|Fall 2012 Newsletter|
The 2012 Election: Young People Deliver
Advocates for Youth congratulates President Barack Obama on his historic reelection. We also celebrate the amazing role that young people played within his administration and his reelection, and we recognize the growing power of youth to drive social and cultural change for a better world. Young people represented approximately 19 percent of the electorate yesterday—a larger percentage even than in 2008!
In the years ahead, we call on President Obama to stand with us in recognition of every young person’s right to honest sexual health education, safe and affordable sexual health services, and an equity of social, educational, and economic opportunity – the type of opportunity that builds healthy lives and strong communities.
The 2012 Urban Retreat
Each year over 120 youth activists gather in Washington, D.C. to share expertise with one another and Advocates for Youth staff; learn about the latest findings and legislation that affect reproductive health; participate in trainings; and make a commitment to be lifelong advocates for young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights. Then they head to Capitol Hill to educate their representatives on why comprehensive sexual health education is so important for young people. As one activist put it:
“I had such a wonderful time in DC advocating for reproductive justice and being around such amazing young leaders in our country! Urban Retreat always reminds me that I am never alone in this fight!” – Bree, Young Women of Color Leadership Council
In the coming months, Advocates is excited to work with the Administration and Congress to pursue a progressive youth sexual health and rights agenda. This means actively reaching out to many of the new Members on the Hill to ensure they are educated about our policy goals and ready and willing to speak out for young people. It is our hope that the 113th Congress, and in particular the House, will come to the bargaining table to focus on the challenges our country faces - instead of pushing forward divisive ideological bills that waste legislators’ time.
But we cannot do this work alone. We need you pushing your elected officials on every level of government to fight for young people’s sexual health and rights. We hope you join us in advocating for:
Millennial Thinking: Millennials overwhelmingly support marriage equality
In the four states with ballot measures around same-sex marriage, millennials overwhelmingly supported equal rights for LGBT couples. Millennials support LGBT equality more than any other generation – 63 percent support same-sex marriage compared to 39 percent of boomers and 30 percent of seniors. Learn more about millennials and their attitudes and beliefs on sexual health.
New Features on the 1 in 3 Campaign website
Have you visited 1 in 3 yet? 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. The 1 in 3 Campaign is a grassroots movement to start a new conversation about abortion—telling our stories, on our own terms. Together, we can end the stigma and shame women are made to feel about abortion. On the 1 in 3 website,
Trojan Sexual Health Report Card Sparks Action
By Ian O’Brien, Youth Activist Network Coordinator; originally published in Huffington Post
If you don't maintain a high enough GPA, many schools will either place you on academic probation or kick you out. But what happens if your school fails? Trojan's Sexual Health Report Card was released this Tuesday, giving a GPA and a numerical rank to 141 schools in the United States on how well campus programs address sexual health, with points for things like condom availability, HIV testing and student health center hours. Some colleges and universities have taken the report card as a challenge and worked hard to better the services at their campus. And regardless that young people account for almost 40 percent of new HIV infections every year, some college institutions still refuse to budge. Read more
Have you visited the new Amplify yet?
We recently unveiled a redesigned www.amplifyyourvoice.org - streamlined, a breeze to navigate, easier to post photos/videos/art works and more connected to social media than ever before. Just go to the homepage and type in the “add your voice” box to get started!
Don’t worry, Amplify still has the great tools you love, like our toolkits, online education modules, and Take Action Center. Our sister sites MySistahs, YouthResource, and 1 in 3 have been given an update as well, and you can look forward to new features added to those sites in the coming months.
We’re thrilled to introduce Amplify’s seven featured youth contributors -- Hannah, D’Laney, Nefertiti, Karlee, Emilio, Briana, and Karachi. These motivated and talented activists are making sure youth voices are heard online as well as in their communities.
Advocates in the News
Interested in working with Advocates for Youth? Check out these opportunities:
The IYLC is designed to develop youth leaders in the areas of international sexual and reproductive health and rights, abortion access, global HIV and AIDS, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and other sexual orientation and gender identity rights. Members attend colleges or universities in the Washington, DC Metro area. IYLC members work with the staff of the Policy Department and the Youth Activist Network to increase U.S. support and leadership for improving young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights globally and domestically. As members of the council, they develop an understanding of a broad range of issues, including international family planning; maternal health and adolescent maternal mortality; gender inequality, harmful traditional practices, such as child marriage; HIV and AIDS; and LGBT rights. They in turn become familiar with related U.S. domestic and foreign policy, and international agreements that address youth sexual and reproductive health and rights. Apply by November 26!
The National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) Youth Ambassador Program is comprised of young leaders and activists who come together to promote a message of prevention, treatment, care, and youth empowerment. Ambassadors promote National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day in their school, college campus, or community; ambassadors also provide support to Advocates for Youth and NYHAAD Founding Partners in reviewing and providing feedback on various materials and resources in preparation for National Youth HIV & AIDS Day. Apply by November 30!
New Publications from Advocates for Youth
And check out our latest Annual Report to read about our inspiring youth activists and the powerful movement our donors support.
December 1 is World AIDS Day - when activistsaround 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. Visit www.amplifyyourvoice.org and AIDS.gov to join the blog-a-thon and learn about other ways to participate in World AIDS day activities.
Get Hip Launch! In partnership with The DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and five local youth-serving organizations in the Washington, DC area (Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, The P.O.W.E.R. Program at Sasha Bruce, The Women’s Collective, TASA (Teens Against the Spread of AIDS) and Mary’s Center), Advocates for Youth’s Contraceptive Access Initiative plans to launch Get Hip DC, a public education campaign which aims to increase access to contraception and provide young people with sexual health information and resources. Get Hip DC will use both social media and traditional strategies to provide outreach to DC youth and refer them to sexual health resources such as youth-friendly clinics and STI and HIV testing sites.