An Interview With The Badass Volunteer Coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Utah

Amanda asked us to share this with you.

Amanda asked us to share this with you.

[Ed. Note: this is a guest post from Kyl Myers. Kyl is a sociology PhD student and a sex educator in Salt Lake City. She’s a connoisseur of 90s R&B, loves lipstick, and makes a mean batch of guacamole.]

Amanda Anderson is the Volunteer and Internship Coordinator for the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. Amanda is also the volunteer coordinator for the SLC film festival and does outreach for KRCL. When she isn’t coordinating and supervising volunteers, she volunteers. Amanda volunteers for the Big Brother/Big Sister program and is at the point of considering her her hobby to be volunteering. Amanda received her Masters of Arts in Community Leadership from Westminster in SLC and has been a wonderful asset to our community. Her knack for donating her time rubs off on the numerous people she has helped shape into better volunteers – myself being one of them. Our interview took place while we represented the PPAU booth at the Grand Kerfuffle at the University of Utah on a Friday night. I asked her questions as undergrads hurled red rings at three dildos suctioned to the table, carnival style. It was very serious.

To kick things off, I asked Amanda what she plans to do this summer in addition to volunteering. She immediately replied, “I bought a hula hoop that I fully intend to light on fire.” As you can see, Amanda is a great, fun person to know.

I wanted to clarify with her whether or not she identified as a feminist and she responded, “Am I a feminist? Hell Yes. . . hellfuckingyes.” Perfect.

When asked who in the feminist community she admired, Amanda told me that Cassie Power, a professor of one of her first Gender Studies classes, is a feminist whom she looks up to. As a sophomore in college, Amanda took Dr. Power’s class and was exposed to issues surrounding gender and feminism for the first time. “That class was monumental in opening my eyes,” Amanda recalled. “But Cassie took that class beyond opening my eyes and linked it to the community.” Amanda’s class had a relationship with Utah Juvenile Services and Amanda would talk with young women in the juvenile detention system. “It was powerful to talk to these girls about things I was just learning myself; I was helping empower them to find a voice on issues they had never talked about. I was helping them get fired up.” When recalling her class and experience with the girls, Amanda said what many feminists have questioned before about discovering feminist concepts and movements for the first time – “Why did it take me until I was 21 to get angry about this!?” I couldn’t help but nod. That is about the same age I found feminism and my life changed permanently and for the better. We agreed it is never too early or too late to get fired up and ignite your brain – and your hula-hoop!

I asked Amanda, “What specific issues are you passionate about now?” Amanda said the first issue she is passionate about is Reproductive Health Rights. She is passionate about ending rape culture, sexual assault and victim blaming. Amanda is also part of the fight for equal pay. “Some counties in Utah have some of the widest gender pay gaps in the nation,” she told me. “We need more women to speak up!” I couldn’t agree more.

Finally, I asked Amanda, – “If you could have three feminists over for dinner, who would they be and what would you eat?” Amanda said she would have Ani DiFranco, Jessica Valenti and Hillary Clinton over for sushi and they would collectively make delicious deep-fried eel rolls. Amanda described her fabulous dinner party to me and finished with,  “Ani would play music, Hillary would do the fire hoop, and we’d have tiramisu for dessert and clink our cold sake glasses together as I toasted “FUCK EM UP!”

If you would like to connect with Amanda, you can e-mail her at amanda.anderson@ppau.org

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