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PEP Launches the RISE Initiative

The Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP) is dedicated to building an inclusive reproductive justice movement by raising the voices of young women, transgender, and gender non-conforming young people.

The RISE Initiative will bring together qualitative research, leadership development, and movement-building strategies to increase the visibility and engagement of young people around reproductive justice issues.

The RISE Initiative begins this Fall by bringing young people together to talk about what matters to them through a series of Young People's Leadership Alliances (Alliances) in cities throughout the country. The members of the Alliances will work with PEP and our allies to organize a Young People's Assembly on Reproductive Justice at the United States Social Forum (USSF) in 2010.

The Assembly will be a space for young people from diverse movements and communities to come together to build their leadership and raise their voices around sexual and reproductive health and rights.


PEP prioritizes communities whose voices are seldom heard in the conversation about sexual and reproductive health and rights. There will be three Alliances, each in a different part of the country, that focus on a community that PEP has identified as particularly important for the development of an inclusive reproductive justice agenda: young women of color, including indigenous women; low-income young women; and lesbian, bisexual, and queer young women, transgender and gender non-conforming young people.



1. Recognize the leadership of young people and provide a model for authentic and accountable engagement of young people. Working with local organizations in different regions in the U.S., PEP will develop the Alliances to facilitate the creation of relationships between young people and local organizations in order to increase the inclusion of their perspectives in local reproductive health, rights, and justice work. PEP will train young people from each community to facilitate the Alliances and become representatives of young people's needs and concerns within local organizing efforts.

2. Prioritize the needs and concerns of young people by conducting qualitative research to learn about what they care about.Throughout PEP's history, we have conducted qualitative and quantitative research designed to meet the need for information and education about the perspectives and needs of our constituencies. Many organizations and communities have used this research to develop and guide their outreach and education strategies. Using PEP's model of conducting research in order to inform and guide movement work, the Alliances will hold focus groups for the Alliance participants to articulate the particular needs and concerns of their community.

3. Mobilize young people to contribute their voices to the Young People's Assembly on Reproductive Justice at the United States Social Forum and beyond. PEP will work with members of the Alliances and our allies to create space at the USSF to share ideas, build collaborations, and strategize about how to successfully continue the conversations that occur at the USSF.


Based on the needs and priorities identified at the USSF, the RISE Initiative will continue to provide leadership opportunities, create resources, and work with organizations to raise the voices of our communities within the movement for reproductive health, rights, and justice.

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