Youth Leadership Council

Healthy and Free Tennessee is proud to partner with Advocates for Youth’s 1 in 3 Campaign to counter attacks on health care and bodily autonomy here in our state and across the country. The jointly sponsored 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 repro freedom issues that youth know and experience.

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

The council is made up of awesome young people between the ages of 18-24 who share about and engage in efforts to de-stigmatize abortion and reproductive/sexual life through story collecting and sharing. 

Youth Leadership Council Members serve a one year term on the council and are a key part of HFTN's ongoing organizing, advocacy and culture change work across the state. Council members meet at least once monthly and will collaborate to plan and host creative educational stigma busting events and resources in their communities including opportunities for people to speak out and share abortion and repro life stories. Council members receive trainings throughout the year provided by Advocates for Youth and Healthy and Free TN.

If you're interested in working with the council or presenting a training please let us know, or if you have any questions or want to help support the youth council in any way please contact Briana Perry at

2019 Youth Summit

The 2018-2019 Youth Leadership Council is hosting a youth summit on reproductive health, rights, and justice for young people ages 15-25 in Nashville on June 8, 2019. The goal of the summit is to share information on an array of topics affecting young people including birth control options, combatting rape culture, and healthy relationships. Registration is free and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Register for the summit HERE


Breakfast: 9:15-9:45 AM

Welcome/Opening Remarks: 9:45-10:00 AM

Workshop 1: 10:00-10:45 AM
Sexual Education 
Dae Iddings 
Youth Leadership Council 

Workshop 2: 10:45-11:30 AM
Rape Culture on College Campuses/What is Rape Culture
Sarah Jordan Welch, Prevention Educator and Victim Resource Specialist
Project Safe Center, Vanderbilt University

Break: 11:30-11:45 AM

Workshop 3: 11:45 AM-12:30 PM
Reproductive Injustices that Black Girls & Women Face 
Alexis Gordon 
Youth Leadership Council 

Lunch & Discussion with Robin Marty: 12:30-2:00 PM

Break: 2:00-2:15 PM

Workshop 4: 2:15-3:00 PM
Navigating the Healthcare System as a Trans Person 
Jaden Donovan 
Youth Leadership Council 

Workshop 5: 3:00-3:45 PM
Southerners on New Ground (SONG) in Tennessee 
Angela Henderson 
SONG Nashville 

Closing: 3:45-4:15 PM


2018-2019 Youth Leadership Council Cohort Members


Jaden Donovan is a sophomore at Austin Peay State University where he is the Vice President  of the Gender-Sexuality Alliance. He fights for a more trans-inclusive campus. He also volunteers with Planned Parenthood and started a condom distribution program at his university.









Alexis Gordon is a 20-year-old St. Louis Native who has always been interested in social justice. Alexis is currently a Junior at Vanderbilt University pursuing a BA in History. After completing her undergraduate degree, Alexis hopes to go to law school and pursue a career in Civil Rights Law. As a member of the Youth Leadership Council, Alexis hopes to educate people on how race and reproductive justice are intertwined. 




Sami Heller is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently a senior at Vanderbilt University, working towards majors in Women's & Gender Studies and Neuroscience and a minor in Medicine, Health, and Society. In addition to being a member of the Youth Leadership Council, Sami is a peer sex educator, Resident Advisor, and mental health advocate at her university. She is passionate about accessible healthcare, comprehensive sexual education, LGBTQI+ reproductive justice work, plants, and podcasts. She is excited to join Healthy and Free Tennessee's Youth Leadership Council and be a positive force for change!  





Dae Iddings is currently a Sophomore at Austin Peay. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor is Sociology. Dae is the activist chair of the Austin Peay Gender and Sexuality Alliance where she organizes young queer people to take political action. She is passionate about  comprehensive sex ed, reproductive rights, and queer rights.   






Victoria Minor is originally from Nashville, TN but moved to Chattanooga, TN for college. She fell in love with reproductive health, rights, and justice work in high school when she became a trained peer sex educator with the PG-13 Players. She often says that sex education was her first love. She now is a part of Advocates for Youth's Young Women of Color for Reproductive Justice Leadership Council and Healthy and Free Tennessee's Youth Leadership Council. 






Emilia Romero, a Social Work major, was born and raised in Knoxville. She loves sweet tea and believes most problems can be solved with a new pantsuit. Her calling is advocating for social justice, and her true passion is bringing accessible resources to low income urban and rural communities. Emilia is thrilled to be a part of Healthy and Free Tennessee's Youth Leadership Council and making her young voice heard!






Kenzie Wilson recently graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in English and a minor in Women’s Studies. Her ultimate goal is to own a publishing company! She enjoys hiking and anything that can involve her husky, Luna. She is excited to see where the position in the Youth Leadership Council takes her in life! 





Past Youth Leadership Councils:

2017-2018 Cohort
2016-2017 Cohort