Student's Advocacy Earns Trip to White House
October 21, 2022
Vice President Harris Addresses Students
by Debra Daniel
An AAMU student leader's work to protect reproductive rights led to a trip to the White House.
Vice President Kamala Harris invited 75 student leaders from colleges and universities across the country to the White House to discuss the fight to protect reproductive rights. AAMU junior political science major Erianna Sanders was among them. Planned Parenthood Generation Action nominated the Bradenton, Fla., native after she founded the AAMU Chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action and worked to get more condom dispensers on campus.
“I was interning at the AAMU Health and Counseling Center and started a condom handout after learning there was only one condom dispenser on campus," said Erianna. "I reached out to Planned Parenthood Southeast and Advocates for Youth Condom Collective for Madison County, and they provided the supplies. All 12 residence halls on campus now have condom dispensers, which I consider access to reproductive rights. "
Erianna's mom is a disease intervention specialist back in Manatee County, where she tests and treats people with infectious diseases. Erianna said the county also ranks number two for teen pregnancies in Florida.
“If I have this information, then everyone should," commented Erianna. "Black and brown people don’t usually have proper access to good health care. For the last five years, I’ve been doing what I can to help.”
Erianna flew to Washington, D.C., on October 13 and was in the audience when Vice President Harris discussed reproductive rights, answered their questions and thanked them for their important work on- and off-campus.
"It was amazing!" beamed Erianna. "I was thrilled to meet other students just as passionate as I am about civil rights, reproductive freedom, and access to quality contraceptives."