The Press Room
Fall 2012 Newsletter Print

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.

Read more

The 2012 Urban Retreat

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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

Read more about the Urban Retreat

Policy Update

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:

  • access to comprehensive sex education in our public schools
  • enumerated anti-bullying policies that included protections for LGBT youth
  • private insurance coverage—including student health plans—of contraception
  • increased funding for Title X family planning clinics that provide services for low-income youth
  • endorsement of a National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day and greater youth participation in all HIV & AIDS programs
  • all women to have access to abortion care—regardless of socioeconomic status
  • lifting the age restrictions on emergency contraception
  • increased funding for international family planning
  • ending US funding domestically and internationally for abstinence-only programs
  • …and so much more.

Visit our Action Center for opportunities to join the fight, and donate to support the work of youth activists around the world.

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.

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New Features on the 1 in 3 Campaign website

1in3logoHave 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

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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?

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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 -- HannahD’LaneyNefertitiKarleeEmilioBriana, and Karachi. These motivated and talented activists are making sure youth voices are heard online as well as in their communities.

Check out Amplify today!

Advocates in the News

  • ARosensteinAbby Rosenstein, Advocates’ Program Manager of School Health Equity, Abby Rosenstein, Advocates' Program Manager of School Health Equity, was interviewed on teach.com about abstinence education vs. comprehensive sexual health education.

    "Exemplary sex education provides honest, accurate sexual health information and builds skills among young people to make healthy, informed decisions. It provides young people with information about their bodies and their health, and skills to think critically, negotiate confidently and build healthy and mutually respectful relationships throughout their lives. It is inclusive of all young people and their families; it does not stigmatize GLBTQ people, teen parents, single parents or sexually active youth. Great sex education requires well-trained educators who are knowledgeable, comfortable and interested in teaching about sexuality to young people." Read the rest of the article!

  • Former member of the Young Women of Color Leadership Council Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter-Poza co-authored a CNN op-ed! She reunited with James Carville, CNN contributor and professor at Tulane University, to revisit their 2009 book "40 More Years: How Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation". Their op-ed cites passages from the book and matches them to the results of the 2012 election, showing how their thesis held up.

 

Get Involved

Interested in working with Advocates for Youth? Check out these opportunities:

Apply to be a part of the International Youth Leadership Council

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!

Join the National Youth HIV and AIDS Day Youth Ambassador Program

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!

Recent Research

  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has released its annual report, The State of World Population 2012. Co-authored by former Advocates for Youth board member Margaret Greene, the report calls for increased access to contraception and family planning program around the world – naming the ability to plan families as a basic human right for all people, including young people. UNFPA also finds that the money saved by investing in family planning is nearly triple the funds invested.
  • The HPV vaccine does not lead to increased risky sex among girls who receive it. Opponents of the vaccine often make the absurd claim that lessening the risk of HPV will lead young women to take sexual risks or have more sexual partners. But research has found that girls who got the vaccine did not have increased rates of pregnancy or STIs.
  • The researchers from the “Turnaway Study,” which examined outcomes for women who were not able to receive abortion services, recently presented their results at the American Public Health Association conference. According to ANSIRH: “We have found that there are no mental health consequences of abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. There are other interesting findings: even later abortion is safer than childbirth and women who carried an unwanted pregnancy to term are three times more likely than women who receive an abortion to be below the poverty level two years later.” Read more about this study

 

New Publications from Advocates for Youth
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 And check out our latest Annual Report to read about our inspiring youth activists and the powerful movement our donors support.

 

Coming Up

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.

gethipGet 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.

The Get Hip DC Campaign will officially launch on December 7th at a community event in DC (location to be determined). The launch event will feature the unveiling of the Get Hip DC Text Messaging Line, which provides comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information as well as referrals to youth-friendly clinics and resources through a zip-code locator. For more information or if you would like to attend the launch event, please contact Samantha Shinberg, Program Coordinator at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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