Young people of color “choose” to be stakeholders in their reproductive and sexual health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEMPHIS, TN – November 18, 2013 – Shelby County teens become direct stakeholders in themselves, their
families and their communities through sex education, policy and advocacy
provided through the Choose2Wait campaign, a program of SisterReach, Memphis’
Reproductive Justice organization.

Teens from around the city have been working over the last six months to
understand their bodies, articulate their personal values and develop key
advocacy skills in an effort to equip them to educate their peers and better
communicate their needs and concerns regarding sex. Participants are now
emerging as confident and knowledgeable advocates amongst not only their peers,
but with their parents and legislators as well.

The program has raised over $25,000, which resources comprehensive reproductive
and sexual health education, youth-led policy strategies, and advocacy.
Cherisse Scott, Founder and CEO of SisterReach, emphasizes how vital these
development efforts are to support young people in achieving reproductive
health excellence.

“It’s one thing to change policies on behalf of what we think young people
need. It’s quite another thing to engage them in changing their own lives. Our
program requires the teens to take responsibility for their actions through
education, and we use advocacy and social media strategy to organize both the
youth and their parents. They have worked on every stage of this program. These
babies – our babies – are bearing their souls. They have committed to making a
difference for themselves first, and then positively influencing the lives of
their peers and families,” says Scott.

The SisterReach Youth Ambassadors (SYAs) invite teens across the city to share
their stories on the Choose2Wait blog and invite parents to pledge their
support for their teen. The site connects teens and their parents to local
resources, including medical providers and partnering organizations. The site
will also offer educational videos before the end of the year that are produced
by and for teens.

SisterReach is a grassroots organization focused on empowering, organizing and
mobilizing women and girls of color around their reproductive and sexual health
by offering fundamental comprehensive reproductive and sexual health education,
advocacy and policy.

Contact

For more information
or to donate to this program, please contact Cherisse Scott at (901) 310-5488, cherisse@sisterreach.org or
www.sisterreach.org/choose2wait.

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