Advocates for Youth Programs
Advocates for Youth is the only organization that works both in the United States and in developing countries with a sole focus on adolescent reproductive and sexual health. In the previous fiscal year, Advocates worked with over 28,000 health care providers, educators, and other youth-serving professionals, directly and indirectly strengthening the ability of more than nine and a half million youth to make informed, responsible decisions about their sexual health. Advocates’ programs and initiatives are key to its success. Read below to find out more about our programs and how to get involved.
Youth Leadership and Activism Programs
1 in 3 Campaign
Launched in January 2017, the 1 in 3 Campaign recognizes that abortion is a common experience in the United States and uses first person storytelling and art to break through people’s silence about their personal experiences and shatter the stigma that surrounds abortion. At the center of the campaign are young people working on their college campuses and in their communities to de-stigmatize abortion and build a new dialogue around abortion—one that centers the voices and needs of those most impacted. Campaign activists engage in cultural advocacy using stories, art, photography, media outreach and public actions such as abortion speak-outs to de-stigmatize abortion and build empathy and understanding among their peers, the public and policymakers. For more information contact Julia@advocatesforyouth.org
Engaging Communities around HIV Organizing (ECHO)
Through ECHO, Advocates recruits, trains and supports a cohort of young people living with HIV to serve as leaders in the fight to end HIV stigma and criminalization. ECHO leaders recognize HIV’s disparate impact on young people of color, including Black and Latino YMSM and trans youth of color. Members use social media campaigns, peer education, storytelling and media outreach to raise awareness of the interconnection between HIV disparity, racism, homophobia, and transphobia and advocate for the inclusion of youth most impacted by HIV in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well being. ECHO activists contribute to My Story Out Loud, a digital storytelling campaign dedicated to uplifting the narratives of LGBTQ+ youth of color across the nation For more information contact Louis@advocatesforyouth.org
The Condom Collective
The Condom Collective is a youth-led grassroots movement to normalize condom use on campuses across the nation. Each year, approximately 2,000 members, on more than 1,000 colleges campuses distribute one million Trojan ® Brand condoms, educate their peers about sexual health, and organize to improve contraceptive access on their campuses and in their communities. For more information contact Kinjo@advocatesforyouth.org
International Youth Leadership Council (IYLC)
IYLC is comprised of undergraduate college students attending DC metro area universities who come together to advocate for U.S. foreign policies and United Nations agreements and declarations that recognize and support the health and rights of young people around the globe. For more information contact Khadija@advocatesforyouth.org
Know Your IX
Know Your IX is a survivor- and youth-led project of Advocates for Youth that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools. Know Your IX program staff educate, train, organize, and support student survivors in their work to affect change on campuses across the country. Know Your IX activists advocate at the federal, state and campus level for adherence to Obama era guidance on Title IX that includes protections for survivors of sexual assault. For more information contact Sage@advocatesforyouth.org Sage@advocatesforyouth.org
The Muslim Youth Project
The Muslim Youth Project (MYP) was created in 2008 as a pilot project to meet the reproductive and sexual health needs of Muslim-identified youth. Due to stigma; cultural barriers; and post 9/11 political, social, and cultural discrimination, Muslim youth face a myriad of challenges and negative health outcomes. MYP attempts to address these disparities by providing better linkages between organizations serving Muslim youth and enhancing their programs by providing strategic capacity building services including seed grants, trainings, and technical assistance. Among the MYP's many successes is the creation of the Muslim Youth Leadership Council.
