Member Spotlight: SIECUS
What is your organization’s issue focus?
SIECUS advocates for universal access to K-12 sex education policies and programs that are inclusive, age appropriate, and evidence-based.
What is something your organization is currently prioritizing? Can you tell our readers a little about the goals of the campaign/project?
SIECUS is working to push back the misinformation attacks on inclusive programming in public schools. 2022 saw an explosion of conservative attacks on honest US history, LGBTQ inclusion, trans kids in bathrooms and sports, and sex education as part of the Right’s effort to undermine the future of our country. Through our Sex Ed Futurist and Youth Deserve campaigns, SIECUS is developing public awareness campaigns and working with allies to produce resources and materials for parents, school administrators, and concerned community members to refute these attacks and ensure the students in their communities benefit from public schools that create safe, affirming, and respectful learning environments.
Do you have an “Advocacy Tip” to share or “Lesson Learned” while organizing this or other campaigns? Do you have any general words of wisdom that you’d like to share with other staff engaged in advocacy? Speak peer to peer in this response.
For small nonprofit organizations, “big wins” can sometimes seem out-of-reach. I like to imagine “big wins” as 3-5 year goals and then think of the bite-sized, realistic steps to start with in Year 1 that get the work on the pathway for the “big win”. Making the intermediate goal realistic and achievable helps get things moving, reduces risk of burn-out, and offers opportunities for “little wins” along the way that keep momentum and morale high. Once you reach the “big win” goal and look back, you can be proud of how far things have come.
Many of our member organizations work with both our Bolder Advocacy initiative and our Justice program. How has either or both most helped you? How have you worked with either or both?
SIECUS recently affiliated with EducateUS: SIECUS In Action, a 501c4 focused on building a movement to transform U.S. sex ed for good. We scoured Bolder Advocacy materials to help us think through and plan appropriately during the affiliation process, determining how to navigate collaborative projects and campaigns, and navigate elections and political campaigns. All of the guidance resources and webinars are so helpful and I’m grateful for their existence!
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who don’t take “no” as the final answer, but focus on the ways over, around, through, and past gatekeepers and obstacles. I think the greatest creativity and incredible solutions are found by folks who heard “no” and kept pushing for a way forward.
All spotlights are written by AFJ members directly. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to complete a member spotlight.