Taylor Medley

75 Public Votes Reached!
Taylor Medley - 2017 Nominee
Position: Student Activist
Organization: Planned Parenthood Generation Action
Current Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
B.A. in Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies and Public Health from College of William & Mary
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
-Patient advocate on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Health Center Advocates Board, 2017-2018
-NASPA Certified Peer Health Educator
-Confidential Peer Advocate, The Haven - A Center for Support, Advocacy, and Empowerment surrounding issues of relational abuse and sexual violence. The College of William & Mary, 2015-2017.
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    The Grace Sparks Award
    Awarding Organization:
    Virginia League for Planned Parenthood
    Date Awarded:
    May 24, 2017
  • Award:
    Student Activism Prize + Nancy Gray Prize for Excellence in Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies
    Awarding Organization:
    Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Program
    Date Awarded:
    April 13, 2017
  • Award:
    The Haven Boes-Tucker Volunteer of The Year Award
    Awarding Organization:
    The Haven, a center for survivors
    Date Awarded:
    April 13, 2017
Taylor is a leader in organizing to harness the experiences + energy of young folks to fight for access to reproductive healthcare & justice across communities. She builds power by sharing her personal story to combat stigma around abortion and PP. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

When I joined Generation Action my freshman year, it was small but mighty. I was eager to jump in and was elected to the executive board later that year. Since then, we have grown to around a 50 active members and hundreds of supporters on campus. We have held 3 annual Abortion Speak-Outs, the only spaces like this in W&M's history. Additionally, 3 years of "The Vagina Monologues" raised over $2,500 for our local abortion fund, the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project. As a Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia intern, I lobbied legislators, organized phone banks, and told my personal Planned Parenthood story to fight a statewide defunding bill. For this, I was invited to tell my story with Governor McAuliffe before he vetoed this piece of legislation and honored with the signing pen.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

As a queer young person leaving a small town, I yearned for an affirming community and found it in Generation Action where I met other young people openly sharing their stories, ones like mine, about Planned Parenthood being there for them when they had no one else. I was encouraged by this community to tell my story, without shame or fear, as a way to build power and combat attacks on Planned Parenthood. I hope to continue passing down this powerful tradition in my activism and midwifery work.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

My leadership is informed by a long line of feminist and queer/trans activists who believed in me enough to invest in my growth; I try to embody this collective spirit by providing resources for others to lead. W&M's Generation Action board made a conscious effort this year to focus on younger members who often feel undervalued by student organizations. During our elections, a record number of new members committed to 2017-18 leadership positions - the future of the family planning movement.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

Young people are leading the reproductive justice movement; however, we must continue to invest in their futures, especially those of young queer + trans folks, people of color, young parents, & folks who have had abortions, to ensure they can access the leadership-building experiences, resources, and confidence to make change across communities. I will use this platform and the grant to uplift youth voices by collaborating and funding Generation Action chapter initiatives across Virginia.

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