Dr. Jocelyn Elders, CatalystCon West closing plenary

Dr. Jocelyn Elders speaks about revolutionizing dysfunctional society and sexual health in America at #ccon #cconck

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  1. The best way to prevent con drop is to send attendees off with an extra dose of wisdom and inspiration to remind everyone that we are all in this together. The closing plenary for CatalystCon West 2013 was a powerful interview with the outspoken Dr. Jocelyn Elders, the first African American appointed as Surgeon General of the United States best known for her frank discussion of her views on controversial issues such as distributing contraception in schools. Lynn Comella conducted the interview after Elders' opening remarks.
  2. Elders first spoke about the issues related to human sexuality still plaguing the United States.
  3. First item on the agenda: universal access to contraception and non-abstinence-based sex education.
  4. Elders brought research and statistics to back up every pronouncement and directive.
  5. Photo on 2013-09-29 at 15:40.jpg
    Photo on 2013-09-29 at 15:40.jpg
  6. Elders also covered sexuality myths, such as pregnancy prevention being primarily women's responsibility and that sexual pleasure is irrelevant to women. And when it comes to condom use, "The vows of abstinence break far more often than condoms." Condoms today are not your grandaddy's condom!
  7. Millennium development goals include the following: promoting gender equality and empowering women; working to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. We're still fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. 

    So what do we do? We talk. Parents must talk to children, school administrators should talk to parents and faculty, women must talk to each other, religious institutions should talk, and communities and media need to talk, too.
  8. What strategies will accomplish these directives? 

    Consider educational and access strategies, but we also need to learn leadership. Many ideas never come to fruition because of a lack of leadership. For that, leaders need clarity of vision and competence  and commitment to get the job done. We must give time, talent and treasure. As we get ready to lead, don't forget what we need to get done. Don't forget to make sure we get in prevention strategies, programs and policies and outreach.

    But do. Whatever you can, from wherever you are.