Date: November 18, 2004
Dr. Douglas Kirby’s Keynote Address at Healthy Teen Network’s (then NOAPPP) 25th Annual Conference.
In 2004, the National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting and Prevention (NOAPPP) was busy deciding how best to celebrate 25 years as a national leader in the field of teen pregnancy, parenting and prevention. We embraced Sankofa, a Ghanaian concept connoting learning from the past to guide the future, as the theme for our annual conference. We decided to open with a keynote speaker who would highlight the past 25 years of research and growth in this area. Who better to do this than Doug Kirby, a long time researcher and friend of the field? We approached Doug with what we wanted and he agreed. We then trusted Doug to deliver. Boy, did he ever!
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Doug reminisced with us, sharing good and bad news and reminding us of the effects of teen pregnancy, STIs, and HIV on adolescents, particularly among our African brothers and sisters. Finally he gave us hope as he reminded us of the gains we have made over the past 25 years, gains that at one time seemed impossible. We may not agree with everything Doug has to say, particularly around the ABC approach for which there is much indecision and a little rancor, but we can feel his love for the field and his optimism for the future and we too can dream of the “impossible” progress yet to come.
We trust you’ll enjoy Doug’s words and continue to support those of us working to develop a nation of healthy youth.