West Coast LEAF is the first and only organization in BC dedicated to using the law as a strategy to work towards an equal and just society for all women and people who experience gender-based discrimination. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped bring about some of Canada’s most important feminist victories for reproductive rights, workplace standards, fairness in family law, legal protections from sexual harassment, and more.
On March 8, 2019, West Coast LEAF proudly presents 2019 Equality Breakfast, with feature keynote speaker, Dr. Willie J. Parker.
Dr. Parker is a reproductive justice advocate who travels as an abortion provider in Alabama and Georgia, and the author of the recently released book, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. His most recent work has focused on violence against women, sexual assault, and reproductive rights and justice through advocacy and provision of contraceptive and abortion services.
Dr. Parker’s talk will touch on the fundamental importance of reproductive justice to the broader gender equality movement, the subtle and not so subtle ways that access to abortion continues to be threatened despite hard fought court victories in the United States and Canada, the particular impacts of reproductive injustice on bodies of colour, and why as a man of faith he considers this critical work.
Reproductive and sexual rights are at the heart of gender equality. In a post-Morgentaler world, it can be easy for Canadians to take access to health services for granted. At West Coast LEAF we stand with feminist activists at home and around the world in defending the right to control our own bodies and make our own decisions about contraception and abortion.
“It was not lost on me, an African American man from Birmingham, Alabama, descended from slaves, that new legislation aimed at telling women what they might and might not do with their own physical bodies looked a whole lot like men owning women’s bodies.” ― Dr. Willie Parker, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice
Notably, Dr. Parker is a recipient of the 2013 Physicians for Reproductive Health Dr. George Tiller Provider Award, the 2015 Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award and the 2016 Dr. Felicia Stewart Advocacy Award from the American Public Health Association, and the 2016 Dr. David Gunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Abortion Care Network.
Dr. Parker was also recently honored by the United Nations Office of Human Rights as one of 12 Women’s Human Rights Defenders on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women. He is also a recipient of Planned Parenthood’s 2015 Margaret Sanger Award. Dr. Parker is a 2007-2008 Leadership Training Initiative Fellow. He joined the Physicians for Reproductive Health board in November 2007 and is the current Chair.
Parker holds a BA from Berea College in Kentucky, an MD from the University of Iowa, a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Master of Science from the University of Michigan. He completed residencies in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Parker served as assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii prior to completing a fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Michigan in 2008. He is both board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and trained in preventive medicine.
EMCEE: GLORIA MACARENKO
We’re beyond thrilled that Gloria Macarenko is back yet again as our emcee!
Long time CBC News host Gloria Macarenko takes the host chair on Metro Vancouver’s afternoon show On The Coast, where she explores the day’s news and local communities, and goes in-depth with hyper-local stories. Gloria is also host of CBC Television’s Our Vancouver, a current affairs television show, as well as The Story from Here, a national Radio One show that brings Canadians the most lively and intriguing interviews from across the country.
She has twice been nominated for the Gemini Awards in the category of “Best News Anchor” in Canada and was recently named as a member of the Order of Canada.
Boyden is committed to excellence in leadership and proudly supports West Coast LEAF's 2019 Equality Breakfast.
Learn more here.