2018 Year in Review

 Even as 2018 proved to be a challenging year for progressive issues like ours, it was also a year when Population Connection’s donors, activists, volunteers, and supporters—people like you!—showed up in Washington, D.C. and communities nationwide to defend reproductive rights and demand protection for our environment. Together, we will keep fighting for progressive action to stabilize global population and forge a more sustainable future for our entire planet.

Capitol Hill Days 2018

From March 16th-19th, 350 activists stormed Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to speak out against Trump’s odious Global GagRule and to urge their elected officials to support the GlobalHER Act, which would repeal the Global GagRule forever. They also called on their legislators to increase our nation’s investment in international family planning programs to $1.2 billion, as well as to reinstate critical funding for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, which provides life-saving care in some 150 countries.

Student activists and Population Connection members and supporters from thirty-one states and D.C. gathered for a weekend of learning about the impact of Trump’s deadly policies on real lives abroad and our tireless efforts to repeal the Global Gag Rule. They learned how to be effective advocates for upholding the reproductive rights of vulnerable people worldwide.

Armed with their newly-acquired knowledge and skills, student and veteran advocates descended on the Capitol, meeting with lawmakers in the Senate and House. For our large contingents from Arizona,North Carolina, and Ohio, constituents stood for meetings in hallways and gathered in special reserved meeting spaces to accommodate the numbers of activists eager to speak to their legislators.

350 activists at 2018’s Capitol Hill Days!

Population Education

We were very busy this year in PopEd! We ticked off many important milestones in our efforts to make PopEd lessons more accessible and to grow our trainer network:

Earth Matters, our high school curriculum, received a major face lift. In addition to a new design, PopEd updated all of the lessons offered and even added new lessons and readings!

Counting on People (for elementary grades) and Teaching Population(K-12), two lesson sets that were historically offered on CD, are all now completely digitized and available online.

In just two of our Leadership Institutes, we added 57 new trainers to our network. These trainers have already facilitated 60+ workshops and are ready to spread Population Education to even more present and future educators next year.

PopEd closed the year with more than 700 teacher training workshops delivered to thousands of participants across the U.S. and abroad.

Nearly 3,000 teams and individuals dived deep into population issues to compete in this year’s World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest. Students in grades 6-12, from 50 countries and 48 U.S.states and territories, created short videos exploring population issues.We announced 18 winners in May with press coverage, social media,and other outreach.

We are happy to announce the launch of our new poster: “A Quick Trip to 7.6 Billion.” The wall chart is a revamp from an earlier version,which marked the addition of Earth’s 7 billionth human in 2011. Since then, there have been some significant changes, and we’ve updated the chart’s statistics and focused more closely on the current most pressing issues.

International Engagement

We continued our partnerships with international agencies and organizations, such as Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC), UNFPA, Ipas, and International Planned Parenthood Federation. Population Connection supports initiatives to expand contraceptive access, to break down barriers to reproductive healthcare, and to share stories of those affected by policies preventing full family planning access around the world.

Population Connection also hosted an informational booth at the International Conference of Family Planning (ICFP)in Rwanda. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosts this conference every two years in a developing country that has made great strides in advancing reproductive health and policy.

Population Connection staff hosting a booth at the ICFP Conference in Rwanda.

Member Engagement

This year our Member Engagement team was very busy helping 286 members participate in 136 different events in 37 states and 81 cities! These events helped to educate and engage nearly 12,000 people over the course of the year.

For Earth Day, more than 100 members in 26 states hosted educational tables in their local communities to increase awareness about the many environmental and social implications of rapid population growth. Our members stepped up and more than tripled the number of Earth Day events, increasing Population Connection’s representation from 16 events in 2017 to 55 in 2018!

Population Connection members Bruce and Victoria tabling at San Francisco Earth Day!

For World Population Day on July 11th, members participated in film screenings, community discussions, and tabling events across the country. Population Connection partnered with the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, AZ for a film screening that drew 96+ people—filling the theater to capacity!

Population Connection would like to thank our members, advocates, teachers, and other volunteers for your collaboration and support this year. Thanks to you, thousands of people—and millions of K-12 students—learned about population growth in 2018. Many of these people became stronger advocates for reproductive health care and access.Your voices and your support makes zero population growth possible. Thank you for making our movement stronger than ever!

Members looking to get involved in your community in the year ahead can find resources at https://www.populationconnection.org/getinvolved/ and meet your local coordinator by emailing engage@popconnect.org.

4 thoughts on “2018 Year in Review

  1. I am teaching an online environmental science course at Loyola University Chicago. I was wondering if you had a video versions of your presentation “Inaleienable: The Rights…” that I could post on my website so the students could watch it. If not, do you have any other video or power point presentations I could use?

  2. I heard on the news this morning that the population growth rate was not high enough to maintain the current population. Does that mean that you have reached your goal?

    • Hi Cliff! This is a great question. There are parts of the world in which fertility rates are below replacement levels, leading to shrinking population numbers. However, globally, population continues to grow rapidly. We’ve made immense progress towards stabilizing global population by working hard to ensure that women everywhere have access to family planning–birth rates have come down drastically over the last half-century. However, since global population continues to rise, our work is certainly not over.

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