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Oct 24, 2014
October 24, 2014 marks the 69th anniversary of the charter of the United Nations (UN) .The purpose of the UN, with its 193 member countries, is to promote and maintain global peace, prosperity, and justice. (Check it out: http://www.un.org/en/events/unday/)
Although the UN Day is not a federally recognized holiday here in the U.S., it is a global observance day to highlight the progress of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Because the MDGs expire in September 2015, the UN will reflect on how it should improve moving forward …
Oct 23, 2014
Courts play a pretty big role in shaping the ways that we can – and can’t – make decisions about our lives, including about how we want to build our families and if we are able to access healthcare or to exercise our right to vote. But, a lot of these decisions can fall under the radar. Here’s a quick round-up of recent court decisions and how some of those decisions are playing out.
Hobby Lobby’s Fallout:
As you may remember, in June the Supreme Court decided Hobby …
Oct 23, 2014
Yana is a young single mother living in a refugee camp in Lebanon. When she was 15, she married a man 20 years older than her, because her parents wanted to protect her from sexual violence. Due to resettlement and chaos surrounding Yana’s refugee status, she has been separated from her close family. Now Yana and her very young child live alone with little health care services.
Young women and girls are often at a higher risk for sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy due to a lack of …
Oct 19, 2014
We’re all just human, right?
When you live in the US, from the time you are born, you often hear messages about our nation’s obsession with equality and justice.
America is a melting pot.
We all bleed red.
Freedom and justice for all.
We take pride in our country because it is so diverse, and because we have overcome challenges related to race. Lincoln freed the slaves, and Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks ended whatever racism was left over from that. We have come so far that even …
Oct 19, 2014
Like a shark, I am a person who must constantly be moving. In high school I had the access and ability to be incredibly involved in LGBTQ activism in my state and my life became a blur of committee meetings and organizing. I am so thankful for that part of my life but in retrospect there are some things I wish I could go back and tell myself.
Organizing might be empowering and fun, but it’s not necessarily the same as self-care. For a long time, I refused to …
Oct 19, 2014
As an Asian-American person, particularly a South Asian-American, I often find myself fighting an internal battle with the part of myself that still clings on to the idea that any representation is good representation. I grew in the early 2000s, when the only Indian on TV was Apu from The Simpsons, and when post-9/11 fear sometimes makes living in this country with brown skin a fatal experience. Despite the fact that Indian-American representation in the media has dramatically increased in recent years, I often get the feeling that Indian-America …
Oct 15, 2014
When we invest in the education of young girls, we invest in families, in communities and in a brighter future. That is the message of the “Let Girls Learn” campaign. #LetGirlsLean is a movement to invest in the 62 million girls in the world who are currently not in school.
Currently, there are 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty today. While there have been important strides towards increasing access to education for girls, there are still 31 million girls who are denied education. The lived …
Oct 14, 2014
Catcalling and street harassment is an act of sexual violence that is often forgotten in the greater discussion of sexual violence. While there has been much more work in recent years to shed light on his issue and fight back, the Hollaback! campaign is a great example, but the issue remains and is getting worse in my community. Mississippi University for Women is not, as the name suggests, an all woman school. It was created as the first public university for women only, but has been coed since 1982. …
Oct 12, 2014
Last week’s episode of Doctor Who, ‘Kill the Moon,’ was blatantly anti-abortion.
The episode begins with Clara confronting the Doctor about being rude to one of her students, Courtney, by telling her that she isn’t special. Even to the girl’s face he won’t apologize. We’re left to wonder what happened to the Doctor’s old belief, voiced by Matt Smith, that in 900 years he’d never met anyone who wasn’t important before. Seemingly to appease them, he asks Courtney if she’d like to be the first woman on the …
Oct 11, 2014
Today the world celebrates the third annual International Day of the Girl Child, a day to recognize the position of the girl and her unique challenges she faces around the world. This year, the focus is on ending the cycle of violence.
But why focus on violence? Don’t girls face other problems around the world?
Yes, they do. Girls lack access to basic rights, such as education, access to health, political and economic opportunities, amongst others. However, violence against girls intersects all other disparities girls may face. As the …
Oct 10, 2014
Tomorrow, October 11, marks the 3rd annual International Day of the Girl! This day highlights, celebrates, and advances young women’s and girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe.
Let’s continue to ensure that young women and girls are agents of change in their local, national, and global communities. Together we can bring an end to gender based violence, early and forced marriage, and lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information, education and services. The Girl Declaration, the …
Oct 7, 2014
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Alabama on behalf of one of its only abortion clinics to block a new parental involvement law that could put some young people on trial simply for seeking abortion care. Alabama’s restriction is one of the worst laws in a huge, nasty pile of laws passed by state legislatures to put obstacles in the way of people – particularly poor people, people of color, and young people – who are seeking abortions.
