By Gillian Silver, MPH, CHES | January 8, 2020
Research Dissemination Specialist, ETR
My very first day working at ETR fell on our organization’s All Staff Retreat. It was an energizing day that allowed our growing staff to share priorities and interests, and to embrace a growth mindset in how we approach our work. An idea explored by Carol S. Dweck, adopting a growth mindset helps us move through challenges by identifying the opportunity within them. Inspired by my introduction to the organization, I wondered how the field of sexuality education can apply a #growthmindset to the topic of adolescent romantic relationships.
By Mia Barrett, MEd | December 19, 2019
Research Associate, ETR
Cheers erupted from the audience at the 24th Congress of the World Association of Sexual Health (WAS) in Mexico City when Anne Philpott of The Pleasure Project urged sexuality educators to “Stop preaching and start having fun! Learn to say YES to good, safe sex!” Later, WAS released an official Pleasure Declaration, stating that sexual pleasure is a fundamental human right. In a world where public health is so often focused on preventing negative outcomes and managing ill-health, this declaration and the conference’s focus on pleasure was revolutionary.
By John Shields, PhD, MSW | December 13, 2019
Senior Research Scientist, ETR
The US Department of Education’s proposed regulations on Title IX recently took an important step forward in the adoption process and the regulations may become official policy in the next few weeks. From our perspective as consultants and researchers in the K-12 space, our analysis of the regulations yields several significant implications on Title IX infrastructure, practices, and compliance.
By Emma Schlamm | December 9, 2019
Program Coordinator, YTH Initiative at ETR
The YTH Initiative of ETR, in partnership with the Public Health Institute (PHI) and GoJoven Honduras, is implementing and evaluating ZonaSegura. ZonaSegura is a multi-faceted tech-based intervention that uses a website, native mobile app, and a WhatsApp messaging campaign to prevent teen dating violence among Honduran youth. The evaluation has demonstrated that the power of partnership and human effort is an essential and irreplaceable component of a digital solution’s success.
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | December 2, 2019
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
Sunday, December 1, 2019, marked the 31st observance of World AIDS Day. The theme for 2019 is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community.” This feels especially appropriate since we have been developing community-driven responses from the beginning. While reflecting on the nearly four decades of the HIV pandemic, ETR started looking back at our response since the earliest reported cases. Check out this retrospective of ETR’s history developing some of the nation's leading HIV education, training and research.
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | November 26, 2019
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
I’m grateful every year for the opportunity to share ETR’s science-based practice of expressing gratitude. This year, I’m especially thankful for living our values of centering equity. This includes the continued efforts of aligning our work with the Health Equity Framework. It also includes our internal work to center racial equity in our lives and our workplace.
By Cara Silva, MPH | October 1, 2019
Director of Programs, ETR's YTH Initiative
Digital communication has disrupted the ways we socialize, communicate, and—let’s face it—how we function. Gone are the days where a check-in with a friend was a knock at the door or a telephone call. It’s now likely a quick text or a thumbs-up “like” on a social media post. This new way of communicating has also contributed to how we meet, flirt, and date people to whom we are attracted. Youth in particular are turning to online spaces to build community and explore sexual relationships, particularly in regions where access to peers is limited.
By Shafia Zaloom | Setpember 10, 2019
Health Educator, Urban School, San Francisco
When talking about sexuality with adolescents, it's often easier to get the message across when you take the sex out of it. This is counterintuitive, I know. So here’s a story, a classroom activity and some examples of classroom discussions with my class that explain the concept.
By Chris Wilson-Smith & Michael Everett, MHS | July 25, 2019
HIV/Sexual Health Trainer (CW-S) & Project Coordinator (ME), ETR
How do we celebrate the innovative spirit of youth? How do we encourage young people's creative leadership and put it to work to solve real-world problems? How do we leverage youth interests and abilities in technology to amplify their power?
ETR’s YTH Initiative is delivering a mentorship program that will do all of these things. Introducing Project LIYT (Leadership + Innovation + Youth + Technology)!
