In 2013, seven young mothers from across the country 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.
As young mothers, especially young mothers of color, we are often silenced, ignored and erased from social justice. Before becoming mothers, we were young people facing injustices and those injustices still exist after our identities expanded as parents.
Statistics and data about young parenthood often highlight the poor health outcomes, poverty, and low educational attainment. Yet, data fails to acknowledge that injustices in our communities and stigmatizing environments impacted our ability to thrive before a pregnancy or parenthood too.
of young people in the United States dropped out of school because they had to care for a family member
of young people in the United States dropped out of school because they had to get a job
of young people in the United States dropped out of school because they became a parent
#NoTeenShame's cofounders have advocated for policy changes at the local and national level. Our priorities include ensuring young parents have access to safe learning environments, young people have access to accurate sex ed, and all youth have the power and support to make the best informed choices for themselves.
In addition, our children are growing to become advocates for comprehensive sexuality education, stigma-free environments, and a world where the kids of young parents can navigate choices without fear of judgment.
Throughout the year, we develop impactful campaigns and work on meaningful projects with our community. We want to continue to build with our allies and keep our friends and chosen families connected to our work.