Advocates' Blog
Advocates' Blog
A Bold New Conversation on Abortion
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 13:02

by Debra Hauser, President

Today, I am proud to announce the release of the book 1 in 3: These Are Our Stories.

I remained silent about my own abortion for 15 years. Now, as I share my story around the country, more often than not, other women offer up theirs in response. Some are family and friends whom I have known for years; others are complete strangers. The result is a bond, stronger than the anti-abortion rhetoric or the fear of retaliation or violence that too often finds its way into the political debate. In its place is empathy for the complexity of our lives, for the commonalities that bind us, for the need to keep abortion care safe and available.

Created to mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, 1 in 3 :These Are Our Stories highlights the voices of forty women. Each story is different - and each is critical to the conversation about abortion.

One in three women in the U.S. will have an abortion in her lifetime – it’s a fact of life. It is essential that people hear these stories, to put faces to the statistics and to understand that women who seek abortions are sisters, mothers and daughters. Advocates for Youth launched the 1 in 3 Campaign in 2011 to begin a new cultural narrative about abortion, and I am honored to share the amazing collection of stories that has grown from it.

Start changing the conversation. Order 1 in 3 today in softcover or ebook – then read it, talk about it, and share it with a friend.


One simple way you can help fight HIV and AIDS
Thursday, 10 January 2013 07:51

by Sulava Gautam-Adhikary, Program Coordinator, Health and Social Equity

Today’s young people have never known a world without HIV. The path to ending the epidemic is long and challenging. But there is one step you can take that's easy, yet very valuable:

Call on President Obama to recognize the National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day!

Thousands of youth activists have called for a National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day - a nationwide call to action for our communities, schools and government to invest in young people’s health, education, and leadership in the fight against HIV & AIDS.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Join us on the journey toward ending AIDS.

Take action now for a National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day!

Doug Kirby, A True Advocate for Youth
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 14:01

by Deb Hauser, President

Last week, Doug Kirby, a giant in the field of adolescent sexual health, passed away from a heart attack while climbing a volcano in Ecuador. Doug was only 69. According to those who were with him, just before he died, Doug sat down to rest, looked out over the landscape and said, “Isn’t life great!” Anyone who knew Doug would not be surprised that these were his last words. Doug was just that kind of man—full of life and full of wonderment at the great gifts and challenges the world has to offer.

Doug served as Director of Research at Advocates for Youth, back in the organization's earliest days. His tenure stretched from 1983 to 1988. He left the organization a few years before I got here, but his legacy was clear. His research on school-based health centers, sex education and youth sexual risk taking has guided the field for the last thirty years. To those of us just starting out, he was a giant even then, but he was always available to explain the implications of a piece of research, to talk strategy, or to debate the issues of the day.

I last saw Doug at a CDC meeting in March of 2012 during which he passionately argued for greater political resources to meet the HIV prevention needs of youth in this country. Doug had always been a reasoned voice for evidence-informed sex education. At this meeting he argued forcefully for young people’s rights to sexual health information.

I was lucky enough to sit next to him at dinner that night. We talked about our children, Advocates’ 1 in 3 Campaign, and the international work that he was doing in Uganda. His empathy for those with whom he was working and the depth of his commitment to help alleviate the impact of HIV and AIDS on communities in Africa is what I will remember most from the conversation - along with his devotion to his family. Doug will be greatly missed.

Doug Kirby's obituary

Engaging a Generation of New Leaders
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 11:57

Debra Hauser, President

This year, after 14 dynamic and visionary years at the helm of Advocates for Youth, James Wagoner stepped down as President and Executive Director. His vision, commitment and passion set the organization on a bold path as a champion for the sexual health and rights of young people the world over.

In January 2012, with great excitement and a strong sense of commitment, I took over the leadership of the organization after serving as Executive Vice President during the entirety of James’ tenure. His mentorship and vision continues to be a great gift to me. One of the goals of any good leadership transition must be to strike the right balance between ensuring stability and breaking new ground.

