Date: July 13, 2017
Celebrating Young Parents: How New Mexico and California Established a Day of Recognition (Webinar Recording)
Over the past several years, two states—New Mexico and California—have been working to affirm the value of young families and celebrate the ways they contribute to our communities because all adolescents and young adults, including pregnant and parenting teens, deserve respect, appreciation, and acceptance for their unique strengths, talents, and potential.
In 2012, the first ever Day of Recognition for Young Parents was held, after the New Mexico Legislature passed a memorial (SM 25) with bipartisan support establishing August 25 as the “New Mexico Day in Recognition of Young Parents.” Last year (2016), the California Legislature approved a resolution (ACR 201) establishing August 25 as “California Young Parents Day.”
Too often, young people who are pregnant or parenting face blame and stigma, taking a toll on the health of young families. “California Young Parents Day” is a continuation of CLRJs’ Justice for Young Families (J4YF), a long-term initiative that champions young people’s rights to self-determination and bodily autonomy, including their decisions about whether or not to become parents, as well as their right to parent the children they have within a supportive environment.
By having August 25th be the designated Day of Recognition for Pregnant and Parenting Youth, California and New Mexico can further help shift the negative perceptions and treatment of young parents. Uplifting the contributions and needs of young parents through this day of recognition is the beginning of a long-term effort that values their future—when young parents do well economically, educationally, and socially, their children do better and so do all of our communities.
In this Healthy Teen Network webinar, Denicia Cadena of Young Women United, Ena Suseth Valladares along with Young Parent Leadership Council (YPLC) members from California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), and Marylouise Kuti of #NoTeenShame talked about how negative frames stigmatize young parents, the need for a culture shift to support policies that empower young families, and share how they worked to have their states officially establish a Day of Recognition. Learn what it takes and why a Day of Recognition is an important step in changing the conversation around young families and honoring them for all that they do.