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Advocates is recruiting!

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Apr 2, 2015

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!

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Apr 23, 2015

So this will be a very personal post.

GYT stands for getting yourself tested. That’s something I know is vital to your health and the health of your current relationship. It is something that both partners should do to be sure they wont infect one an other or complicate things.

I knew this, I knew it’s a must to get tested with your partner even if they are the cleanest person or a virgin or whatever! But I didn’t and now it’s too late.

My partner was a virgin. …

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Apr 22, 2015

In honor of Earth Day, we asked members of the Girl Engagement Advisory Board to tell us about linkages between the environmental and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in their countries!

If girls aren’t treated equally, if we’re continued to be put down, then so is the whole human race. And if the whole of humanity is fractured and suffering, how are we meant to help the planet? – Allison, 19, United States

Globally, people are consuming huge amounts of resources every day. Although many people and organisations are …

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Apr 13, 2015

Part of my childhood was spent living with 14 other family members, not including myself. Growing up, a part of the conversation at my home was about not talking (at school,) about the times when my uncle would slap my aunt, or get so angry that the sofa would end up in his arms, and thrown across the living room. I remember that one time, I forgot and mentioned the violence to my teacher: tension at home grew when the elementary school called and wondered how safe I was …

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Apr 6, 2015

Health is a basic human right and a key factor in the Girl Declaration. Also, April 7 is World Health Day! So this week we asked members of the Girl Engagement Advisory Board to tell us about health in their home countries, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The most important thing, I think, is that everyone gets a proper health education. In Bulgaria we have biology classes and we are talking about youth’s health, but it’s not that much. If there are se classes included in the …

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Apr 3, 2015

In 2015, I believe that we are in a time that equal rights need to be made for all, regardless of how others may view it. That being said, Same-sex marriage should be legalized and recognized in all 50 states.  Denying such sanction would violate each citizen’s fundamental constitutional right to equal protection and due process by law. According to Marriage Equality USA, more than thirty stated and the District of Colombia have laws in effect that allow marriage equality- a staggering 72% of all states. The freedom to …

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Apr 1, 2015

First things first, I don’t need to say it, you don’t need to read it, and no award shows or long speeches need to be given to acknowledge what we already know is true –Black girls rock and always have! Matter of a fact they do more than rock. Black girls are magic, resilient, powerful, genius, and they matter!

To me its more than the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, proclaiming that Black girls rock. It’s an entire society that tells them otherwise EVERY SINGLE DAY. …

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Mar 30, 2015

Hearing of Purvi Patel by accident on social media, I rushed and clicked the link for this story about feticide and abortion charges brought against her. I’m pretty sure that most of my South Asian friends probably never heard of Purvi Patel. It’s not every day an Indian woman makes headlines, but when I saw feticide and neglect in several headlines, I could not look away. Most headlines about Indian women and South Asian women overall pertain to some sort of achievement, something to brag about at the family table. …

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Mar 29, 2015

Today`s global community is in dire need of equality and development.  Women, who covers half of the world`s sky, is still under the veil of injustice and discrimination. Women are being thrashed for wanting to study, killed in the name of dowry, burnt for not being able to conceive a baby boy and splashed with the strongest of acid for not accepting the one-sided lover.  Men are considered to be the main perpetrators of Violence against Women. Whether it be a boy or grown up man, they tend to …

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Mar 16, 2015

Art begins with resistance.” – André Gide

Art has has the power to change perspectives and to start a new dialogue. That’s why it is such a powerful tool for activists. Now, we’re asking you to harness that power to change the conversation around abortion.

Host a 1 in 3 Week of Artivism event to showcase people’s real abortion stories.

During the week of April 13-19, student activists around the country will create pop-up sticker art displays. We’ll send you a roll of the sticker art (don’t …

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Mar 13, 2015

This week, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is taking place. We asked the Girl Engagement Advisory Board to weigh in on what message they would share with world leaders during the CSW. Here’s what they said!

I’m here at the CSW and what I want to tell leaders and delegates and everyone is that while these sessions, panels, speakers are amazing! They’re inspirational, educating and just phenomenal, but they’re just not enough. We’re hear creating policy (hopefully) and change but we’re talking amongst people who …

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Mar 7, 2015

Too often, young people’s voices aren’t respected or included in decision-making processes that affect them. That’s why Advocates for Youth (Advocates) is proud to support the Girl Engagement Advisory Board (GEAB), a team of adolescent girls aged 15-19 from Cameroon, Bulgaria, the United States, Kenya, Pakistan, Madagascar, Jamaica, Nigeria, Egypt, and Nepal. GEAB members engage in advocacy efforts to advance adolescent girls’ rights internationally and to inform, guide and advise Advocates’ efforts to elevate and secure prioritization of adolescent girls’ rights in the global post-2015 development agenda. This week

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Mar 4, 2015

realmendon'trapeSince stepping foot on a college campus I have met three individuals that have been victims of sexual assault.  It is a fact that “reported assaults hit 5,983 in the 2014 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up 8% from last year and up from 3,604 in 2012” (TIME) and the numbers continue to rise. The question at hand: is it a good thing or bad?

