Advocates' Blog
Advocates' Blog
….Or Does It Explode?
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 12:49

Every young person, in every city and country, has the right to health, education, and a secure stake in the future. We owe it to them to provide them with the tools they need to lead safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives, and to nurture and respect their leadership. If we don’t, the failure lies with us, not them.

When young people grow up in an environment where they face systematic oppression and violence every day – when they are denied access to education, health care, and economic opportunity – when law enforcement and the judicial system don’t protect them but treat them as targets – when trauma, disorder, and pain are realities throughout their lives – who is at fault when their anger and disenfranchisement take a destructive shape?

We are at fault.

Nobody wants to see their child shot down by police officers. Nobody wants to see their community burn. But here we are, and we have to examine how we got here. We leave too many young people behind, in the grip of poverty and desperation, with no belief in their own value and no path to realizing their potential. Then we blame and vilify them as “thugs.”

What we are witnessing is the result of young people who have not just seen their dreams deferred but their lives devalued and their communities dismantled. Yet as young and old come together to clean up Baltimore today, we see what could be, if we value and invest in our young people.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

- Langston Hughes

Advocates is recruiting!
Thursday, 02 April 2015 14:35

Are you a young person (14-24 years old) who is:

  • Passionate about fighting for young people's rights to sexual health information and services?
  • Interested in connecting with youth leaders from across the country?
  • Dedicated to developing skills to make a difference in your community?

Apply today to join one of Advocates for Youth's programs!

If selected, you will have opportunities to: develop new organizing and leadership skills; become informed on sexual and reproductive health issues; connect with passionate young people from across the country; and build skills to make a lasting impact in your community. You will also join more than 100 youth activists in Washington, DC for an intense four-day activist training institute free of charge!

Advocates' youth activists have done amazing work this year. You can join them in:

  • Advocating for better sexual health education policies in your state
  • Increasing HIV testing and condom availability in your community or on your campus
  • Providing confidential support and resources to young people who are coming out as LGBTQ
  • Mobilizing your peers around international family planning issues
  • Working toward ending the shame and stigma people are made to feel about having an abortion
Advocates for Youth Responds to Latest Doctor Fix Bill
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 08:27

Statement by Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth

We are terribly disappointed with the current Doc Fix bill, designed to address Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (known as SGR). While the current bill does contain an extension of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), which provides funding for critical programs that address issues of unintended teen pregnancy and sexuality transmitted infections, overall the bill goes too far in trading away the health and well being of young people for political expediency. 

By including abortion care restrictions and extending the Hyde Amendment; outrageously increasing funding for ineffective and misguided abstinence-only-until-marriage programs by $25 million a year; and falling short with only a two-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, this bill fails to meet its intended goal to advance health and justice priorities. When Congress singles out children and young people, especially those most in need of assistance by denying them health care and lifesaving information about condoms and contraception, we strip them of the opportunity to take personal responsibility for their health as they grow into adulthood. The unrelenting attack on young people’s right to sexual health information and services must end. We must begin to recognize young people’s right to lead healthy lives.

Testing Makes Us Stronger
Thursday, 12 February 2015 12:44

Advocates for Youth is proud to lead the Testing Makes Us Stronger (TMUS) campaign. Approximately 1 in 4 new HIV infections is among youth ages 13-24. Of that number, same-gender loving black men ages 13-24 represent approximately sixty-percent of the HIV epidemic among youth. Every day, hundreds of young, same-gender loving Black men are faced with a myriad of different life experiences that impact their overall health and wellness.

Please join Advocates for Youth as we support young Black, same-gender loving black men in their efforts to leading healthy lives. For more information about Testing Makes Us Stronger campaign and please  

Request FREE materials here.  

The adaptation of Testing Makes Us Stronger (TMUS) is one part of a five-year cooperative agreement between Advocates for Youth and the Centers for Disease Control Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). The project aims to implement supportive, school-centered HIV/STD prevention programs and school-based HIV/STD prevention related policies to reduce HIV and other STD risk and disparities among black and Latino YMSM ages 13-19. This work is done in partnership with local education agencies in three cities (Broward County, Florida; Los Angeles, California; and San Francisco, California) who will work in collaboration with community-based organizations to implement multiple program activities to meet the HIV and STD prevention needs of black and Latino young men who have sex with men.


Declare your love for safe abortion care
Thursday, 12 February 2015 09:47

Want to show your love for access to safe abortion care this Valentine’s Day? Bee sweet to your honey, or some otter special person in your life and send them a 1 in 3 Valentine for just $5! Check out the new Valentines for 2015! Click here to send out your Valentine!  

The attacks are relentless
Thursday, 22 January 2015 13:48

Forty-two years after the Roe v Wade decision legalized abortion, attacks on access to safe abortion care are relentless, from state legislatures, to the media, to the very sidewalks outside family planning clinics. Today, Congress voted to pass HR7, a bill that targets low income women by restricting insurance coverage of abortion.

Donate $7 to help us keep abortion safe and affordable for all women.

In this bleak environment, we need a new strategy--one that puts women's real life abortion stories at the center of our national debate over women's access to safe and affordable abortion care.
Now more than ever before we need to elevate the stories of people from all walks of life who have had an abortion. We need to create real and lasting results by building a culture of compassion, empathy, and support for access to basic health care.

We need your help to make it happen. Donate $7 to help us keep abortion safe and affordable for all women.

You can help us end the stigma and shame.

Mourning the Death of Leelah Alcorn
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 14:58

We mourn the death of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who took her own life this week. Leelah left a note in which she described the difficulties she faced growing up trans. She described the relief she felt when she learned about transgender people and could put a name to how she felt about her own gender, and she described the harmful and misguided attempts to “correct” her gender expression which she experienced from many adults in her life.

According to some studies, over half of transgender teens will attempt to take their lives before they are twenty. Too often, they live in hostile environments and face unwelcoming, even dangerous, schools and communities. Like Leelah, many are forced to undergo psychiatric counseling which attempts to change who they are. This kind of “therapy” is unethical, and is a violation of young people’s rights and a danger to their health.

Transgender young people should be accepted and celebrated for who they are. We need to ensure their dignity and create opportunities for happiness and fulfillment. Leelah hoped her death would not be in vain and that people would learn from it and offer support and love to trans teens. We honor her legacy and will continue to work to realize her vision.

Tickets Selling Fast - Get Yours Now!
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 10:17

The groundbreaking theatrical production Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign premieres in Washington, D.C. on January 20.  

The 1 in 3 Campaign, a project of Advocates for Youth, welcomes playwrights, feminists, youth activists, theater enthusiasts and abortion care supporters to delve into this insightful production at the historic Studio Theatre. Composed of 13 scenes from 10 different female playwrights with one sole mission: to create a new conversation about abortion and move beyond the political rhetoric and divisive debate to a more personal understanding of the role abortion plays in women’s lives.

Purchase your tickets today!

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Apoyo para Jóvenes GLBTQ
for Spanish-speaking GLBTQ youth
by and for young women of color
by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth
a grassroots movement to start a new conversation about abortion
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