Parental involvement laws require that when …
Oct 6, 2014
We were all shocked and angered by the Supreme Court’s decision that certain corporations can decide which birth control methods are covered under employees’ health insurance plans — a decision that could put birth control out of reach for millions of women.
But there’s still hope: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been tasked with drafting new rules to carry out the decision. In other words, HHS has to figure out how women can access the contraception they need. Now, we’re working in partnership with Young …
Oct 4, 2014
Doing the Youth ShowOUT challenge I learned that you have to be a bouncy ball. Of course you will fall and hit the ground, but you only fail if you do not bounce back. At first I was working alone – it seemed as if getting the first 25 voter pledge cards were harder than trying to ace an AP Calculus exam. I often felt defeated because nobody would take the time to even listen to the importance of the cause.
One day, I got tired of being …
Oct 3, 2014
I have a very clear memory from my freshman year of college of when I first heard another girl talk about her experience with consent. It was a Saturday morning and I was at breakfast at Hilltop Dining and it was becoming a perfectly cold and painfully sunny day in Maine. Consent makes a lot of sense in my head and before this conversation, I was under the impression that most people had a fairly strong grip on it, too. No means no, right? Or, as California has recently …
Sep 29, 2014
No person should have their pregnancy options limited because they cannot afford to have an abortion. We have not fully secured abortion rights until everyone has access to safe, affordable abortion care.
That’s why we are part of All* Above All, a coalition of organizations committed to restoring public funding for abortion care.
Thirty-eight years ago today, the Hyde Amendment was passed for the first time, barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion …
Sep 23, 2014
Today is the largest voter registration day of the year, National Voter Registration Day!
Let’s ensure that all our voices are represented in our democracy.
Young people have an incredible opportunity to make a huge impact on the political process. In 2012, 18-29 year-olds made up 21% of the voting eligible population in the US. That number will rise to …
Sep 18, 2014
I’m posting this because we’re all getting too quiet. I’m afraid we’re becoming complacent and desensitized when young lives are being disregarded and taken.
Darren Wilson is still enjoying life at home with his family, walking about on the streets as he please without grasping that these are liberties that he stole from a young person.
But mainstream media is still focused on framing the discussion about how Mike Brown wasn’t an angel.…
Sep 9, 2014
We bond over our black and purple; we reflect in pride over our 2013 Super Bowl win. We wait eagerly for football season to arrive and to celebrate our amazing athletes. We love our Ravens – and we should hold them accountable for both the good and bad that they do in our community.
This past February, our local star Ray Rice physically assaulted his wife in an elevator. After waiting for the elevator doors to close, he hit her multiple times and managed to knock her unconscious. Afterward, he …
Sep 9, 2014
It’s that time again – time when young people from around the nation travel to Washington, DC for the 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 …
Sep 4, 2014
This summer, Minnesota passed a first-of-its-kind law improving the treatment of pregnant incarcerated women. In addition to extending an existing ban on the use of restraints during childbirth for up to three days postpartum, the law also allows incarcerated women to have a doula.
Doulas are trained birth attendants who provide physical and psychological support during pregnancy and birth. Doulas have gained popularity in recent years. Doulas of North America (DONA), just one of a handful of training organizations, now boasts 6,500
Aug 17, 2014
I’ve been watching the story unfold and the events that have taken place in Ferguson have made it evident that black and brown bodies have no worth in America. I’ve gone from apathy, to deep sadness, and now I am angry. I am fed up. I am sick and tired of hearing another name, another victim of police brutality or a racially charged murder. I am tired of fearing for my little brother’s life.
The people who are supposed to be protecting our young black and brown youth are …
Aug 12, 2014
For a young activist in sometimes very isolated parts of Africa, one tends to think they are fighting alone or worse, be blinded by their fight. The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), showed me and my fellow activists, among other things, that we were not fighting this fight alone and our fight was only one of many.
Three months after receiving 50,000 applications from young Sub-Saharan Africans, the 500 who have been selected arrived in the US as the inaugural YALI class of 2014. Each of these young leaders …
Aug 6, 2014
Are you tired of politicians interfering in your personal health decisions? Fed up with the growing number of states that are making it ever more difficult to access abortion care?