Sexual assault is a major threat in the United States of America, especially on college campuses. Women seem to be the primary targets, …

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Mar 2, 2015

This March 10th marks the 20th anniversary of National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. Let’s take this opportunity to honor and celebrate the people who risk so much to ensure access to safe reproductive health care every day.

Join us in showing your appreciation by gathering friends to send postcards of gratitude for National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.

Every single day, abortion providers, nurses and clinic staff stand with young people, women, and their families, often at great risks to themselves, to ensure access to safe medical care – care …

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Feb 26, 2015

Greetings!

Advocates for Youth is proud to announce the release of the HIV prevention campaign, Testing Makes Us Stronger. The campaign is designed to aid youth-serving community-based organizations working with and for young Black men who have sex with men, to raise awareness of the importance of regular testing.

If you work as a health care provider or other youth-serving professional, you can get FREE posters and palm cards to help connect these young people to vital testing and learn more about how to prevent HIV. Visit Testing

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Feb 25, 2015

For the past seven and a half years, LGBT state workers in Kansas have been legally protected from workplace discrimination and harassment. But not any more. On February10th, Governor Sam Brownback announced that he was getting rid of these protections by executive order.

This order rescinds the previous executive order made by then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius in August, 2007, which first put these protections in place. As the New York Post reports, “The [2007] order applied to hiring and employment decisions by agencies under the governor’s direct control and …

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Feb 20, 2015

Chelsea Manning, currently serving a 35-year sentence in Fort Leavenworth military prison for exposing military wrong-doings to WikiLeaks, has been waiting a year and a half for life-saving medical treatment. Now, her wait is finally over. In a February 5th memo, Col. Erica Nelson, commandant of the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks, announced the army’s decision to provide Manning, who is transgender, with hormone treatment.

“After carefully considering the recommendation that [hormone treatment] is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I

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Feb 19, 2015

I am a Resident Advisor to about 65 residents at my university. As a youth activist, I can’t help myself but to spread sexual and reproductive health information to my residents. Last week was National Condom Week, and in its honor, I provided both male and female condoms to my residents. My residents came to the program expecting free male condoms and various edible goodies. However, they were also bombarded with a new, unknown-to-them method:

“OH MY GOD! What are those?”

“I stick this WHERE?”

“Why would anyone use …

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Feb 11, 2015

Last week, President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress. While the President’s budget “wish list” means little to Congress, it means a lot to those of us who are looking to the Administration for strong leadership on youth sexual and reproductive health in the U.S. and abroad. It is an important advocacy tool and the last time in his presidency that President Obama has a chance to lay out an agenda for the government going forward. So, all of us policy wonks got settled …

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Jan 28, 2015

In a surprising turn of events Wednesday night, House Republican leadership decided to cancel their Thursday vote on a 20-week abortion ban. The decision was largely driven by GOP Congresswomen who felt that the details of the ban were too harsh and would further alienate their party from young and female voters in 2016. The bill, which made the usual exemptions for rape, incest, and the life of the parent, did so in a more restrictive way than is usually attempted. The rape exemption only applies to survivors who …

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Jan 26, 2015

Freedom of speech applies to all of us, not just adults. This right is enshrined in the Constitution for all citizens to enjoy whether they be 8 or 80 and whether they are in their homes or their schools. School officials in the Rankin County School District need to be reminded of this right. After two students attempted to form a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at Brandon High School, Rankin County Superintendent Lynn Weathersby told school board members he had talked with counsel about how to prevent what he referred …

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Jan 22, 2015

Forty-two years after the Roe vs. 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 H.R. 7, a bill that targets low income women by restricting insurance coverage of abortion.

Donate $7 to help us fight H.R. 7 and 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 …

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Jan 22, 2015

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of Roe V. Wade, a landmark moment for women across our country. People could, supposedly, seek legal and safe abortions, without fear. However, thanks to the Hyde Amendment, clinic protestors, and violent stigmas, this has not always held true for all people, especially people of color and people of low socio-economic status.
The Hyde Amendment has been in place since the mid 1970’s, being renewed every year. This amendment bans all federal money for abortion services, which translates to – federal health insurance for …

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Jan 22, 2015

Dear Radical Brownies,
We are the Young Women of Color Leadership Council, a group of 11 young women of color, ages 17 to 24, from across the country. We care about educating, including, and empowering girls and young women of color about our bodies, health, and racial justice in our communities through organizing, sisterhood, and community building.

