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September 12, 2006

FOUNDER OF 34 MILLION FRIENDS OF THE U.N. POPULATION FUND TO SPEAK AT SIMON'S ROCK COLLEGE OF BARD

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA — Jane Roberts, co-founder of the organization 34 Million Friends of the United Nations Population Fund, and author of the book 34 Million Friends of the Women of the World, will speak about her work at Simon's Rock College of Bard. The event will take place in the Simon's Rock Lecture Center on September 28 at 7 p.m.

Jane Roberts of California, along with Lois Abraham of New Mexico, began the 34 Million Friends program when they learned that the U.S. had reneged on its pledge to donate $34 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The UNFPA works world wide to alleviate poverty and promote reproductive health services, including family planning and contraception. Both Roberts and Abraham, who had never met, started individual email campaigns asking men and women across the country to donate $1 or more to the fund. Since 2002, Roberts and Abraham have mobilized over 100,000 contributors, raising nearly $3 million for UNFPA.

As Roberts explains in her book: "A letter to my Congressman wasn't enough. A letter to the editor wasn't enough either. A brainstorm came to me at 3 a.m. as I lay awake, anger simmering in my brain. Why not, I said to myself, ask 34 million of my fellow Americans who appreciate their contraceptive choices and doctors in the delivery room, to chip in a dollar?"

The UNFPA doesn't fund abortions, but does fund sexual health care and family planning.

The Simon's Rock event on September 28 has been organized by faculty member Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, and it is free and open to the public.

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706
E-mail: bdellarocca@simons-rock.edu