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MOASH’s YAC Collective is a group of five different youth advisory councils, or YACs.

 

A YAC is a group of young people working together to advance adolescent sexual health in MI while building personal and professional knowledge and skills. YACs are youth-driven, with support from adult MOASH staff facilitators and youth co-facilitators. While each YAC has its own focus of work and individual projects, all work in tandem throughout the year to increase statewide impact, build youth relationships and cultures of support among youth and facilitators, optimize collective capacity, and provide a structured and consistent experience for youth development.

Purpose: The goal of the YAC Collective is to improve Sexual and Rreproductive Health and wellness (SRH) among Michigan youth, particularly among youth who experience systemic marginalization or discrimination. This includes promoting traditional health outcomes (reduced STIs, unintended pregnancies, and sexual violence) as well as positive youth development outcomes (increased SRH empowerment and sex positive culture).

YACs meet at least monthly and participate in the following activities throughout the year:

  • Social bonding and community building with other youth

  • Training on sexual health topics and leadership skills

  • Giving feedback (through surveys, focus groups) on youth programs, policies, and resources from other organizations

  • Planning and hosting their own YAC projects, presentations, and events

What's the YAC Collective?

Become a Partner

Interested to partner with our YACs on a project or event?  Fill out the YAC Partnership Request Form below!

Michigan Youth Faith Advisory Council

Michigan Youth Faith Advisory Council

MY (Michigan Youth) Faith is a new interfaith-based YAC seeking to work towards healing and justice in the areas of faith, sexual and reproductive freedom, and LGBTQ+ rights. MY Faith will work with religious institutions, faith-based organizations, queer youth of faith (QYOF), and those who love them across Michigan to address sexual and reproductive health justice in the state. MY Faith provides a space for youth to exist in their queer and/or spiritual identities. Youth ages 16-24 will participate in sexual and reproductive health advocacy work, healing discussions that seek to bridge the historical and current gap between faith groups and the LGBTQ+ community, and other activities related to these issues as decided by the group.

Michigan Youth Sexual Health for Adolescents Rooted in Equity

Michigan Youth Sexual Health for Adolescents Rooted in Equity

MY SHARE (Michigan Youth Sexual Health for Adolescents Rooted in Equity) informs MOASH's SHARE program which includes sexual health and healthy relationship curriculum review by youth who hold the following identities: rural youth, LGBTQIA+ youth, and youth of color.

Michigan Youth Voice

Michigan Youth Voice

MY Voice (Michgian Youth Voice) is the youth advisory council that MOASH coordinates. MY Voice exists to inform the services, programs and materials created for youth by MOASH and other community partners. In addition, MY Voice members are involved in various youth advocacy efforts throughout the year and use their voices of experience to improve services for youth across the state. MY Voice members have the opportunity to be trained on a variety of sexual health topics, undergo leadership development, gain communication skills and work on advocacy efforts. There is no specific criteria for members within MY Voice, but each year we try to prioritize diversity in different ways. Members are typically 16-21 but younger youth can be accepted on a case by case basis.

Michigan Youth Racial Equity Council

Michigan Youth Racial Equity Council

MY REC (Michigan Youth Racial Equity Council) is a youth-led project where people between the ages of 13-24 are paid to receive the education, support, opportunities, and resources necessary to become leaders and advocates addressing important issues related to racial justice, sexual health education and services, and reproductive justice.  Members must identify as a person of color (BIPOC), be between the ages of 13-24, and live within the state of MI.

Michigan Youth Trans Voice

Michigan Youth Trans Voice

MY Trans Voice (MY TV) is a southeast Michigan youth advisory council in collaboration with Stand with Trans that focuses on the unique needs of transgender/non-binary youth. We have representatives (ages 13-21) from several counties (Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, and St. Clair) and school districts across southeast Michigan. The goal of MYTV is to advocate for trans students in Michigan and to improve conditions for trans youth in their communities. As a group, MY Trans Voice engages in professional development opportunities to increase confidence and ability to advocate on behalf of the trans community. MY Trans Voice meets regularly to build community, work on collective goals to help create positive change in the community, and last but not least - have fun!

Eligibility

 Applicants must be between the ages of 13-24 and live in Michigan. Different YACs have different age ranges and eligibility criteria based on grant requirements and scope of work.  We strongly encourage Black youth and youth of color, youth with disabilities, youth in rural areas, youth living with HIV, expectant and parenting youth, and LGBTQIA2S+ youth to apply.  Visit our application info document for helpful details and more info!

Expectations

Want to join? Here's what you should know

of Members

  • Each individual YAC meets monthly based on member availability for one grant cycle (typically one year from October through September). All groups that form the YAC Collective meet quarterly (four times a year) at one large meeting together.  We expect members to be able to attend most of the meetings. While we will have a mix of in-person and virtual meetings next year, all meetings will have a virtual join option for member safety, comfort, and accessibility.