We are writing you because y’all are amazing and motivating to people everywhere, especially us! Stay the way you are! You all are so necessary to the movement. We are extremely proud …

By

Jan 22, 2015

High schools are a potential safe space for some high school students, especially LGBT individuals.  If high school students are forced to come out to their parents because they want to join a supportive club, such as a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), then it could be life-threatening.  Earlier this week, the school board and superintendent of the Rankin County School District ruled that schools in their district should not be allowed to have, as they called it, a “gay club.” In order to limit this club, they decided that all …

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Jan 22, 2015

Imagine you are walking into a store in your town. How comfortable are you purchasing condoms? Many teens would feel awkward or uncomfortable making that purchase. Our MYCouncil members have been doing surveys for the past few months in stores in our own local communities relating to purchasing condoms. The reactions we have been collectively seeing have been shameful. These reactions make us wonder if other teens in Mississippi receive the same judgmental words and glances from adults. We want to inform young persons that they have a right …

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Jan 1, 2015

The first out genderqueer adult I ever met was a super Southern queer organizer with a facial piercing. I was fifteen and in the midst of dealing with gender feelings I didn’t have words for. I had been out for three years as bisexual and knew one other trans young person, but he was a boy. No cisgender queer adults in my life understood trans people enough to help me figure out what “non-binary” meant. I didn’t know any trans or non-binary adults.

Meeting that person totally blew my …

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Dec 18, 2014

On December 9, the day before International Human Rights Day, CHANGE and 20 other human rights, women’s rights, faith-based, and youth organizations rallied at the White House to call on President Obama to take executive action to ensure that U.S. political barriers no longer stand in the way of access to safe abortion services for women and girls overseas who survive rape or incest or whose lives are endangered by a pregnancy.

Above is a video of me speaking at the rally – I was very excited to deliver remarks …

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Dec 10, 2014

Unlike many undergraduate sorority members, I don’t often wear my paraphernalia though I own quite a bit. I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorportated recently, in March 2014 at Spelman College. I told maybe five people about it beforehand because I don’t like people looking at me and I wanted to avoid people knowing for as long as possible. I still rarely wear my letters unless there is a specific reason to do so because I don’t like the attention it draws to me. When I tell people this, …

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Dec 9, 2014

Since when does mass media publicly value rapists excuses and denials more than they value victims stories?

Rolling Stone has set a precedent within their own publication with this note. They have made a statement to their readers. They have taken a very public and obvious stance against survivors, and they have even started attacking a survivor and their credibility.

When people share their stories of such violation, cruelty, and violence, it is one of the most difficult things they can do. It is choosing to relive that experience …

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Dec 8, 2014

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.

by Patricia, Member of the Girl

By

Dec 8, 2014

As a public health student in the nation’s capital, I constantly hear the HIV/AIDS prevalence here in the District of Columbia is relative to the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. However, I constantly ask myself what that really means.

To begin, we need to define some key terms: epidemic and prevalence. I hear these words constantly being tossed around and used interchangeably so I believe its time for the world to have a working definition of the terms.

An epidemic occurs when “the level of disease rises above the expected …

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Dec 7, 2014

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.

by Muna K.C., Member of the Girl

By

Dec 6, 2014

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.

by Elizabeth, Member of the Girl

By

Dec 4, 2014

I am waiting for the next Elizabeth Taylor. I would say I am her, but I don’t have the fame or the money. I don’t have the status or the platform. I am passionate, patient, and persistent, but I am no Elizabeth Taylor.

On this unseasonably warm December 1st, I am writing about the late activist who fought for HIV/AIDS research. She supported persons living with the virus under her wealthy wings. Please also take note that I am not discussing her wealth as a means of undermining her work, but I

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Dec 4, 2014

When we think of Ferguson, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, our general society thinks of the protesters, the “rioters” and the “thugs”. Institutional and systemic violence against our brown and Black brothers and sisters is an integral part of our conversations as activists and advocates, and it is an integral part of our conversations within the reproductive justice field.

