Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: florida

For Queer Youth, Statutory Rape Laws Can Sometimes Do More Harm than Good

Earlier this summer, an 18 year-old Floridian woman walked across a football field and accepted her high school diploma, sights set enthusiastically on the future. “She is scheduled to attend the medical program at [a local college]. She’s also scheduled to audition for The Voice in Texas. She has been singing her whole life and also 4 years of choir” her father proudly told me. The young woman in question was Kaitlyn Hunt. But despite only having a high school diploma and boundless ambition, Hunt was the one teaching me, a queer 24 year-old university student, about legality, homophobia, and sex-negativity. By now, you have likely heard Hunt’s story. During her senior year at Sebastian High School, the then-17 year-old began a relationship with a 14 year-old peer. After Hunt… Read more »

4th Annual Women 2 Women Conference: Engaging and Supporting Farmworker Women

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending this conference, the 4th of its kind, and hearing about it is nothing compared to actually being there. From the moment I entered the church where the event was housed I heard hearty laughter and bustling conversation, it was never dull, and was truly the best way I’ve spent my Saturday in a long time. The conference was put on by the Florida Farmworker Association of Florida  (FWAF) and Maria Santana, director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Through contributions and donations they were able to provide both lunch and a full dinner to the attendees, but what was most spectacular about the day was the variety of workshops offered, and how the event seemed to… Read more »

Public Service Announcement — Abstinence-Only Programs Hurt our Young People

The Presidential election is finally over and now that we know we have four more years with President Obama, we need to look at our youth and address an issue that is ever present, and is becoming more alarming every day. The prevalence of Abstinence-only programs that is crippling our young people. I reside on the border of Orange and Seminole Counties in Orlando Florida, an area where being conservative is the norm. I can’t help but think about all the youth in my area that need comprehensive sex education information are being shafted. In this county discussing sex is taboo and many students don’t even bother to ask if they do have questions because they will just be chastised and shunned. I know the critics will say if you… Read more »

No on Amendment 6 is the Right Move for Florida

As a young woman of color residing in Florida I’m very interested in and affected by the anti- choice antics in Tallahassee. When I heard about Amendment 6, I just had to tell the world about the next attack on reproductive rights. This attempt directly affects me as a young black woman, I’m constantly facing stereotypes and attacks on my rights, and this I will not accept. I will not allow politicians to infringe upon my rights, and I will do everything in my power to keep politicians out of my doctor’s office! Amendment measure 6 would change the Florida constitution to outlaw public funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or directly affecting the life of the mother. In essence, this amendment would bring politicians out of… Read more »

YOPI at its Finest

Last week I had pleasure of attending the Youth Organizing and Policy Institute (YOPI), and it was such a great experience. The conference began on Friday with an activity where we were introduced to the concept of creating a story of self, and exactly what that would look like. The segment also included a part where they announced the outcomes, where they succeeded, and the challenges that are still faced by Planned Parenthood today. There was also a brief overview of Planned Parenthood and the services that are offered there. One Point I especially enjoyed was the Reproductive Justice crash course that was given. The presenters started off with the Sonya Renee, “What Women Deserve.” It definitely appealed to my reproductive health heart strings, and put me in a mood… Read more »