Photos provided by Gabriella Lemas-Sanchez
On Tuesday, Young Women United rocked the New Mexico Capital with Show Some Love, a day of action for young parents. Our message echoed through the roundhouse: young parents deserve respect, trust, and recognition. With over 50 young parents from across New Mexico, this day was about centering the voices of young families and their allies in pushing for change. YWU has always understood that negative and inaccurate descriptions about young parents and their children have a harmful impact on these families. Too often, young families living under stigma and shame don’t have the resources they need to thrive.
Young parents want our state to know--our families deserve better than this. As a step forward, young mamas from many parts of New Mexico collectively wrote a legislative memorial to establish a NM Day in Recognition of Young Parents. YWU is also proud to support ACLU of New Mexico in their memorial, which will establish a task force to assess and eliminate barriers that pregnant and parenting teens face in completing their educations. Read the memorial here.
Show Some Love built momentum for these memorials and created a space for young parents to speak up and speak out. Our press conference pulled a captive audience to hear these parents share the strengths of their families. Our legislative visits connected these young people to some of the state’s most powerful legislators.
Our memorial will be heard on the Senate Floor and voted on this Monday. Let’s spend the weekend sharing some love and sharing your stories about being a young parent, being raised by a young parent(s) or the positive impact a young parent has had on your life. Please share your stories in the comment section!
|The energy of young parents speaking downstairs carries up to listeners throughout the rotunda|
|Young parents get an audience on the Senate floor with Senator Mary Jane Garcia and Senator Michael Sanchez
|Young father from the Navajo Nation reflects on the stories of other young families.|
Some of the fabulous young parents that traveled all the way from Las Cruces to be heard in Santa Fe (An 8hr round trip ride!)
Please share your stories in the comment section!
Amber from New Mexico shared:
“I met Ashley waiting to catch the school bus on the first day of high school. I remember thinking how cool and mature she looked with her cat eye black eyeliner and edgy black outfit. We were a contrast, me with my obsession with glitter and color and her dark style, but her natural kindness made it easy to become quick friends. We were in the habit of daily hour-long chats after school when she found out she was going to be a young mother. It has been more than 10 long years since then and my respect and amazement with her grows daily. She is an amazing and strong young mother who provides her children with warmth, love and guidance. Ashley is the strongest woman I know who has overcome many struggles and has not always received the kind of respect and support that she deserves. We, as a culture, need to recognize the strength and perseverance young parents have. I consider Ashley family, love her deeply and hope to one day be half the mother she is. Join the movement and recognize a young parent for contributing so much to our communities.”