Date: November 22nd, 2016
By: Pat Paluzzi
During this season of family gathering and too much food, let us not forget those who lack such riches. Many of us work with young people who—by the nature of where they live, learn, and play—face tremendous challenges daily.
Our recent election choice, while surprising on many levels, is particularly concerning for those of us who promote social justice and embrace diversity. Our already marginalized youth may feel even more ostracized and fearful because of their citizenship status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender expression.
As youth-serving professionals, it is even more important that we empower youth to face adversity while remaining self confident, remain alert and act upon advocacy opportunities swiftly and collectively, educate everyone we can about the need for comprehensive sex education and access to youth-friendly services including contraception, and keep hope alive—for ourselves and our communities. We do have power and we need to use it.
When they go low, we go local.
About the Author
Patricia Paluzzi, CNM, DrPH, President and CEO of Healthy Teen Network, has been active in the fields of reproductive, and maternal and child health for over 40 years, as a clinician, researcher, administrator, and advocate. Her clinical and content expertise spans the full scope of midwifery care, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, high-risk maternal child health (including pregnant teens), incorporating men into clinical services, and trauma-informed approaches.