ICAH mobilizes youth and adults through:
- Regional Network Organizing
- Cultural Advocacy Campaigns
School of Justice provided young people ages 14-24 with tools to develop their knowledge about sexual health education, increase leadership skills, and mobilize their peers and adult-allies to transform the communities and institutions that impact their realities. Participants met every two to three months in various areas throughout the state to engage in interactive in-depth training on adolescent sexual health, young parents, reproductive justice/rights, human rights, and social justice issues in Illinois.
Youth obtained the necessary skills to begin to address these issues in their communities. This is done through campaign and partnership building. Through engaging in skill-building workshops on organizing, message development, power dynamics, new media, action planning and much more, youth are able to enhance abilities to be an active self-advocate and revolutionary change agent.
- The Illinois Youth Policy Council developed and implemented grassroots strategies to gain community and legislative support for responsible sexual health education in Illinois. IYPC's goals were to improve the Illinois School Code around sexual health education, secure state funding for sexual health programs, and launch civic engagement activities that will build youth and community leadership. These goals are tailored after federal policies, while working through state policy channels and providing links for local city governments to follow.
- The Pride Campaign advocated for the sexual health and wellness of sexual minority youth – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, same-gender loving, two-spirit, pansexual, and other identities not listed. Through social media, community assessment, and educational events, youth participating in the Pride Campaign brought greater awareness to how to increase sexual health education and access for sexual minority youth and their allies
- The Voices Campaign addressed the unique challenges regarding sexual health and wellness of youth in foster care; youth whose voices and concerns are often not represented in conversations about youth sexuality. Primarily using Facebook and Twitter, the Voices campaign provided an outlet for "listening" and engaging in the topics most pressing to these youth and gather the themes to outline a plan for advocacy. Additionally, through letters, postcards, and opinion-editorials, the Voices Campaign members initiated a dialogue with policymakers and media (e.g., American Public Health Association, Chicago Defender) to communicate the gripping concerns of foster care youth and offer recommendations for policy change.
- The Pregnant and Parenting Youth Campaign used online networking and emergent digital technologies to help youth share information and experiences regarding resources, policies and best practices that pertain to PPY (e.g., proper implementation of Title IX, adequate medical leave for expectant/parenting youth, and recommendations for curtailing the bullying unique to this group). The campaign supported the Parenting and Pregnant Students Access to Education Act in the Illinois Accurate Sexual Education Bill, HB 3027, presently awaiting a vote in the state Senate. Through advocacy and education initiatives , the PPY campaign will help policymakers understand the bill and its impact on youths' lives and futured.
Participating youth came from areas throughout the state, including:
- East St. Louis
For more information, contact:
Nikki Zaleski, Youth Development and Training Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-427-4460 x234
Tiffany Pryor, Youth Development and Advocacy Coordinator, at email@example.com or 312-427-4460 x236