Since the launch of the No Stigma! No Shame! campaign, we’ve been excited about the many possibilities that our campaign can do to not only inform the New York City Human Resources Administration how ineffective their “Think being a Ten Parent Won’t Cost You?” is, but to also be part of the larger discussion on how to help the rates of teen pregnancy in New York City continue to decline.
Also, since the launch we’ve realized that our priorities have shifted. Based on the demands in our letter to the NYC HRA, we still want to hold true to them, but we’ve done a little “about-face” and realized that our primary focus needs to be on visibility. We want to show the HRA that we mean business, and we are serious about empowering teens to have the agency to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves (and to involve adult allies in the process)
To be transparent, some of our frustrations include gaining support from local organizations and lawmakers. Taking on a governmental entity can prove to be concerning, especially for organizations who receive funding from the HRA or from NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Many organizations were not able to sign on to our demand letter as an organization, but many people did sign on as a separate person. Another frustration has been having to come to terms with the need to re-access our priorities, which can often be difficult when you’re amped up to take action. But without this necessary shift, you continue to move forward haphardardly.
Some of our successes include the huge support we’ve gotten via social media. Our hashtag #NoStigmaNoShame is connecting others around the world on how we all can broaden the conversation on effective ways to prevent teen pregnancy (and not just in NYC). Most importantly, people are ready to mobilize!
Here are some ways for YOU to become involved with the No Stigma! No Shame! campaign:
- Join the NYC4RJ listserv to stay updated on coalition news at the No Stigma! No Shame! campaign (including dates of in-person and conference call meetings)
- We’ve developed a few committees and we need volunteers to help us out: Real Teenage Families committee (led by Gloria Malone of Teen Mom NYC, our parenting teen conference committee (an all-day conference for local parenting teens), fundraising committee (develop ways to fundraise for NYC4RJ efforts and the campaign initiatives), direct action committee (develop ways to bring more awareness around the campaign), media outreach committee (developing key talking points for speaking with the media, social media, and blogging), and community outreach (speaking with schools and community organizations about the campaign). Contact us to show your interest in volunteering.
- Follow NYC4RJ on Twitter (and use the hashtag #NoStigmaNoShame) to receive real-time updates
- “Like” NYC4RJ on Facebook to stay updated on coalition news at the No Stigma! No Shame! campaign
- Follow NYC4RJ on Instagram. When you see the HRA’s teen pregnancy prevention ads, take a picture and use the #NoStigmaNoShame hashtag, along with the location of where the ad was placed. Also, share what you think the HRA’s budget of $400,000 would have been more useful for in teen pregnancy prevention (even better, tweet your response to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to the NYC HRA)
- Share the story of parenting teens on Real Teenage Families
- If you’re outside of NYC but see similar ads showing up in your city, let us know about it in the comments section below!
Thanks for your continuous support!
Nicole Clark, MSW
No Stigma! No Shame! campaign lead organizer