With the Women’s March on Washington approaching and the nation taking a closer look at healthcare issues, women’s rights issues are in the critical eye this month. In the Binghamton area, the appropriately named “Planned Fam Band Jam” is providing a forum for musicians to add their voices to the conversation.
Zachary Ritter, a senior majoring in music, is organizing the event, which will take place on Sunday at The Shop. The fundraiser will include live performances from musicians Tom Jolu and Tyler Reed, among others.
The Band Jam is being held in support of Family Planning of South Central New York, a local organization that provides women health care services, pregnancy tests, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screenings and other resources for family planning and sexual education.
Ritter is a strong advocate for organizations that promote reproductive health services, which have become threatened due to legislative action in the wake of the election.
“Family Planning [of South Central New York] here is underfunded as is, but could very likely lose more funding in the near future given the recent political climate,” Ritter said.
Eugenie Zynda, owner of The Shop, sees herself as an advocate for the cause and was more than happy to host the fundraiser.
“Family planning and reproductive resources are valuable for a healthy community,” Zynda said. “These need to be in the hands of families to have a healthy family lifestyle.”
This is the first Planned Fam Band Jam event, though Ritter hopes that there will be similar events in the future.
“This is important to me because so many of my friends and family are afraid of what our country may be headed toward,” Ritter said. “The best way I know how to help them is to make our local community as safe as possible, in the best way I know how: music.”
The concert will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Shop on Washington Street. Tickets are $3 in advance or $5 at the door, or can be purchased in a T-shirt bundle for $14. Donations are also accepted and encouraged on the event’s GoFundMe page.