Yeah, so are we. That’s why were are linking up with All* Above All for their Be Bold Road Trip! This summer, All* Above All, a campaign to restore and sustain abortion coverage, is traveling around the country visiting 12 cities, 8 states and covering more than 10,000 miles to build nationwide support and call on Congress to …
Aug 1, 2014
The Great American Condom Campaign is a youth-led grassroots movement to reduce unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by normalizing condom use on college and university campuses. Students from across the country apply to become SafeSites, individual condom distribution points, and upon selection receive a box of 500 Trojan condoms to distribute to their peers. SafeSites are also tasked with educating their peers about safer sex and advocating on …
Aug 1, 2014
As a student at Georgetown University, I was always thankful to be covered under my mother’s employee-based health insurance plan. When there was debate over how or if religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Georgetown, would adhere to the contraceptive coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I breathed a sigh of relief because I did not have to worry about losing my access to birth control without cost-sharing, as many of my classmates did. I was able to cheer when the ACA went into effect two years ago on …
Jul 31, 2014
The Candies Foundation has a few stories from teenage mothers on their website. The stories are heartfelt, information, and I can only assume an honest account of what each mother felt when they wrote them. The inclusion of these young women’s stories is important and could be very useful to making non-shaming teenage pregnancy prevention ads. However, Candies has a history of promoting and making ads that shame teenage mothers for their sexual health choices and now has a history of ignoring teenage mothers who asked to meet with …
Jul 22, 2014
The Supreme Court’s buffer zone decision has the potential to have adverse affects on the sexual health of youth. American youth already have higher rates of unintended pregnancies-despite the latest decline in rates, growing rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and receive misinformation about sexual health all the time (read abstinence only sex education in public schools).
By not upholding the buffer zones outside of abortion clinics the Supreme Court just unanimously put youth in America at greater sexual health risk.
The first time I went to a …
Jul 7, 2014
Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.
- G.D ANDERSON
Some people might not understand the importance of the latest Pantene commercial, but I can relate completely. While it’s become clearer in the last few months that the war on women extends way past reproductive rights, issues like the one reflected in the TV spot often go unnoticed because there has only recently been rhetoric about the deep-rooted origins of gendered behavior.
In the last …
Jul 7, 2014
It’s just wrong that hardworking and dedicated young people can be fired for being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer. For being who they are. These young people have no protection. No recourse.
We need our President to stand strong. And right now, he can make a big difference for thousands of LGBTQ federal employees and contractors. Join us in demanding that President Obama and his Administration do the right thing and sign executive orders protecting LGBTQ workers without needless exemptions that would open the door to discrimination.
Jun 30, 2014
It’s been a tough few days for us here at Advocates. Last week the Supreme Court ruled against buffer zones at abortion clinics, and just a couple hours ago the Court put women’s access to contraception in jeopardy.
We could give you a long, legal explanation of the cases, but in short—until our society recognizes that sexuality is a normal, healthy part of being human, we’ll continue to get devastating decisions like these.
Jun 17, 2014
To help us wrap up Men’s Health Week we talk with Partnership for Male Youth to look towards how health care providers and professionals can uplift the status of young men’s health in America.
Why young men?
Adolescent and young adult (AYA) males – those between the ages of 10 and 26 – receive minimal health care; for them health care consists largely of sports physicals and an occasional visit to the emergency room. Yet, according to the most recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and …
Jun 16, 2014
A Step Ahead Foundation hopes to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes for women and their children in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. We hope to decrease poverty by reducing economic strain and encourage career opportunities before child birth. We provide a means for women to plan each child and every step of her life through education and long-acting reversible contraception.
Their new Man On campaign www.thesexyed.com seeks to engage young men in the area in sexual and reproductive health. Man On is a movement to get young men …
Jun 13, 2014
Working to engage young men in sexual health is an exciting front. Kicking up the excitement level even higher are those behind the Hulu Original Series, East Los High. In addition to the captivating full season of entertainent. the ELH team offers viewers a chance to interact with characters further in mini episodes. Our favorite is Ask Paulie.
Ask Paulie is a sex and love advice webisode series, hosted by Paulie, one of the most beloved characters from Season 1 of East Los High. In the TV …
Jun 13, 2014
Day 5 of Men’s Health Week and there are plenty of other great examples of organizations working to promote healthy sexual behavior in young men through engaging and innovative programing. Today we speak with our colleagues at Men Can Stop Rape.
Why young men?
Promoting an understanding of the ways in which traditional masculinity contributes to sexual assault, relationship violence, power dynamics and other forms of men’s violence against women is one of MCSR key components towards the development of Healthy Masculinity for young men in our programs. A …
Jun 10, 2014
Today we check out some of the work happening at Fresno Barrios Unidos, an organization dedicated to providing knowledge and opportunities that ensure youth, families, and individuals may release their human talent and energy in order to promote nurturing healthy environments.
Why young men?
