The Future of Reproductive Health and Rights

The Packard family is deeply committed to advancing reproductive health and rights. This commitment is rooted in the belief that every woman and girl—no matter where she lives in the world—has the right to live with dignity and have a voice in decisions that affect her life. The Packard Foundation also has a long track record of supporting emerging leaders who are at the forefront of innovation, discovery and progress.

In our 50th anniversary year, we wanted to honor both pieces of this history while investing in the future. Our Population and Reproductive Health program partnered with the Public Health Institute to develop the Youth Champions Initiative, building upon the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to reproductive health and the engagement of emerging leaders.

This past fall, 19 youth champions (ages 18-29) were selected from an outstanding pool of more than 200 applicants to participate in the Youth Champions Initiative. In December, these 19 champions traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area for an intensive week-long incubator designed to encourage new thinking around the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The week included trainings in leadership development, innovation, technology, advocacy, quality care, and project development. Throughout 2015, the champions will be supported through mentorship, competitive project funding, and technical assistance to help implement creative projects improving sexual and reproductive health and rights in their communities around the globe.

During the champions’ visit, the Foundation hosted an evening reception celebrating their work. The event brought together emerging leaders, philanthropists, reproductive health and rights experts, and Foundation leadership and provided an opportunity for guests to connect and learn from one another. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the special occasion. Pictures from the evening can be viewed on our Facebook page.

We appreciate your support as we work together in 2015 and beyond to invest in the next generation of leaders in the sexual and reproductive health and rights movement. Please visit the Youth Champions Initiative website for more information about this work, including profiles of each of the 19 young leaders. You can also follow the Youth Champions Initiative on Facebook and Twitter.