Trevor Arnett

Trevor Arnett - 2016 Nominee
Position: Communications Manager
Organization: Columbia University - Columbia Global Centers
An interview with award winning journalist Mae Azango, coordinating research projects, advocacy rap music performances at global conferences, and 50k+ social media following..Trevor is an actively engaged FP leader and leverages his voice for change. – Chaz Arnett, Professor at University of Pittsburgh School of Law (PittLaw)
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

For the last seven years I worked as a youth counselor, communications manager, and a senior research assistant leading survey design, data collection, and program implementation for projects through Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. During that time I have facilitated sexual health education workshops at community centers, assisted in illustrating a comic that guides young people through sexual encounter "what if" scenarios, produced PSA's on the importance of sexually active youth getting tested, led a two-year interactive communications and advocacy project on preventing teen sexual violence, and more. I also filmed Liberian journalist, Mae Azango, on the realities of female genital mutilation and the video went on to be used in multiple intro to public health courses.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

In 2009 I worked on a Johns Hopkins University research project called 'Healthy Minds at Work'. The goal was to asses the stressors and barriers that affect young peoples well-being and then design an intervention. I conducted many interviews with young adults and a reoccurring theme was that having children early stopped girls from continuing their education and prevented boys and girls from being financially stable and maintaining employment. Since then Ive worked to broaden FP awareness.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

To help young people understand that family planning is applicable to the USA and that sexual reproductive health rights issues exist here. During workshops I present examples of cases from the 60's till present day to provide clarity. Examples vary from new age requirements for 'plan b' to a recent bill passed in Oklahoma that would make getting an abortion a felony. These case studies provide a contemporary context for young adults to research, reevaluate assumed liberties, and take action.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

A group that holds power on shaping global thought, but rarely mentioned is social influencers (musicians, entertainers, etc). I plan to lead communications campaigns and create advocacy programs that include the involvement of celebrities (at grassroots level). For them to become knowledgeable advocates, push policy and be active participants to actualize change. Also, inspire and expand comprehension of SRH dialogue through music, then make an album. MUSIC EXAMPLE BELOW

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