2020: YEAR AT A GLANCE

PopEd

  • Before the start of stay-at-home orders, staff and volunteer trainers presented 129 in-person workshops around the country. Since then, PopEd staff presented 150 live webinars and recorded 120 webinars for asynchronous workshop sessions. Apart from the informative webinars, staff developed dozens of new resources and tools that adapt PopEd activities for digital learning, including the new 330 Million in the USA curriculum.
  • This year’s World of 7 Billion student video contest inspired more than 5,000 students in grades 6-12 to submit entries. The 18 winning films explore population growth as it relates to one of three topics—Improving Climate Resiliency, Ensuring Economic Opportunities, and Sustaining Water Systems.

Field & Outreach

  • Our sister organization, Population Connection Action Fund, mobilized thousands of #Fight4HER advocates and reproductive rights champions through its digital Capitol Hill Days, Summer of HER program, Twitter rallies, and Get Out the Vote efforts.
  • This summer, Population Connection Action Fund hosted the third annual Summer of HER program. Running as a digital training course this year, 108 fellows in #Fight4HER states spent the summer learning skills and tactics to become stronger advocates. The workshops are a valuable tool to help activists learn essential organizing techniques to urge lawmakers to pass the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, which would permanently overturn the deadly Global Gag Rule and prevent any future president from reinstating it.

Membership Relations

  • In compliance with public health measures to protect the health and safety of our members and staff, Membership Relations refrained from hosting in-person events this year. Instead, we pulled together 14 virtual opportunities for members to learn more about population issues and connect with one another, including an Earth Day Challenge, educational Speaker Series, and a four-week Population and Climate Change course.
  • Over the course of the year, 650 members and volunteers participated in one or more of these virtual events, learning ways to stay involved with our work from the safety of their home.

Here are some highlights:

Capitol Hills Day 2020

Activist discussing the importance of prioritizing international family planning and reproductive health.

The year’s initial stay-at-home orders came only a couple weeks before our annual Capitol Hill Days event. Unwilling to let our commitment to advocating for reproductive rights flag, our #Fight4HER team took the fight online! The CHD Digital Weekend of Action, a joint event with Population Connection Action Fund, consisted of a series of virtual sessions with organizing experts to discuss reproductive health and rights advocacy, and culminated with a Twitter “rally” with over 2,000 participants that reached over 9.2 million people!

Read a complete recap of our Capitol Hills Day Digital Weekend of Action here!

Virtual Earth Day

Challenge participant shares how they reduce their ecological footprint

2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and Population Connection members were eager to celebrate! Over 90 people signed up to follow daily tasks that help decrease our collective impact on the environment such as saying no to single-use plastic and reducing water usage. The challenge included tuning in for live presentations from President John Seager and Communications Manager Hannah Evans. John discussed how population growth and pandemics are interwoven, and Hannah highlighted the connections between climate change and population growth. Collectively, over 120 members participated in these live streams!

You can see the complete list of the daily “eco challenges” here!

 


Population and Climate Change Course

Overview of the course’s four sessions.

Membership Relations hosted Communications Manager Hannah Evans for a four-week course on Population and Climate Change. During the month of August, Hannah held weekly sessions that explored different ways that population, health, and the environment intersect. Each session covered a specific topic to help deepen attendees’ understanding of how population dynamics relate to global issues like sustainable development, zoonotic diseases, access to health care, and of course—climate change. Over 120 members took part in this interactive course. At the end of the course, nearly 50 members who attended three or more sessions became “Population Ambassadors,” volunteers specially recognized for going above and beyond in furthering their knowledge about population issues.

More information on session topics, recommended readings, and session recordings are available on the Population and Climate Change course homepage.

Summer of HER

Our organizing staff welcomes fellows to the Summer of HER program 

Leading up to the third annual Summer of HER Summits (one on each coast), over 100 fellows from #Fight4HER target states (AZ, CA, CO, ME, NC, NH, NV, OH, PA) participated in the Summer of HER program. Throughout the summer, fellows:

  • Learned relational organizing, advocacy, and social media skills;
  • Organized, recruited for, and attended three national volunteer calls;
  • Participated in get-out-the-vote efforts for family planning champions; and
  • Recruited activists to attend the virtual Summer of HER Summits.

