CHAPEL HILL—On Thursday, January 23, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central
North Carolina will present Ipas Director of Development Katie Early with the Margaret Sanger Award at their annual Champions of Choice breakfast. Named for Planned Parenthood’s founder, the Margaret Sanger Award is the organization’s highest honor, recognizing outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement.
Ipas CEO Elizabeth Maguire applauded Early’s award: “Planned Parenthood couldn’t have chosen a more fitting recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award.” She continued, “Katie’s leadership and dedication to women’s health and reproductive rights is an inspiration to us all and embodies the mission of Ipas.”
Chapel Hill radio station WCHL made Ipas Director of Development Katie Early its hometown hero — listen to her interview here!
Hometown Hero, Katie Early
Early first joined Ipas in 1980, as part of the Marketing and Customer Service team. After a tour in the Peace Corps, she returned in 1985 to be Ipas’s executive director and CEO. During this time, she instituted Ipas’s research, policy and communications initiatives,
establishing the organization as an international leader in women’s reproductive health and rights with a deep understanding of the impact of unsafe abortion and the need to expand access to safe, legal abortion care.
Paige Johnson, vice president of external and government affairs, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina said: “We are thrilled to honor Katie Early with the Margaret Sanger Award, in recognition of decades dedicated to making sure women across the globe have access to lifesaving reproductive health care and the right to make deeply personal health decisions.”
Early’s dedication to social justice and women’s rights have not been limited to the global stage. While not at Ipas, she led North Carolina-focused educational and social service agencies. As president of the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals, Katie oversaw the completion of a 40-room facility to provide a home-away-from-home for families of patients receiving critical care at UNC hospitals. It was a cause close to her heart after having moved her own young family across the country so that her first husband could receive specialized treatment for a rare form of cancer.
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