In shaping a world without discrimination or violence, we need to educate and inspire young people. My generation is the largest generation of adolescents ever, and with that, we have an extraordinary opportunity to unite and create change. Sexuality, and the right to sex education, sexual freedom and safety are issues that are really important to me and for young people everywhere. We live in a rape culture, where girls are more likely to say “yes” than to say “no” even if that’s not what they want. Boys are misguided into thinking they need to be aggressive, and “hard” to get sex or to be a man. With the grant money, I want to create a coalition of sex-positive teens, all across the five boroughs [of New York City], who want to take action and make positive change in the society that we live in. With the coalition, I want to organize events and workshops empowering youth about sex instead of misguiding them. These would be forums to talk to each other, learn from each other, invite guests into the group, and then create our own media. We deserve to have a voice in current events; and we need the community and the skill-building so that we can respond to articles and current events that are “about” us. Right now, I am the youth outreach/social media intern with the The Line Campaign, which is a campaign dedicated to discussing sex, consent, power and how to ask for what you want. Everybody has their own take on sex, stemming from how they were educated (or not educated) at home, in school, or from their own experiences. Without having a say, we are silenced, and silence is a form of violence. It is our world, and we need to work together in making it a better, safer place.
The International Women’s Health Coalition is excited to announce Young Visionaries, a new contest and grant opportunity for youth activists. Ingrid Romero is our first nominee!