Standing Together In Solidarity At The Sex Ed Conference

Photo credit: Emmanuel Vivier

Photo credit: Emmanuel Vivier

BY MILLA IMPOLA | @MillaImpola

During the Awards Ceremony at the National Sex Ed Conference on December 5, The Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN) read a powerful statement about racial justice in sexuality education.

As more and more people joined on stage to hold hands, it was a beautiful moment of hope and solidarity in the midst of all the injustice that is going on in this country.

After the event, conference members could sign the statement that was printed along the wall.

Image from The Women Of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN) Facebook Page

Image from The Women Of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN) Facebook Page

Solidarity Statement on Racial Justice in Sexuality Education

Because we are in the field of Sexuality Education, a profession skilled at creating space for dialogue, acknowledging difficult topics, and facilitating change;

Because we stand on the shoulders of many before us, some who have received recognition and others who have not;

Because we live in a country founded on systems of oppression, institutionalized racism, and violence;

Because we see police brutality, racial profiling, and mass incarceration as a gross misuse of power which terrorizes individuals, families, and communities;

Because we know the system is not broke, it is doing exactly as it intended;

Because of all of this, and so much more, we also know—-

Because we are part of the problem, we are also part of the solution;

Because we as sexuality educators teach about love, equity, justice, relationships, communication, and safety;

Because we believe in living our lives fully, with intention, agency, and freedom form fear;

Because we hold power, as individuals and as organizations;

Because we can, and we must;

As a multicultural group, we commit to addressing and working to undo racism on personal, professional and institutional levels within the field of sexuality education and in our diverse roles within it, in solidarity with other movements towards racial justice;

Today we commit to the formation of plans of action towards racial justice in sexuality education.

I’m honored to have been part of this moment, and I stand with WOCSHN in this statement.

Together we can all create lasting change.

WOCSHN member Cindy Lee, of the National Sex Ed Conference Planning Committee reads the Solidarity Statement on Racial Justice in Sexuality Education.

Milla Impola is a reproductive justice advocate working to create positive conversations about sexual health in the media. She lives in New York City. Twitter: @MillaImpola