Em-URGE-ing Voices

2013 Gloria Steinem Membership Conference

50 students. 22 chapters. 13 states. The fantastic student leaders who joined us for the Gloria Steinem Membership Conference came from all over the country, from California to Pennsylvania, small women’s colleges to big state schools. But they all came to Washington, DC ready to level up their understanding of reproductive justice and their advocacy tools. The weekend covered everything from sex-ed policy to how to create a more inclusive culture in their chapter. Each chapter got time to work with URGE staff to plan campaigns tailored to their campus. They ended the weekend by heading to Capitol Hill to talk to their elected officials about abortion funding in DC and the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act. Here’s what some of the students had to say: “URGE is so… Read more »

2013 Generation 2 Generation Celebration

On July 19, URGE celebrated its 21st anniversary by throwing a fabulous Generation to Generation Celebration & Awards! The event featured five awards, one to honor excellent work from a student chapter and four awards to individuals. URGE’s chapter at the University of Kansas won the Outstanding Chapter Award. Nicole Clark, social worker and writer, won the Excellence in Leadership award, recognizing a young leader. Founder and Executive Director of Brooklyn’s Girls for Gender Equity, Joanne Smith, was awarded with the Steinem-Waters Legacy Award. Also receiving that award was Dr. Tracy Weitz, co-founder and executive director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, a research institution based in the University of California, San Francisco. Honoring a lifetime of contribution to the progressive movement, Mary Jean Collins accepted the Catalyst award…. Read more »

URGE Class of 2013

Amanda Reyes, University of Alabama 1. What did you study in college? I did an interdisciplinary studies major at the University of Alabama for my undergraduate degree, and I just completed an Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies from Alabama. 2. What did you enjoy the most about your experience as a student activist? I enjoyed meeting and talking with other students about issues that were important to us. It’s rare that you get to be in a space specifically dedicated to young organizers. 3. How did URGE impact your experience in college? URGE gave me the support and resources that I needed in order to become a successful organizer and reproductive justice advocate. 4. Where are you heading next? I will be starting in the History of Consciousness doctoral program at the… Read more »

Let’s Get Psyched!

Sometimes it’s hard to keep straight exactly what you’re supposed to be aware of at any given time, that’s where awareness months come in. This month– in addition to Sports Eye Injury Awareness, Jazz Appreciation Month and many more – it’s also STD Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Earlier in April, we recognized National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day. Maybe we also need a Psyched About Sex Awareness Month. Because you can’t be psyched about sex if you don’t have the tools to protect yourself from STIs. You can’t be psyched about sex when the threat of sexual violence is so pervasive. You can’t be psyched about sex, if you don’t have information about how to prevent unintended pregnancy. We may not have Psyched About Sex Month… Read more »

Bro-Choice Week!

One year ago we hosted our first Bro-Choice panel to talk about ways young men can become authentically involved in reproductive justice. With the response to that panel, we knew this was only the beginning of the conversation. The Bro-Choice campaign continues to be a place to lift up the work that young men are already doing for reproductive justice, but over the past year this campaign has evolved to include much needed conversations on rape culture and sexual assault prevention. Recently, students from 8 chapters across GA, CA, CO, and KS participated in URGE’s first ever Bro-Choice Week. Students held panels and discussion events where they could talk about issues facing men who want to get involved with reproductive justice and sexual assault prevention. They also collected over 500 Bro-Choice pledges… Read more »

Don’t Throw Our Healthcare Off the Cliff!

You’ve heard about the so-called “fiscal cliff” – but why should you care? If Congress doesn’t act in this fiscal showdown, the budget would be slashed for important domestic programs, including education and Health and Human Services. If this happens, it’s bad news for anyone who cares about reproductive justice. Slashing the budget for Health and Human Services would mean drastic cuts to Title X funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education programs like the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and the Division of Adolescent and School Health. Our (sex) lives depend on these programs! Congress has less than one month left to act – and we all know they aren’t the fastest working bunch! If we want to save comprehensive sex education and family planning services we need to take action NOW!… Read more »

Civic Engagement Work by Our Chapters

In the lead up to the 2012 election URGE chapters around the country helped to register voters, educated their peers, and get out the vote on election day. Thanks to advocates like them, the 2012 election had record high turn out of young voters. Nationwide, our chapters registered more than 5,000 new voters! But, these three chapters really went above and beyond to make sure their campus was well represented in this election: University of Texas at El Paso For the first ever National Voter Registration Day, back in September, ten URGE campuses registered more than 1700 voters in one day. But the rockstars over at University of Texas El Paso single-handedly brought in more than 700 registrations. The continued to register until the Texas deadline and racked up a grand… Read more »

Voting Is Sexy

Despite what most politicians want to believe, young people ARE engaged in the political process, they DO care about the issues that affect their lives, families and communities and they DO vote. 15 million more of us are eligible to vote since 2008, and URGE leaders are mobilizing on campuses nationwide to register new voters, educate them and make sure they get to the polls on November 6. Advocating for Policy Change: We believe that voting is our right as well as our civic duty and the most basic way to be involved in our communities. Unfortunately, some politicians don’t agree and have passed new restrictive laws intended to make it harder for us to vote. These laws unfairly target young people, people of color, seniors and veterans, and we won’t… Read more »