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November 1, 2001

Julia Butterfly Hill, Eve Ensler, And Rebecca Walker To Address 1200 Teen Girls At Second Annual Young Women's Health Conference

State Senator Jackie Speier and the UCSF National Center of Excellence in
Women's Health are co-sponsoring the second annual Young Women's Health
Conference on November 14 in San Francisco. The event will be held in San
Francisco at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium from 8 am to 3:30 pm.

Some 1200 teens from San Francisco and San Mateo counties are expected to attend. For the past eight months a steering committee of young Bay Area women has been active in planning the conference, choosing the theme "Rejoice, Unite, Nurture, Fight" to characterize some of their goals for the daylong event.

Environmentalist and guest speaker Julia Butterfly Hill is known for her
two-year long act of civil disobedience in defense of old growth redwood
forests. Guest speaker Eve Ensler is an award-winning playwright, poet,
activist, and screenwriter known for her play and best-selling book The Vagina
Monologues. Writer and keynote speaker Rebecca Walker founded Third Wave Direct Action Corporation, a national non-profit organization devoted to cultivating young women's leadership and activism.

Renne Nerenberg, a senior at School of the Arts and a member of the Youth
Steering Committee, explained the conference theme this way: "Rejoice: because as women we're strong, intelligent and alive. Unite: because there's strength in our numbers. When we embrace common goals we're powerful! Nurture: because when even one person is oppressed, none of us is truly liberated. Fight: because we're victims only as long as we are passive."

"My goal in organizing this health conference is to engage young women in
learning everything they need to know about their personal, physical, emotional
and mental health care needs," said Speier. "We're going to give them the
critical tools necessary so they know how to protect themselves. Armed with the power of new information, these young women will be able to strive and thrive in today's unsettled environment and be better equipped to conquer the world."

"We advocate for excellence in women's health throughout their lifespans," said
Nancy Milliken, MD. "This conference - an entire day dedicated solely to
learning about young women's health - is very rare. It can be a powerful
experience in helping young women take charge of their lives." Milliken is
director of the National Center of Excellence in Women's Health at UCSF. The multi-disciplinary Center promotes women's health through a range of programs that include comprehensive clinical care, leadership development for women and girls, and community outreach.

Issues facing young women in California include a high teen pregnancy and birth rate and the threat of dating violence. Workshops at the conference that
address those and other issues will be adult-free (with the exception of the
presenters) to encourage an open environment for young women to participate
fully.

The presenters and their workshops include

-- "Sex in the City:" What You Need to Know, presented by the California
Abortion Rights Action League

-- Shaking it Up at City Hall, presented by the San Francisco Youth Commission

-- Is Love Blind? Confronting Violence in Dating Relationships, presented by
the Riley Center.

Organizations including the Youth Credit Union, Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC), and the Youth Leadership Institute will also
participate. The exhibit hall will be filled with representatives from health
organizations, crisis prevention organizations, trade schools, community
colleges, universities and many other local non-profit organizations. They will
offer internship, mentoring and art and sports program opportunities, and will
provide information aimed at helping young women to take charge of their health
and to get involved in their community.

NOTE TO MEDIA: A press conference will be held on site the morning of the
event.

For advance interviews or suggestions for other visual opportunities at
the conference, call Eve Harris, UCSF News Services, (415) 885-7277; (415) 719-5908 pager.


 

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