At first glance, it may seem hard to decipher how reproductive rights, protecting our environment and social marketing all overlap.
But for University of South Florida College of Public Health (COPH) graduate Ms. Kelley Dennings, it comes easily.
Ms. Dennings, who earned an MPH in public health practice from USF in 2018, is now working as a campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, AZ, where she addresses issues associated with population growth and overconsumption―and how both can negatively impact the environment.
When thinking about it from a consumption perspective, it’s easy to see how stabilizing population growth using a human rights lens can help reduce the pollution and waste that devastate natural habitats. Ms. Dennings believes that access to all forms of birth control, abortion care and medically accurate health education provides potential for environmental changes in our communities as well.
“Addressing growth requires me to focus on family planning. I advocate for universal access to contraception and comprehensive sexual education,” said Ms. Dennings. “The [Center for Biological Diversity] is a unique environmental organization in that it supports the reproductive rights and justice movement along with advocating for the decrease in the consumption of plastic, changing to plant-based diets and 100 percent
Ms. Dennings was the founding president of the Social Marketing Association of North America (SMANA) and a 2018 recipient of the Millbank Social Marketing Award for Innovation in the Environmental Field. In addition, she was most recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the World Social Marketing Conference in June of 2019. These experiences make Ms. Dennings uniquely qualified to lead this type of intervention, and raise awareness about the connection.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on September 13