Advocates’ mission remains relevant and inspirational. The organization will continue to be a bold and innovative voice promoting a rights-based, evidence-informed, positive approach to youth sexual health. A cornerstone to our vision is the authentic partnerships we have with young people. The entire organization is committed to empowering youth as activists and leaders. Advocates champions youth leadership not just as a pathway to healthy adolescent development but as a strategy for changing the world. 

Help us realize our vision:  donate to Advocates today.

Not safe to be who we are
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:21

My name is Urooj, and I lead Advocates for Youth’s efforts to help young people fight homophobia and transphobia abroad. In too many countries around the globe, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth face discrimination that threatens their lives and their access to sexual and reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

I recently traveled to Uganda to train a group of LGBT youth activists and allies. We had to identify a “safe space” to meet because just meeting is an act of resistance. Uganda is one of 78 countries where homosexuality is a crime. Policy makers have proposed a bill to make Uganda the eighth country where homosexuality is punishable by death.

Donate today to help raise $5,000 to support brave LGBT youth activists who are fighting harassment and life-threatening laws around the globe. Donate today and you can be an ally in places like Nigeria, Jamaica and Uganda where LGBT youth activists face intimidation, imprisonment or worse.

Advocates for Youth provides training and seed grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to organizations overseas to keep the doors open at their youth-led resource centers. These centers provide support and encouragement to LGBT youth, many of whom have nowhere else to turn in communities where it is not safe to be who they are.

Donate today in honor of our youth activists who put nothing less than their lives on the line all year long. Your gift today supports their work and lets them know they are not alone.

With thanks for your activism and support all year long,

Urooj Arshad

International LGBT Health and Rights

Time is running out for gays and lesbians in Uganda
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 08:57

In Uganda, a terrifying “anti-homosexuality” bill has resurfaced within parliament for discussion. At its worst, it would call for putting LGBT people to death. In addition, it would demand a three-year prison sentence for people who do not turn in “known homosexuals” to the police, and a seven year sentence for “aiding and abating” homosexuality.

When the bill was last introduced, human rights and LGBT rights groups were horrified, and many governments condemned it. Pressure from around the globe led to its never being voted on. We need to put that pressure on again NOW.

  • Let Uganda’s parliament and the world know you join with the millions who condemn this bill by tweeting about it today. 
  • Then sign a petition urging Uganda’s President to veto the bill if it passes.
Dispatches from the Field: Advocates at the ICPD Global Youth Forum
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:50

This week,  several Advocates staff and youth activists are at the ICPD Global Youth Forum.  We had to share this recap that Advocates' Director of Public Policy Janine Kossen sent to staff!

Hi all, I just wanted to let you know that International Youth Leadership Council member Meredith was ah-mazing at the Global Youth Forum this morning (last night for you all). If you don't know, she was chosen among thousands of youth applicants to be the youth respondent for a plenary session, sitting right next to the Indonesian Minister of Health! I mean, you can't get much fancier than that! And she really did knock it out of the park. Tons of folks on the #icpdyouth twitterverse raved about her speech, hundreds of young people applauded her every word, and she was clearly the star of the plenary.

Meanwhile, we have a strong delegation of 11 Advocates-affiliated folks here, counting Meredith, Kike and Tope from Nigeria, Abongwa and Gaston from Cameroon, Liz (former IYLC, now with USAID), and staff and board. From youth respondents to virtual facilitators to steering committee members to rock star delegates, Advocates is really visible here thanks to all our amazing youth activists. And, it's just day ONE so there's lots more visibility to come.Stay tuned and check out live feeds (remember it is +13 hours time difference here).

Marking World AIDS Day
Monday, 03 December 2012 08:21

December 1 was World AIDS Day, when activists around the world come together to raise awareness of the global HIV epidemic, fight stigma and discrimination, and advocate for increased efforts to support comprehensive HIV education and prevention.  Please sign our petition urging President Obama to commit to an AIDS-free generation.

All this week, Amplify, youth activists are holding a blogathon in honor of World AIDS Day.  Please read, share, and contribute!

Meanwhile, Advocates' staff have contributed to a number of articles online, weighing in on what we can all do to support HIV education, prevention, and care.  

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