In August, the digital Summer of HER Summits featured a day of workshops and trainings focused on effective advocacy and organizing skills. Split by Eastern and Western states, each summit featured breakouts by #Fight4HER target states, where activists heard from family planning champions and allies in Congress about why the #Fight4HER matters to them. Collectively, 422 activists across the country attended! At the end of the summits, the #Fight4HER team held a Twitter rally that garnered 954,806 impressions and got the #Fight4HER hashtag trending! 

Read a recap of the Summer of HER on Population Connection Action Fund’s site here!


Speaker Series

Rodrigo Barillas of WINGS Guatemala during his Summer Speaker Series session

In lieu of in-person events, Membership Relations kept members connected with our work by hosting experts in the fields of population, reproductive health and rights, and conservation. The first set of sessions ran through the summer and included speakers from two of our partner organizations, Conservation Through Public Health and WINGS Guatemala. The second series ran from October to December and featured Mark Hathaway, a member of Population Connection’s Board of Directors, Pape Gaye of Intrahealth International, and members of our Advocacy and PopEd staffs. We held seven speaker sessions in total, and over 600 members and volunteers attended one or more session! 

More information about speakers and recordings of their presentations are available to view on our Summer Speakers Series and Fall Speaker Series pages.

Earth Overshoot Day

Population Connection’s recommended actions to help #MovetheDate 

This year, COVID-19 forced millions of people to stay at home, halt travel plans, and eliminate their commutes. The decrease in global emissions had noticeable positive effects on our planet. So much so that Earth Overshoot Day, the date humanity’s demand for the planet’s resources exceeded what Earth can regenerate in a given year, was pushed back to August 22 (from July 29 in both 2018 and 2019). We commemorated this year’s Overshoot Day by encouraging members to take steps to help #MovetheDate and reduce their ecological footprints.

Learn more about how you can #MovetheDate here!


Population Education’s “330 Million in the USA”

Promotion of PopEd’s new lessons for grades 6-12 on demographic, social, and environmental trends in the United States

To coincide with this year’s Census, PopEd launched a new curriculum that focuses on U.S. demographics and other trends—such as health, politics, and the environment—that shape our country. The last U.S.-focused curriculum was released in 2006, when the nation hit the 300 million population milestone. These curricula ensure that today’s young generation understand where we’ve come from as a country in order to facilitate a more sustainable future.

Lessons highlight population growth and settlement patterns, and also explore many other aspects of American life, such family size, education, health, immigration, gender roles, political representation, and environmental policies. The curriculum includes 14 lessons, six student readings, and a set of six infographics for teachers to incorporate into their presentations. 

Here’s a blog post on the new curriculum and a link to all of the components that are currently available, with more on the way.

 

Population and Climate Change Program for Professors

Slowing population growth through rights-based interventions will profoundly improve climate adaptation outcomes.

Launched in January, this project’s goal is to illuminate the links between population growth, reproductive health, social justice, and environmental challenges—with a particular focus on climate change. As stay-at-home orders went into effect, the project adapted for virtual use. Major activities include Zoom presentations to university classes from Communications Manager Hannah Evans, as well as info briefs, recommended readings, and new, downloadable college-level materials. We’ve emailed 35,000 professors across the U.S. about these informative resources, many of whom have downloaded the materials and/or contacted Hannah about virtual presentations to their classes!

Learn more about the project or view free downloadable resources available here!

World Population Day

Rapid population growth poses several major environmental concerns. © Roman Fedin

Designated by the United Nations to raise awareness about our world’s population challenges, we commemorated this year’s World Population Day with a “countdown challenge.” Leading up to World Population Day, we posted a series of short activities and facts on our Facebook page and website to educate and inspire others on population dynamics. For example, one challenge asked members to test their knowledge on population growth and its impacts throughout history with our World Population Quiz. The highlight of the challenge was a presentation with Rodrigo Barillas and Michelle Dubon from our partner organization, WINGS Guatemala.

Find out more about this year’s World Population Day here!


Don’t miss 2020’s editions of Population Connection!

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