Character, not condoms

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Character, not Condoms E-Newsletter, March, 2007

Report on Abstinence Awareness Week in Washington, DC


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Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. addresses
the audience at the Youth Forum
STAR Guide Ashley Walker receives an Outstanding Service Award from co-founder Richard Urban


Moderator Jonetta Rose Barras responds to remarks by Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. Click for Larger Picture


STAR Guide interns (from left) Ashley Walker, Jasmine Jackson, Simi Akinwande, and Aderonke Adebayo Dada display their Outstanding Service Awards while posing with co-founder Richard Urban.
Click for Larger Picture


Thaddeus, Councilmember Kwame Brown, Ke'aira, and Mary during City Council Awareness Day
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          Abstinence Awareness week was successfully celebrated from March 10 to March 17. Things got off to a good start when Mayor Adrian Fenty proclaimed March 10 to March 16 "Abstinence Awareness Week " in Washington, DC. The week kicked off with a Youth Forum at the Thurgood Marshall Center. Seventy Five people attended the program. Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. spoke strongly in support of making abstinence the first choice for our youth. He also spoke about how being sexually abstinent helps youth in their overall development as a person. A panel of eight youth spoke on "Is sexual abstinence better for unmarried persons", and "Why abstinence matters". The moderator was radio host, author and political commentator Jonetta Rose Barras. She asked 'if the youth are speaking out in favor of abstinence", why don't the adults get it?' Audience members, including Carl Howard from the School of Social Work at Howard University commended the youth on their stand for abstinence. Six partner and community organizations and individuals displayed information or sold their products in the display area. Thank you to Platinum Catering and Jehovah Jireh Community Development center for providing refreshments.
        The Guard Your Diamond, Guard Your Future Program on Sunday, March 11 was run entirely by STAR Guide interns from Howard and other local colleges and universities. Ashley Walker did a great job as Emcee for the service. Nova, from Atlanta Georgia rocked the house with gospel rap, including his new song about waiting to have sex, titled "Slow it down". A reading given by Jasmine Jackson on abstinence brought out the message that keeping sexually pure until marriage prepares youth well for their future relationship with their spouse. Thanks to Mrs. Cynthia Glymph for taking care of the delicious refreshments, including baked goods donated by Dunkin Donuts and Firehook Bakery.
    The Power of Purity Assembly at Stuart-Hobson Middle School has been postponed to Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. See below for more on controversy that has occurred about the ULTRA Teen Choice program.
    City Council Awareness Day was Friday, March 16. High school and middles school ULTRA Teen Choice Service Club members joined co-founders Richard & Stacey Urban for visits to the offices of all City Council members. The youth explained their reasons for participating in the ULTRA Teen Choice program, and they explained to the Councilmembers why they believe it should be funded. Several Councilmembers agreed that there is a need for programs like ULTRA Teen Choice that support youth in staying sexually abstinent. If you agree with that message, then call or email you City Council member and let them know that you want to see comparable funding for programs that support abstinence until marriage as for other types of prevention programs. You can find a list of the names, Ward, email and phone numbers of our City Council members, as well as that of Mayor Adrian Fenty at http://ultrateenchoice.org/pages/city_council_list.html.

Eighteen Washington, DC middle and high school students entered the Abstinence Awareness week Essay Contest on the topic “Is sexual abstinence better for unmarried persons”. Prizes were awarded to the 6th to 8th grade and 9th to 12th grade divisions in the amount of $100, $50, and $25 prizes for each division. To read the winning essays, please click here.

The Concerned Black Men Abstinence Leadership project celebrated Abstinence Awareness Week by sponsoring the Youth Forum and by holding an Abstinence Dance and and X-Treme Bowling family event.

ULTRA Teen Choice thanks the following sponsors and contributors toward Abstinence Awareness Week 2007:

Capitol Hill Kiwanis Club, Christian Love Baptist Church, Concerned Black Men, Flame Financial, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Darold White, AMERIGROUP, DC Healthy Marriage & Relationships Coalition / Together is Better, East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership, East Capitol Center for Change, Abundantly Living Services, ALS-Singles Wholeness & Marriage Savers, Avon Products, Inc., Jehovah Jireh Community Development Center, Frank Maketa, Otmar Weinmann, Dunkin Donuts, Firehook Bakery, and Platinum Catering.


Tierra (L) and Stephanie, School Without Walls High School ULTRA Teen Choice Service Club co-presidents
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  A new ULTRA Teen Choice Service Club kicked off on March 15 at School Without Walls High School. Tierra and Stephanie, co-presidents made their own PowerPoint presentation and gave it to a school-wide girls assembly on March 8 (guys can join the club, too!). Hats off to Tierra and Stephanie, and to Mr. and Mrs. Glymph for a job well done!

Mrs. Virginia Hayes Williams speaks at the Reality Check Free Fundraising Breakfast. Click for larger picture
Mark your calendar for the Third Annual Reality Check Free Fundraising Breakfast, to be held on Wednesday, May 23rd from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Imani Temple Undercroft, 609 Maryland Ave. NE (Maryland Ave. and 6th St. NE). Please reply to this email (rurban@ultrateenchoice.org) or call 202-544-5081 if you would like to help with this event or attend this event.



Stuart-Hobson Middle School 8th grade Club members practice for a peer counseling session
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   Controversy over directive abstinence education has occurred at Stuart-Hobson Middle School. A small group of parents is attempting to block the implementation of the ULTRA Teen Choice program, which resulted in the last minute postponement of the Power of Purity Assembly scheduled for March 15. These parents have not thus far stated their reason for opposing the program at Stuart-Hobson. Rather, they have resorted to an email campaign to a small group of parents and to DCPS administrators that expresses displeasure with the ULTRA Teen Choice program. One email complained about the writings of Richard Urban, ULTRA Teen Choice's co-founder (click here and here to read these commentaries), claiming that he is "intolerant of homosexuality", and also made a personal attack on Mr. Urban by attacking his religious affiliation and community ministry. If you believe that politics and personal agendas should not get in the way of valuable education plus peer and adult support for our children, please reply to this email to find out how you can help and show your support or call Richard at 202-544-5081.
   View the Reality Check Video: The video is superb!  I am really touched and inspired by the work you are committed to. I wish such a program existed when I was at Kramer. The mission and purpose is nothing but positive. The best things in our world sometimes seem to get the least support.  But I know that this program will expand and reach those who make it happen as well as those whom you service. Montrella Cowan: Catholic University Student and Kramer Middle School alumni.
Watch the Reality Check video by
clicking here.


Mary, Ke'aira, & Thaddeus at the Wilson Building
Click for larger picture

Help ULTRA Teen Choice reach its goal of helping more Washington DC youth to be successful by abstaining from sex before marriage.  Sponsor a deserving DC youth for only $32 per month.  Click here to sponsor a child now, or just reply to this email and include your name, address, telephone and preference for email contact or mail contact and we will send you a sponsor form.


View all of the photos in the Photo Gallery here.

Dijon & Mabachur display their Abstinence Awareness poster. For more pictures like this, click here.