  • Members are expected to consistently communicate both their availability and capacity in a timely manner to ensure effective collaboration

  • Authenticity (show up as your whole self, whatever that looks like)

  • It is also expected that members will complete some additional tasks between meetings, if necessary (like when we run out of time at meetings, have an urgent request for youth feedback or are engaging in a special project) 

  • We expect members to help to create a safe and affirming environment both for themselves, their advisors, and their peers

  • Members should be passionate about youth advocacy work and inclusivity, regardless of previous experience (or the lack thereof)

  • Permission from a parent or guardian is required for those ages 17 and under

of MOASH

  • Fair compensation for your time ($20/hr), expertise, and travel as well as meal support at meetings (in the form of gift cards for online meetings)

  • ​Opportunities for leadership development

  • Training on a variety of sexual and reproductive health and social justice topics

  • Participation in social media campaigns

  • Opportunities to give feedback on sex education curricula and other youth advocacy project

  • Participation in panels and events

  • Other advocacy work relating to youth rights​

Members have a lot of say over what happens throughout the year and we're always open to youth feedback. At all times, youth voice is the priority - feel free to offer ideas about how we can best make YACS work for youth.

MY SHARE Youth Co-Facilitator

Dale K.

(he/him)
Dale (he/him) is passionate about healthcare provider education, with a specific focus on advancing access to exceptional care for LGBTQIA+ youth and decreasing heteronormativity in healthcare.

MY Faith Co-Facilitator

Hannah M.

(they/them)
Hannah (they/them) is a community organizer, creative, and critical thinker. They are the lead editor/ organizer for a local newsletter, Suburban Connections for Collective Liberation, aiming to connect folks in Metro Detroit’s suburbs with values related to social justice, community work, and visionary organizing. Additionally, they are active in their local mutual aid group, the Radical Social Workers community, and played an important role in the development of the first resident advisor union in the state at Wayne State University. Before grad school, Hannah spent time in Zambia with the Peace Corps and supported various programs abroad where they made many friends and learned new ways of being. Now, they are happy to be rooted in the Pontiac area and be building beloving communities with others that are committed to the path towards collective liberation. As a queer person of faith who grew up in a conservative church, they are thrilled to be fulfilling this new position with MOASH as the MY Faith YAC Facilitator. They look forward to all that will come personally and communally by struggling with this important work at the intersections of youth, faith/ spirituality/ religion, queerness, and sexual and reproductive freedom.

MY Faith Co-Facilitator

Kay K.

(they/them)
Kay (they/them) is a student at Alma College studying history and religious studies. Kay is a proud non-binary and queer Christian who is passionate about interfaith work and advocacy work for inclusive sexual health education across Michigan. Kay co-created a project to provide menstrual products in high school and middle school bathrooms in their county and has volunteered at various local organizations to provide food and health resources to low-income and veteran families in the Shiawassee area. Kay has been a member of MOASH since 2022 and is excited to continue working with them!

MY REC Facilitator

Natasha T.

(she/her)
Natasha (she/her) is a writer, youth advocate, and artist-activist. From 2009-2018, she served as co-founder and Executive Director of RAISE IT UP! Youth Arts & Awareness (RIU), an award-winning organization that promoted youth engagement, expression, and empowerment through performance, literary art, and social activism. In 2018, she became a Regional Organizing Director for NextGen America’s NextGen Rising initiative, the youth organizing and voter mobilization and of NextGen America. Her writing has been featured in digital publications and academic journals such as the Hollywood Reporter, The Body is Not an Apology (TBINAA), AlterNet, and Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies. Natasha has performed/presented at various venues, conferences, and festivals including Harry Belafonte’s inaugural Many Rivers to Cross Music and Social Justice Festival in Atlanta, at the African-American Policy Forum’s (AAPF) Breaking the Silence Retreat at Vassar College, and for the #SayHerName Campaign at the African American Women and the Law Conference in Washington, DC. As a poet and speaker, she has had the honor of sharing the stage with artists and activists such as Stevie Wonder, Kimberle’ Crenshaw, bell hooks, Janelle Monae, Barbara Smith, Ryan Coogler, Sonia Sanchez, Jessie Williams, John Legend and more.

MY Trans Voice Co-Facilitator

S'Niyah T.