We feel it’s important for Fresno Barrios Unidos to engage young men in issues related to sexual health because, historically men, young men in particular have been overlooked when it comes to comprehensive sex education programs and access to services. We feel that it …
Jun 9, 2014
Many of us spent this beautiful weekend indoors, binge-watching Orange is the New Black. For those who did not, you missed both a great TV show, and a valuable lesson in anatomy, in episode four: A Whole Other Hole. The conversation began among inmates Poussey, Taystee, Janae, and Cindy. The topic: How many holes do we have down there? Poussey insists we have two, the vagina and the one for pee, while others are sure we only have one.
The group moves to the showers for personal verification, as …
Jun 2, 2014
(image reposted from DLCentral)
(This post contains SPOILERS. Trigger warning: misogyny and homophobia.)
The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC (downloadable content) came out on Valentine’s Day 2014 with rabid anticipation and celebration from fans of the original Playstation 3 exclusive The Last of Us and TLoU: American Dreams comic series. But not everyone was thrilled with the game.
I won’t hide that I’m personally a huge fan of this franchise. I waited years for The Last of Us and kept track of various nuances in the video …
May 29, 2014
This post has been cross-posted on the collaborative blog Feminists-At-Large.
Glenn Beck, a conservative television and radio host, revealed his family history of rape and abuse today, on his network, The Blaze. This revelation, however, was not intended to demonstrate solidarity with or validate the experiences of survivors. Rather, it comes in response to criticism he has received after Stu Burguiere claimed that college sexual assault statistics are inflated and mocked scenarios representing sexual coercion and assault, on Wonderful World of Stu,a show on Beck’s own network.…
May 27, 2014
As we are rounding out the last few days of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, we just wanted to remind everyone that there is a birth control method out there that is a “best fit” for your lifestyle! The methods range from condoms, pills, patch, and the ring, just to name a few! And while you’re considering what works best for you, also research the Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) options which are the IUDs and the Arm Implant! Not sure about whether the IUD is right for you, …
May 20, 2014
When it comes to Beyonce Knowles, I have long been of the opinion that there are only two options when it comes to her. One could either be a hardcore stan (overzealous fan) or indifferent. I fall in the second category. I enjoy some of her music, but I am not at all vested in the aspects of her personal life. Her fans irritate me quite frankly, because they never critique her faults, no matter how numerous they are. It’s hypocritical.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately …
May 14, 2014
Guest post by Lara Brooks
Lara S. Brooks is a Chicago-based youth worker fighting for transformative justice, queer and trans youth spaces, a never-ending supply of harm reduction options, and holistic health access for youth experiencing homelessness. Brooks works with the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health as a youth rights advocate.
During the first week of April 2014, youth leaders rallied at the Illinois state capitol to advocate for their reproductive rights and generate awareness about the dangers of the Parental Notification of Abortion Law (PNA). The Illinois …
Apr 30, 2014
So, Amazon is using some of its profits to help non-profits. Both my girlfriend and I have chosen Advocates for Youth.
I screen capped some basic info about this opportunity and posted the image below.
Apr 30, 2014
“Republican Gov. Bill Haslam took the 10 days allotted to him to consider the advice of doctors, addiction experts and reproductive health groups urging him to veto the punitive and dangerous measure that allows prosecutors to charge a woman with criminal assault if she uses illegal drugs during her pregnancy and her fetus or newborn is considered harmed as a result. Haslam ignored these recommendations — and the recommendations of nearly every major medical association, …
Apr 30, 2014
Learn more about the Department of Education’s clarifying statement here…
Apr 30, 2014
Last year Candies started the #NoTeenPreg hashtag in an effort to continue the work they do which they believe helps reduce unintended teenage pregnancies.
A group of former teen moms, now young moms, really felt that Candies mission is an important one but their messaging and ads were stigmatizing, rude, disrespectful, and not informative enough so #NoTeenShame was born.
We asked the founder of the Candies Foundation, Neil Cole, to meet with us as a group to discuss how we could work together to make better, non stigmatizing, and …
Apr 29, 2014
Bill O’Reilly believes that Beyonce does not deserve to be on the cover of Time magazine because she causes young women in the black community to have unintended pregnancies…. Seriously, he said that.
As a young black Latina who had her daughter at 15, I don’t even know where to start with his ridiculous claim. I can however promise you that Beyonce and her music were the LAST things that led to my being pregnant at 15 years old. Terrible sexual health education classes in my conservative southern school; poverty; lack
Apr 29, 2014
Apr 28, 2014
Over the past week, people have been discussing Avril Lavigne’s racist new music video for her song “Hello Kitty.” It premiered on her YouTube channel last Tuesday and was taken down temporarily due to the backlash. The video features Avril rapping in Japanese, wearing a cupcake tutu, dancing with four expressionless Japanese women, and generally bastardizing Japanese culture.
Using other cultures, and particularly women of color, as props is unfortunately not new to Western entertainment. Lavigne is now one of several white female artists to appropriate other …