“It’s just us—it’s one human family … we’re connected in our challenges … we’re connected in our solutions.”
–Mother: Caring for 7 Billion
Population Connection members organized their local communities far and wide to mark World Population Day this year — 171 volunteers participated in screenings of the documentary film Mother: Caring for 7 Billion and hosted tables at events in 16 cities across 10 states!
Established by the United Nations in 1989, World Population Day aims to bring attention and urgency to the challenges presented by rapid population growth. Much has changed in the 30 years since the first World Population Day, as detailed in our blog post. The total fertility rate has declined by an entire birth (from 3.44 to 2.47 births per woman), and the population growth rate has declined by 40%. Despite that incredible progress, we’ve added 2.5 billion people to the planet since 1989, and we are projected to add another 2 billion by 2050.
“I was pleased that the film did not try to sugar coat the problem or to present a rosy picture of the future.”
–Adam Englund, San Diego, CA
“I thought that the movie was excellent and the discussion after was very interesting. I really thought the movie did an excellent job covering many of the effects of [population] growth. Many of the ways to cure this problem were new to me.”
–Pat Orris, San Diego, CA
This award-winning film explores how population growth is connected to gender roles, religious beliefs, reproductive health, socioeconomic status, and the environment. It features the stories of real women breaking free of gendered expectations to have large families, as well as insights from experts and scientists. Mother: Caring for 7 Billion also lends itself to lively discussions about the ways rapid population growth affects the health of our planet.
Prior to showing the film at these screenings, volunteers set the scene for audiences by presenting our Population Education #MyPopNumber activity. Volunteers entered their birth dates to identify where they fit into our current population of 7.7 billion. This innovative, interactive activity personalizes just how rapidly human population has grown within each of our lifetimes!
Members all across the nation had the opportunity to participate in our World Population Day activities, even if they did not attend film screenings or tabling events. Members watched PopEd’s own World Population “Dot” Video and identified their #MyPopNumber to report back to us.
Here’s a sampling of the responses we received:
- Donald from Bend, OR, is 2,187,018,057th
- Sydnie from San Diego, CA, is 5,715,313,661st
- Wallace from Saratoga Springs, NY, is 2,387,657,876th
- Camilla from Mocomb, IL, is 2,506,754,574th
- Deborah from Washington, DC, is 3,860,907,787th
- Alyssa from Membership Relations is 5,539,091,803rd
- Rose from Membership Relations is 5,676,434,426th
After viewing the film, members participated in engaging discussions about the film’s message in relation to Population Connection’s mission and the current state of our planet. Many agreed that more people should experience the insights this film provides. Several even said that they felt compelled to ramp up their volunteerism to help spread the important message that population growth must end in order to improve people’s lives and protect the environment for future generations.
Here’s what people had to say about their experience:
“The film was GREAT!!! Everyone loved it and thought we should show it everywhere, often! They had suggestions. I just wanted to tell you right away that the showing was a success. Everyone would like to do something for PopConn and they would like to do something about our overconsumption!”
–Janice Rogers, Erie, CO
“The discussion was lively and people did not want to leave! Great appreciation for the film.”
–Martha Heinz, San Diego, CA
“I went to the event last night and thought the film was terrific. […] I learned a lot.”
–Larry Winderbaum, New York, NY
Here’s where our members engaged their communities:
- Sacramento, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Luis Obispo, CA
- Boulder, CO
- Ft. Collins, CO
- Lafayette, CO
- Longmont, CO
- Boise, ID
- Red Bank, NJ
- Albuquerque, NM (multiple events)
- Santa Fe, NM
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- Philadelphia, PA
- Houston, TX
We’d like to take a moment to thank ALL of our members and volunteers who took the time to help their communities make the “population connection.” Together, we reached nearly 400 people and gathered signatures on our petition calling for a permanent ban of the Global Gag Rule and for increased funding for international family planning.
If this World Population Day recap inspires you to help your community make the “population connection,” contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved! Our Membership Relations team can provide you with all the resources and support you need to get started.