Muslim Youth Leadership Council (MyLC)
MyLC, a part of the Muslim Youth Project, is comprised of a cohort of Muslim young people from across the country, working together to challenge Islamaphobia in the U.S. These create safe and supportive spaces for LGBTQ Muslim youth, educate, mobilize, and amplify issues impacting their communities of young Muslim identifying people. MyLC advocates for the inclusion of young Muslim identifying people in Reproductive Justice programming and promotion of health and rights, and host the #MuslimAnd campaign. For more information contact Khadija@advocatesforyouth.org
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD)
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) is a day of programming to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the amazing work young people are doing across the country to fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic. Young people can sign up to receive materials and assistance to coordinate an event on their campus or in their community highlighting the disparate impact of HIV on communities of color and young men who have sex with men; educate their peers about comprehensive prevention and/or use art, drama, poetry or other creative mechanism to draw attention to HIV and youth. For more information contact Armonte@advocatesforyouth.org
Student Organizers are high school and college student leaders who serve as activists, advocates, and spokespeople at the local, state, and national level. With the support of Advocates for Youth, they lead issue-based campaigns for school, local, or state policy changes that support young people’s sexual health and rights. Some of their campaigns for change in their communities include organizing for free menstrual products, free condoms, gender neutral restrooms, and other issues in the fight for comprehensive sex education, contraceptive access, abortion access, LGBTQ health and rights, and HIV prevention. For more information contact Kinjo@advocatesforyouth.org
This is Ours
This is Ours is a campaign centering young people and their visions of liberation, safety, sexual health, and the progressive movement. Young people are the experts of their own lives, and this campaign serves to amplify the organizing that is being done by and for young folk. For more information contact Julia@advocatesforyouth.org
YouthResource Leadership Program (YouthResource)
YouthResourceLGBTQ Youth Leadership Program is designed by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people of color. LGBTQ youth apply to the program and if successful attend a five-day intensive training institute to help them hone their advocacy and mobilization skills. YouthResource members then work throughout the year to advocate for improvements in policies and practices that impact LGBTQ youth of color, on college campuses and at the state and federal level. YouthResource members contribute to My Story Out Loud, a digital storytelling campaign dedicated to uplifting the narratives of LGBTQ+ youth of color across the nation For more information contact Armonte@advocatesforyouth.org
Young Women of Color 4 Reproductive Justice Collective (YWOC4RJ)
The Young Women of Color Leadership Council is a group of 14-24 year old young women of color who serve as the leadership team for the YWOC4RJ Collective. YWOC4RJ organizes to decrease sexual health disparities in communities of color, and advocate for the inclusion of young women of color in creating solutions to address the impact of reproductive oppression. Young women can apply to be part of either group. YWOC LC members attend a five-day intensive leadership institute to hone their knowledge and skills regarding reproductive justice, advocacy and mobilization. Staff works throughout the year with both groups of young women to help them make change on their campuses and in their communities. For more information contact Chelsea@advocatesforyouth.org
Reaching Youth Directly with Education Resources
AMAZE (www.amaze.org and YouTube.com/amazeorg) is a partnership between Advocates, Answer and Youth Tech Health and harnesses the power of animation and social media to provide young people, ages 10-14, their parents and educators with an age-appropriate, sex education playlist. These short, engaging and often funny videos cover topics including puberty, relationships, consent, sexual orientation, gender identity, body image and much more. Adapted for use in south and east Africa and Latin America, South Korea and Hungary, these videos reach young people with inclusive, affirming and honest sex education regardless of where they live or what school they attend. For more information contact Ashley@advocateforyouth.org
Kikis With Louie
Kikis with Louie is a video series designed by and for young gay men of color and trans teens to provide community, dialogue and education regarding relationships, intimacy, consent, HIV and STDs and advocacy. The videos are short and engaging and feature Advocates’ Director of LGBT Health and Rights, Louis Ortiz Fonseca speaking with celebrities, sports stars, social media influencers, LGBTQ icons and young people from cities across the country. Tune in on our YouTube channel. For more information contact Lincoln@advocatesforyouth.org
Building the Capacity of Youth Serving Professionals
Future of Sex Education (FoSE)
The Future of Sex Education (FoSE) is a collaboration between Advocates for Youth, Answer and SIECUS. Founded in 2007, FoSE’s mission is to create an enabling national climate to spur the implementation of honest sex education in our nations schools. In the years since FoSE’s founding the group has advocated vociferously against abstinence-only education and in support of more comprehensive approaches. Contributions to the field include the ground-breaking National Sexuality Education Standards and the National Pre-Service Standards for Sexuality Education, designed to help Institutes of Higher Learning improve the course content they offer their health and physical education teacher-candidates. Most recently, FoSE convened the national and state organizations providing teacher training in sexuality education to launch the Sex Education Collaborative. The Collaborative is working to shift the paradigm in teacher training from one focused on individual curricula to training that builds educators’ skills to effectively teach sex education regardless of the grade they teach or the curriculum they use.