(she/her)
S'Niyah (she/her) is a co-facilitator of the youth advisory council Michigan Youth Trans Voice (MY TV), a YAC run in collaboration with Stand with Trans. S'Niyah is not your cis sister from Detroit! S'Niyah goes to GVSU where she majors in psychology and is considering minoring in women, gender, and sexuality studies. S'Niyah enjoys talking about and advocating for LGBT rights in America and around the world, traveling, photography, and learning about other cultures. For the last few years, S'Niyah has learned so much more about herself and started living more of her life as who she is as a trans woman. She's also learned a lot about the LGBT+ community and would love to expand her knowledge as well as help educate others which is why she's excited to work with Stand with Trans & MOASH to further LGBT rights and awareness!

MY SHARE Youth Co-Facilitator

TomKola

(he/him)
TomKola is passionate about the advancement of LGBTQIAP+ rights across the world, but especially in Black and Brown communities and countries where criminalization is the norm, like in his home country. These barriers make it harder than usual to exist and access basic human rights and necessities while holding these identities. He is a trans rights and liberation advocate, a founder of a youth and trans-led organization called Trans Nigerian Support, and a facilitator of multiple peer support groups and resource distribution projects that aim to provide community and access to resources where they are otherwise hard to come by.

MY Voice Facilitator

Gray O.

(he/him)
Grayson Old (he/him) is the facilitator for the Michigan Youth Voice Council, a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) run by MOASH. Grayson is a community educator working towards his certification in teaching sexual education. He is currently a student at Eastern Michigan University where he studies Gender and Human Sexuality. He is a queer activist at heart that speaks on trans inclusivity and racial equity in the classroom. On the side, Gray is your local sex shop keeper and will answer all your questions when it comes to toys, relationships, and pleasure.

MY SHARE Co-Facilitator

Jarred D.

(he/him)
Jarred (he/him) is a Black Queer Muslim born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Grand Valley State University in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Jarred is a transplant to Michigan with an interest in poetry, anime, and comics. He is inspired by the works of Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, and Octavia Butler. He has used their teachings to support his work in assisting victims/survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence to find empowerment. His own praxis of healing modalities focuses on using Black feminist thought and Afro-futurism to transform racialized and gendered harm into liberation and self-determination. Jarred also holds the title of Sarah Hegazy Fellow through Queer Crescent bringing together his faith background to intersect in all the work he is devoted to.

MY SHARE Co-Facilitator

Kristen H.

(they/them)
Kristen (they/them) works with the Sexual Health for Adolescents Rooted in Equity (SHARE) program. Kristen graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Women’s & Gender Studies from the University of Toledo in 2017 and has been working within reproductive healthcare and advocacy since then. Their most cherished experiences in this work include: coordinating a multi-county clinic escort program, helping over 1,800 people access abortion care after June of 2022, and guiding youth to advocate for their bodily autonomy and live authentically. Kristen's facilitation approach is rooted in radical honesty & community building. Both in work and at home they strive to destigmatize conversations and services involving sexual health and reproductive healthcare services. On any given day you can find Kristen daydreaming in Ypsilanti, MI where they reside with their wife, cat, and bearded dragon.

MY REC Co-Facilitator

Nupur H.

(she/her)
Nupur Huria (she/her) is a pre-medical junior at Michigan State University double majoring in Human Biology and Psychology. She passionately advocates for and leads several initiatives toward achieving gender-based health equity at and beyond Michigan State University. Through her work, she aims to raise awareness for and normalize discussion around stigmatized topics, disseminate important information, and empower others to prioritize their health and wellbeing.

MY Voice Co-Facilitator

Sampoorna R.

(she/her)
Sampoorna (she/her) works with the youth advisory council, MY Voice, as a co-facilitator. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience. Sampoorna has a strong background in research and has previously been a student research assistant within the Psychology and Political Science departments at the University of Michigan. She is also a strong advocate for sexual health education, sexual violence prevention, and marginalized communities. During undergrad, she worked with U of M’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) as the first Peer Led Support Group facilitator for survivors of color. In addition, she was an active volunteer with the SAPAC Bystander Intervention and Community Engagement cohort, where she led the Diversity and Outreach team. In addition, Sampoorna has worked as a Legal Assistant at a Social Security firm in Ann Arbor and enjoys advocating within her local community. Sampoorna has been working with MOASH in different capacities since 2019 and is always excited to continue advancing advocacy with this team.

MY Trans Voice Co-Facilitator

Vic G.

(he/they)
Vic (he/they) is a co-facilitator of the youth advisory council Michigan Youth Trans Voice (MY TV), a YAC run in collaboration with Stand with Trans. Vic is currently a student at the University of Michigan Flint working toward a degree in Social Work. He is a queer trans autistic man and is very open about his life. He is very passionate about educating and advocating for others. He enjoys learning about the intersectionality of identities and how those overlaps affect someone’s life story.

YAC Facilitators & Co-Facilitators
 

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