Youth Leadership Council

Healthy and Free Tennessee's Youth Leadership Council explores and combats stigma and shame and how both create barriers to reproductive freedom in abortion access, sex education, HIV decriminalization, pregnancy and birthing options, LGBT identity, and all related reproductive and sexual freedom issues that young people know and experience.

Together we will speak out, build power, and bust stigma!

The council is made up of dedicated young people between the ages of 18-25 who share about and engage in efforts to de-stigmatize reproductive and sexual health issues through organizing, education, and advocacy. 

The goals of Healthy and Free Tennessee’s Youth Leadership Council are to:

  1. Mobilize young people in Tennessee into the Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice movements.
  2. Create a space for young people in Tennessee to discuss reproductive health issues and how these intersect with other oppressions in and with their communities, and especially with other young people.
  3. Provide leadership development to young people, particularly young people of color, trans, working class, immigrant, and disabled young people.
  4. Increase public awareness and support of abortion access, pregnancy and parenting options and healthcare, comprehensive sex education, STI destigmatization, LGBT rights, pregnant worker protections, paid family leave, sex worker rights, immigrant family rights, ending gender-based violence and family policing and surveillance, as well as other reproductive and sexual health issues and how they intersect with and are impacted by capitalism, white supremacy, colonialism, and empire.

2020-2021 Youth Leadership Council Application Open! 

Healthy and Free Tennessee is excited to begin accepting applications for the 2020-2021 council! This year, we are focused on young people between the ages of 18-25 who are committed and have the capacity to organize meaningful projects within their communities around reproductive freedom and intersecting issues. The council term will be from December 2020 until June 2021. YLC members will receive a stipend.

To be considered for the 2020-2021 council, applicants will need to: 

  • Attend monthly trainings and events related to the community organizing, reproductive freedom, Black feminist theory, and abolition (attendance will be required)  
  • Be able to plan (with the entire council) a youth summit that will take place summer 2021
  • Propose and execute a project idea to take place during the 2020-2021 term around reproductive freedom and another issue in and with your community. The project can be an educational webinar, a call to action, a film screening and discussion, a rally or protest, a reading/study group, a speak out, etc. Example topics: reproductive health care in jails and prisons, policy brutality, the criminalization of domestic violence survivors, prison abolition, parenting and welfare reform, family surveillance in the child welfare system, STI criminalization, sex work criminalization, environmental racism and its impact on families, immigrant family separation and reproductive coercion via ICE, etc. 
  • Attend Healthy and Free TN’s Day on the Hill in February (virtually)
  • Draft end-of-year report (one-page summary of experience over the 6 months with photos)


If you're interested in working with the council or presenting a training, or if you have any questions about the application, contact Briana Perry at

[Image Description: A group of diverse, young people smiling at the camera. HFTN's logo in the right corner. The words in white against a purple background read: Apply today to be part of our 2020-2021 Youth Leadership Council!] 

Past Youth Leadership Councils

2018-2019 Cohort
2017-2018 Cohort
2016-2017 Cohort