Beginning in 2017, students in Dr. Karyn Boatwright’s Feminist Psychology of Women course have partnered with Planned Parenthood of Southwest Michigan (PPSWM) to gather and share stories about the importance of access to reproductive health services for all people. Based on qualitative interviews they have conducted with clients, staff, and supporters of PPSWMI, students have written, directed, and produced a moving devised theatre piece, “Pro-Voice Monologues: Stories of Reproductive Justice,” presented on K’s campus before a live audience, and followed by an interactive panel discussion with local leaders. The sold out public performances, usually held on two consecutive nights, have served as fundraisers for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan and they raise awareness of both the importance and the precarity of the critical health services Planned Parenthood provides.
Undaunted by the challenges a pandemic year posed, in May 2021 students in Professor Boatwright’s Spring 2021 developed and performed a live Zoom production of dramatic readings that drew on previously collected stories. These were followed by a lively online discussion featuring local leaders and advocates for health and health care.
The CCE provides financial support to Dr. Boatwright’s course, and partners with PPSMI in many ways, including through our ongoing program, Students for Reproductive Freedom , led by CES Ruth Butters.