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kenzie

kenzie

Mackenzie Massey is a senior at the University of Texas where she serves as the President of the Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter. This is her fifth year to be a member of the Cultural Advocacy Mobilization Initiative (CAMI), a partnership of Advocates for Youth.
kenzie

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In Texas, “family values” is all too often code for accepted homophobia, misogyny, or the mistaken idea that young people wait until they’re married to have sex. Texas “family values” have been used to de-fund Planned Parenthood, to teach ineffective abstinence-only sex education, and to permit obviously homophobic attitudes and discriminatory policies.
When I first saw the title of this “What Would You Do” video posted from moveon.org on my news feed, “This Hidden Camera Footage of a Gay Couple in Texas Will Shock You,” I tensed …

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3.

Mackenzie Massey is a 4th year Government student at the University of Texas at Austin. She has been involved with the Texas Freedom Network Student Leadership Council and Advocates for Youth for four years.

This election season young people made a difference (again!) and surprised all the cynical people in older generations by not only voting, but also by organizing to get others to vote.

At my university, the University of Texas at Austin, I led one of many groups who successfully gathered volunteers, received county training to become …

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IVB 10

Young people voted in record numbers this election, and here’s why:

These pictures were taken from a poll party at the University of Texas at Austin campus,

sponsored by the Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter.

 

 

 

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Today is the last day of classes, and of course I’m happy to be done with classes (currently pretending there are no finals)  but I’m also thinking back to everything we’ve done this semester! This was my fourth semester as president of the Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter, a non-partisan student organization that aims supports religious freedoms, civil liberties, and strong public schools. Here’s a group picture from one of our meetings, aren’t we just the cutest activsts you ever saw? I know we are :)

I’ve summed up most …

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Mackenzie Massey is the President of the Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter at the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the Texas Student Leadership Council, the Texas portion of Advocates for Youth’s Cultural Advocacy and Mobilization Initiative.

World AIDS Day activities at UT Austin in the past have existed, but in 2011 I wanted to do it bigger and better than ever before. I knew the trick to this would be advanced planning, collaboration with many other organizations, and some solid fundraising.

In late September …

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This week the Texas Freedom Network Student Chapters at Texas State, University of Texas San Antonio, and University of Texas Austin hosted free, on-campus, documentary screenings of the award winning film, Daddy I Do. The very talented and passionate director, Cassie Jaye of Jayebird Productions, was kind enough to attend all three events and answer questions after the film played. Daddy I Do began as a documentary looking into the new phenomenon of "Purity Balls," where a young girl exchanges vows with her father in a wedding like ceremony, …

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I recently posted a link to the "Sign the Petition: Remove the Economic Barrier to Birth Control" blog that was posted earlier this week on my facebook page to encourage my friends to sign it.

I had many friends who "liked" it, commented that they had signed it, and even reposted it to their facebook. I was so proud of my friends who stood up for the injustice we see around us everyday, because its impossible to consistently use birth control if you can’t afford it. I …

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I skipped class this past Tuesday to rally  with almost 100 peers at the Texas Capitol in support of comprehensive sex education, and here’s why:

Texas has a HUGE unintended teen pregnancy problem.

We can all agree on this.

Consistent and continuous abstinence is 100% effective at preventing unintended teen pregnancy.

Yes, that’s true too.

BUT we know 52% of high school students in Texas have had sexual intercourse before graduatiing high school.

So, they’re not being abstinent.

Well, are they at least using condoms?

No. In fact, …

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I get to work for the the Texas Freedom Network, an amazing nonprofit organization that advocates for religious freedom, strong public schools, and civil liberties. We work to offer a mainstream voice to counter the powerful religious right in Texas politics. One of our big issues right now is working towards comprehensive sex education in Texas, a battle that we know is tough. To help us achieve responsible, medically accurate, and peer reviewed sex ed to public schools, we’re bringing out the big dogs: student chapters at Texas universitities!…

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Recently, my friend Jackie and I made rounds at a couple fraternities around the University of Texas at Austin campus to talk to the fraternity brothers about safe sex.

Our presentation began with a trivia game of local statistics about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies in Texas and at UT, most of our audience guessed wrong. They thought that STDs weren’t a big problem at UT and that most students used condoms. Unfortunately we know that nationally 1 in 4 teenage girls has had an STD and that only …

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Hey Amplify Family :)

In recognition of World AIDS Day 2010, I wrote a guest opinion piece for the Daily Texan, the University of Texas at Austin’s university newspaper and one of the largest university papers of the country. Real sex education saves lives, and that’s the truth. This World AIDS Day, join the fight for comprehensive sex education in Texas by signing the petition at www.tfn.org/sexed!

I have pasted the article below, but for a direct link you can go to www.dailytexanonline.com/content/take-action-world-aids-day-2010. Enjoy!

Take Action on World

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Texas has long been the poster child for abstinence-only until marriage sex education programs. Texas also has one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation, which only continues to rise. Obviously, abstinence programs aren’t effective in giving our students the information they need to make healthy decisions!

This past Thursday at the University of Texas at Austin, we got together with some friends for the first of two petition drives to raise awareness, gain support, and advocate for comprehensive sex education in Texas public schools, because real

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In the past month, we have seen a national increase in youth suicides as a result of homophobic, hateful bullies in public schools. Victims of bullying have been told that there must be something wrong with them, while the perpetrators of this homophobic abuse are left unpunished. Bullying in public schools must stop, while this is not a new phenomenon, it has certainly increased in recent years with the use of social media to spread hate and with the acceptance and even approval of school administrators. This must stop.

Watch

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In Texas, every school district is required by the legislature to have a School Health Advisory Council which makes recommendations to the local school board about school health policy in your schools. Watch this video to learn about my experiences on the Austin Independent School District’s School Health Advisory and how you can join your local SHAC. As youth, we know more about what our peers learn, don’t learn, and need to be learning. We need to share our expertise in order to implement responsible health education policy.

Good …

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As much as I love comprehensive sex education, it is important to remember that responsible comprehensive sex education honestly covers all the options, including abstinence. In the battle against abstinence-only, it is easy to see abstinence as the enemy, when instead abstinence is an effective, safe, method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease and an important component of comprehensive sex ed. 

Abstinence is a choice that is as responsible and healthy as using birth control and condoms. I interviewed my friend Brady who is an abstinent college student to …

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The Thursday before last the Texas Youth Leadership Council with the Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter of the University of Texas at Austin held a sex education event on campus at UT Austin, which turned out to be a great success! With the help of hard working volunteers, we got 110 petition signatures on both the state petition for the Education Works Coalition and the federal petition for comprehensive sex education funding. We also collected written stories, supportive posters, and video stories about the state of sex education in …

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The Texas Freedom Network Student Chapter of the University of Texas at Austin will be co-hosting an sex education rally with the Texas Youth Leadership Council tomorrow, February 18.

Our goal is to give a voice to students on campus who support comprehensive sex education. We will be getting Education Works petition signatures, recording students’ stories about sex education, asking students to write their stories and hang them up on our "Wall of Shame", or take pictures with pro-comprehensive sex education signs.

Texas has one of the highest teen …

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School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) are legally required in every Texas school district to make recommendations to local school boards regarding health policy in their schools. SHACs were originally created so that local community values could be represented in sex education in the school district. However, more recently SHACs have been making recommendations concerning all health related issues in schools, such as physical education, substance abuse, nutrition, safety, school environment, fitness, hygiene, mental health, but rarely sexual health. 

Recently, I have been attending School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) meetings …