individuals to recognize excellence and leadership in the reproductive health and rights movement. Although it is identified as an annual award, it hasn't been given out and since 2015.
Ai-jen Poo is an American labor activist. She is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She is also the co-director of Caring Across Generations, a national coalition of 200 advocacy organizations working to transform the long-term care system in the US, with a focus on the needs of aging Americans, people with disabilities, and their caregivers.
Leana Sheryle Wen is an American physician, an op-ed columnist with The Washington Post and a CNN medical analyst. She is a practicing physician, a former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore, and author of the books When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests and Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health. Currently, she is a visiting professor of Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University, where she is a Distinguished Fellow in the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity. She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Celia Israel is an American politician. She has represented the 50th District in the Texas House of Representatives since winning a special election on January 28, 2014, succeeding Mark Strama. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She serves on the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, & Tourism and the House Insurance Committee.
Alicia Garza is an American civil rights activist and writer known for co-founding the international Black Lives Matter movement. She has organized around the issues of health, student services and rights, rights for domestic workers, ending police brutality, anti-racism, and violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people of color. Her editorial writing has been published by The Guardian, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and Truthout. She currently directs Special Projects at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and is the Principal at the Black Futures Lab.
Patrisse Marie Khan-Cullors Brignac is an American activist, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, artist and writer. Cullors created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag in 2013 and has written and spoken widely about the movement. Other topics on which Cullors advocates include prison abolition in Los Angeles and LGBTQ rights. Cullors integrates ideas from critical theory, as well as social movements around the world, in her activism. She is the author of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.
In 2015, an anti-abortion organization named the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released several videos that had been secretly recorded. Members of the CMP posed as representatives of a biotechnology company in order to gain access to both meetings with abortion providers and abortion facilities. The videos showed how abortion providers made fetal tissue available to researchers, although no problems were found with the legality of the process. All of the videos were found to be altered, according to analysis by Fusion GPS and its co-founder Glenn R. Simpson, a former investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal. The CMP disputed this finding, attributing the alterations to the editing out of "bathroom breaks and waiting periods." CMP had represented a longer version of the tapes as being "complete", as well as a shorter, edited version. The analysis by Fusion GPS concluded that the longer version was also edited, with skips and missing footage. Nonetheless, the videos attracted widespread media coverage; after the release of the first video, conservative lawmakers in Congress singled out Planned Parenthood and began to push bills that would strip the organization of federal family planning funding. No such attempts by Congress to cut federal family planning money from Planned Parenthood have become law. Conservative politicians in several states have also used this as an opportunity to cut or attempt to cut family planning funding at the state level.
Marie Newman is an American politician and marketing consultant serving as the U.S. representative from Illinois's 3rd congressional district since 2021. The district encompasses parts of southwestern Chicago as well as many of its nearby suburbs such as Oak Lawn, Western Springs and Lockport. Newman won election in her district to the United States House of Representatives as the Democratic nominee, following her narrow victory against incumbent Dan Lipinski in the 2020 primary election. She had lost to Lipinski in the Democratic primary for the same seat in 2018.
Rebecca Todd Peters is a feminist and Christian social ethicist who serves as a professor of Religious Studies at Elon University. Peters' scholarship focuses on questions related to economics, the environmental crisis, globalization, poverty and women's access to reproductive health care.
The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, also known as SisterSong, is a national activist organization dedicated to reproductive justice for women of color. The non-profit defines reproductive justice as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.
Alexis McGill Johnson is an American academic and social justice advocate. She is the executive director and co-founder of the Perception Institute, an anti-bias research group, and is currently the president of Planned Parenthood.
Dawn Laguens is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of Planned Parenthood and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She is Vice Chair of LPAC, the LGBTQ+ social justice and women's equality Super PAC. She is Strategic Advisor at Redshift Leadership and the Vaid Group. As of 2019, she is also the Expert-In-Residence at IDEO. Additionally, she is a writer and filmmaker, having served as executive producer of Across the Line, a virtual reality look at the personal experience of getting access to abortion, that debuted at Sundance in 2016. She has been published in TIME, New York Magazine, The Anchorage Daily News, and on Refinery29, Medium.com, The Daily Beast, Salon.com, and other outlets. She has also appeared on CNN, NPR, CBS, and other media.
Meenakshi (Meena) Ashley Harris is an American lawyer, children's book author, producer, and founder of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, which creates statement fashion to support charity. In June 2020, Harris released her first book from HarperCollins, entitled Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, which is based on the story of her mother, Maya Harris, and aunt, Kamala Harris, the 49th Vice President of the United States.
Deja Foxx is a reproductive rights activist, political strategist and blogger known for being the youngest staffer and first Influencer and Surrogate Strategist on U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris' presidential campaign, and for her work with Planned Parenthood.
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