NoTeenShame.org was founded in 2013 with a mission to improve policy and eradicate the stigma that negatively impacts young parents’ access to quality healthcare, education, and community support. Led by a diverse group of young mothers across the United States, it became an internationally-recognized social movement for the rights of young families.
As young mothers, especially young mothers of color, we have historically been silenced, ignored, and erased from important decisions that impact our family’s futures. Between policymaking and public health interventions, it was necessary for there to be a voice at the table to help decisionmakers understand our reality and needs as industrious members of society. We knew a social, public, and visible movement wouldn’t just give us seats the table, but it would open up seats for young parents all across the nation.
As a core to our mission, we believe, honor, and uphold the frameworks of reproductive justice.
In 2013, seven young mothers from across the United States came together to improve conditions for young parents and their families. After years of being impacted by harmful policies and stigmatizing messages, we decided to push back against the narrowly framed falsehood that young parents are incapable, irresponsible, and unworthy of dignity and respect. As young parents, we know that politicians, media, educators, and healthcare professionals have unconsciously perpetuated stereotypes that harm our families. In exchange for the respect and dignity we deserve, we have committed ourselves to raising awareness around the rights of young parents, the true injustices facing young people today, and the need for access and choice.
The movement started as the #noteenshame hashtag on Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram. We wanted to create a space where we could talk about young parenthood without being judged, stereotyped, or shamed for our sexual and reproductive choices. Within a few days, thousands of young parents across the nation were participating in our campaign to proudly share our stories and help change the biased perception of young parenthood. Together, the former dominant narrative of young parenthood is being replaced with an inclusive, positive, and reality-based narrative.
Natasha Vianna, California
Gloria Malone, New York
Marylouise Kuti, New Mexico
Lisette Engel, Maryland
Consuela Greene, Massachusetts
Christina Martinez, California
Jasmin Colon, Florida
Spirit of Service Award. Healthy Teen Network. October 21, 2014.
Expectant and Parenting Student Policy, Boston Public Schools
(SM 25) Day of Recognition for Young Parents, New Mexico Legislature
(ACR 201) California Young Parents Day, California Legislature
Advocates for Youth, National Women's Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, United Nations of the United States, National Crittenton Foundation, Healthy Teen Network, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Forward Together, COLOR, Young Women United, URGE, and more.