By Ahna Suleiman, DrPH | May 29, 2019
AYSRH, Developmental Science & Youth Engagement Consultant
Consent is complicated. And learning about consent is even more so. Thinking back over conversations and experiences I’ve had the last six months, I am struck by how truly complicated it is.
By BA Laris, MPH | April 2, 2019
Program Manager, ETR
“I was 14 and I just didn’t know…”
Many of us work with teens who face challenges because they didn’t have health information and resources they needed. We put a lot of effort into gathering our own information about their circumstances so we can offer them the best support possible.
But what do you do when you don’t know?
By Clint Bruess, EdD and Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW | March 19, 2019
Dean Emeritus, University of Alabama at Birmingham (CB) and Sexuality Educator, Trainer and Consultant, Elizabeth Schroeder Consulting (ES)
Although sexuality education has changed significantly since the early 20th century, many of the goals still focus primarily on public health outcomes. Federal and state-level funding streams tend to focus, for example, on reducing unplanned pregnancy and avoiding STIs.
Now, don’t get us wrong—these are important parts of many sexuality education programs. If these are the only goals, however, they exclude other vital parts of who we are as human beings.
By BA Laris, MPH | February 5, 2019
Program Manager, ETR
I recently had the privilege of attending an engaging and provocative conference in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario HIV Treatment Network hosted HIV Endgame 3: Breakthrough Initiatives research conference in December. The conference provided two days of presentations and discussions to propel members of the HIV network both in Ontario and globally towards ending the HIV epidemic.
I was invited to deliver an interactive workshop on linkage to care. In the workshop, we explored one of our most promising behavioral strategies for achieving the end of AIDS: using a strengths-based approach to reach those who are not yet in medical care.
By Mia Barrett, MEd | January 31, 2019
Research Associate, ETR
What are the most common errors high school students make about condom use? Thanks to some recent research by ETR and our partners with Public Health, Seattle & King County, we can share insights on that question. Because of what I’ve learned through this research, I’ve adapted the way I teach youth about condom use.
By Janelle Watson, MA, LMFT | January 17, 2019
Founder, Embrace Wellness
When it comes to figuring out how to talk to their kids about difficult topics, I find that parents want all the help they can get. Educators and providers often have opportunities to offer guidance that can help parents succeed.
What do parents want to know? Everything.
Vignetta Charles, PhD | December 1, 2018
I was sitting on a plane last week thinking about the 30th Anniversary of World AIDS Day. I tried to remember back to the very first one, in 1988. I was a teenager. AIDS was a part of my coming of age.
By Katherine McLaughlin, MEd | September 4, 2018
Founder and Director of Training, Elevatus Training
I remember the day Karen Topper asked me the question. “Can we create a sexuality education curriculum where people with developmental disabilities are the teachers? Can we have them be actively involved in creating this curriculum?”
By Jenna | July 13, 2018
Transitioning to 6th Grade
Editor’s note: I had an opportunity to talk with the daughter of a friend about some of her recent school health education experiences. Here are some of her comments.
I just graduated from 5th grade. I’m excited about what’s coming next—I’m going into middle school next year!
By Michael Everett, MHS | May 22, 2018
Project Director, ETR
Advocacy is an extraordinary and powerful tool. This is a strategy that can tailor itself to the unique needs and culture of any service-related organization. It’s also genuinely exciting to offer technical assistance to organizations interested in putting advocacy to work.
These are just some of the reasons ETR’s team embraces any opportunity we are given to support organizations in building advocacy skills and practices.
By BA Laris, MPH & Nic Carlisle, JD | March 29, 2018
Program Manager, ETR (BAL) & Executive Director, Southern AIDS Coalition (NC)
When you hear the term “HIV and AIDS advocacy,” what do you think of? In our work we have found there are typically two responses:
“Yes! This is how we get our voice heard!”
“Umm, well, I am glad people are working on these issues, but I don’t really know how that all actually works.”