Time after time again, the murder of Black folk by police officers is justified by Grand Jury after Grand Jury after Grand Jury. When parents send their children out into the …

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Dec 1, 2014

Sitting on clammy leather seats, I peered out of my window as the car inched forward, carefully maneuvering to prevent bumping into any of the hundreds of people that populated the parking grounds, which doubled as a waiting area for the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This top governmental hospital in South India served as my introduction to the highly complex infectious disease known as HIV; I was completing an internship (with UNICEF), studying and working on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS. Although mother-to-child is the …

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Dec 1, 2014

Throughout my life, I have collected names. Names for future pets, future children, future fictional characters, etc. While coming out as trans wasn’t easy, getting to pick a new name for myself was an opportunity I had never considered. I spent months looking through books, cemeteries, baby name books, and family albums before finally settling on the one I use today. What I didn’t realize was that I had just as much choice when it came to pronouns.
In English, we traditionally think of our options as being she/her/hers …

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Dec 1, 2014

 

In June of 2013, a very nervous and headstrong girl boarded a plan in Atlanta, Georgia on her way to Nairobi, Kenya [pictured to the right: myself with two girls in Nairobi]. She had graduated from high school two weeks before and fancied herself something of an adventurer-meets-human-rights-worker-meets, but was really more of a girl who wanted to make a difference in global health. As that girl over a year later I can attest that my work with HIV prevention and testing in Kenya has changed my life …

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Nov 30, 2014

“Taking Mum’s hand, I whispered “Are we really safe, here?”  ― Alwyn Evans, Walk in My Shoes

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit

By

Nov 29, 2014

Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Gender-Based Violence!

by Preslava, Member of the Girl Engagement Advisory Board

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on

By

Nov 28, 2014

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.

by Mai, Member of the …

By

Nov 27, 2014

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.

 by Hamna, member of the Girl …

By

Nov 26, 2014

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.

by Christal, Member of the Girl …

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Nov 23, 2014

I’ve been listening to Beyoncé’s 7/11 all day, because this morning I woke up feeling free! I’ve already seen the narrative floating around saying that Bey is a little cray cray for this one, well I fundamentally disagree. Folks, this is Beyoncé’s performance of what it feels like to be a carefree Black girl and I am here for every minute of it. Here are 4 reasons why you should be too:

  1. Dancing in your underwear is so freeing…

We’ve all done it, and if you are going to …

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Nov 21, 2014

Last night, President Obama announced actions that he is taking to grant relief to many young immigrants and families currently stuck in our unjust immigration system.  Millions of currently undocumented immigrants can now apply for protection from deportation and work legally in the country. It is a big deal that the President is taking these actions – in doing so he is standing up for the rights of immigrants across the country, and bringing them one step closer to full citizenship. However, the President’s actions are far from enough to guarantee …

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Nov 20, 2014

What started as mild and snarky criticism of a casually sexist shirt from some scientists, science enthusiasts, and a few people on Twitter grew into another vitriolic discussion on how feminists are offended by the smallest issues and are reacting wildly.  But that’s not quite what #ShirtStorm is, forget what most of the Internet tries to tell you.  Cathy Young’s teeth grinding, eyebrow raising editorial on Time, “How To Turn a Cool Moment into a #ShirtStorm” is another piece I wouldn’t trust.  I recommend reading it only …

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Nov 19, 2014

As a sophomore at the University of Maine, I am an active member of the Student Women’s Associate, I am a campus representative of a national abortion campaign, the 1 in 3 Campaign, and I started a new student organization about sexual health rights and issues for college students. So, why is it so hard for me to write an article about abortion? I have come at this article from a handful of different angles, but still it is hard for me to find the one that relates abortion …

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Nov 16, 2014

On October 28th, Hollaback!, the anti street harassment organization, released a video that sparked a worldwide conversation about street harassment. While this video has sparked an important conversation on the prevalence of street harassment, it has been heavily criticized for centering the experience of a white woman being harassed by men of color. All experiences of street harassment are valid, but it’s important for us to recognize that there are many different types of harassment, such as:

1.Harassment of people of color.

The video that was create for Hollaback …

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Nov 15, 2014

Election time is intimidating for young people. There is a lot of pressure on us. Pressure from our passionate peers (ahem, me) to go out and vote, from our parents to follow in their footsteps, and from our communities and nation to forge a path into the future that will make everyone proud. There is no denying that we have a big impact on the outcome of an election. Politicians target young people for a reason: we make a big difference. We matter. We have the ability to change …

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Oct 31, 2014

Recently, Emma Watson has come forward with powerful speeches presenting her personal beliefs about feminism and the role each person has in progressing this movement forward. Her UN speech, which can be seen here, http://bit.ly/1rB2PGG, discussed the HeForShe campaign and was a beautiful start, but recently she has also come out to Elle UK to discuss what feminism specifically means to her. Time has quoted Watson as saying, “Feminism is not here to dictate you… All we are here to do is give you a choice,” (http://ti.me/13eYpMS) which …

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