School Health Equity
The School Health Equity program assists state and local education agencies (SEAs) to increase their capacity to implement quality sexual health education and provide or link to sexual and mental health services students so often need. Staff currently has two five year cooperative agreements to provide technical assistance, training and resources on these topics to school districts across the country.
Contraceptive Access for Highly Vulnerable Youth
Advocates is working in three cities in the United States, Atlanta, Tucson and Washington DC to design and test family planning service delivery models that improve uptake of contraception by highly vulnerable youth. In Atlanta, Advocates is working with refugee youth, in Tucson with youth who are in drug treatment or other government agencies, and in Washington DC, staff is working to improve pediatrician’s willingness and ability to provide contraceptives to the teens they serve. Staff provides resources, training, technical assistance and evaluation consultation to assess the impact of these models and their potential to be scaled. For more information contact Laura@advocatesforyouth.org
Sex Education Teacher Training
Advocates offers a comprehensive, K-12th grade sex education curriculum, Rights, Respect, Responsibility. The curriculum is free and available for download. Its lesson plans are mapped to the National Sexuality Education Standards and it is LGBTQ inclusive, trauma informed and culturally responsive. For most sexuality education teachers, no training is necessary to use the curriculum. Advocates does offer sex education training to school districts and for individuals. Training can be done in person or can be done through the assistance of a virtual classroom and student avatars. For more information contact Nora@advocatesforyouth.org
Assisting Providers in the Global South
Advocates works with youth-led organizations and those serving youth in low- and middle-income countries. Staff provides training, technical assistance and resources on sexuality education, youth-adult partnerships, gender equity, contraceptive access, HIV prevention, treatment and care and LGBTQ health and rights. For more information contact Nicole@advocatesforyouth.org.
Queer and Gender Equity Project (QGEP)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth of color are at disproportionate risk for negative sexual health outcomes and face stigma related to race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity. This stigma places LGBTQ youth of color at risk for contracting STIs and HIV, violence, and substance abuse. In order to be part of the solution, Advocates launched its Queer and Gender Equity Project (QGEP) almost 10 years ago, formerly known as the Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia Project. The QGEP seeks to build the capacity of organizations interested in and committed to improving the sexual health of all young people, including LGBTQ youth of color. Past partners include a number of adolescent health and sexuality education organizations. The goals of Advocates for Youth’s Queer & Gender Equity Project are to: Build the capacity of youth-serving professionals to serve LGBTQ youth of color; Create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth of color; and Redress homophobia and transphobia within the local community (i.e., schools, agencies, community, etc.) For more information contact Armonte Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rights, Respect, Responsibility, a K-12th Grade Comprehensive Sexuality Education Curriculum.
This K-12 comprehensive sex education curriculum is fully mapped to the National Sexuality Education Standards, covers all 16 topics deemed essential by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is LGBTQ-inclusive, trauma informed and culturally responsive. Training is not necessary to use the curriculum, but is available.
Get Your Life
This evidence-informed HIV prevention intervention is designed for community based organizations to implement on weekends or afterschool hours for Black and Latino Young Men Who Have Sex with Men, ages 16-19. Adapted from Many Men, Many Voices the curriculum is trauma informed and culturally responsive. Evaluation show statistically significant improvements in participants HIV knowledge and intention to reduce risk from pre to post test.
Policy and Communications
Advocates staff provides technical assistance, training and resources to national, state and local organizations regarding youth-centered reproductive and sexual health/rights/justice public policy and communications. Policy staff drafts model legislation and policy briefs, tracks and provides in-depth policy analysis, and can support partners in building out advocacy strategies to improve policies and practices at the federal, state and local level. In addition, communications staff can assist with talking points, public speaking training and training regarding media outreach. Staff is also available to assist organizations wishing to raise the visibility of young people and their experiences and needs through social or traditional media. For more information about public policy assistance contact Diana@advocatesforyouth.org. For more information about communications assistance contact Emily@advocatesforyouth.org