Black History Month: Sex Ed Edition

wadleyDr. James Wadley is an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Human Services program at Lincoln University. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships.  He is also the founder and Principal of the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians. His research interests include sexual decision making among young adults, masculinity development and concepts of fatherhood by non-custodial fathers and HIV/AIDS prevention.  He speaks around the country about intimacy enhancement, sexual identity and orientation, anger management and conflict negotiation and contemporary issues arounds sexuality, diversity and race.  In December I had the pleasure of meeting him and listening to his  keynote at the 2016 National Sex Ed Conference entitled  #BlackSexualLivesMatter.



Healing with CAARE has served residents of Durham NC and surrounding counties for over 21 years. In 1995, the late Dr. Sharon Elliot-Bynum and her sister the late Patricia Amaechi sat down after church and expressed their concerns about the effect of HIV/AIDS on Durham’s large at-risk population. Along with their oldest sister Carolyn Hinton, current Executive Director, they founded Healing with CAARE, Inc.  Today CAARE stands for Center for Accessible Affordable Health, Research and Education.  CAARE strives to eliminate barriers and advocate for a part of the Durham Community that is often ignored. The Mission of CAARE is to provide effective prevention an case management services to at-risk persons and families in Durham by referring health and social resources that can alleviate isolation yet foster independence.  Over the summer I had the opportunity to meet Virginia Mitchell the health educator and outreach coordinator for CAARE.  Thank you for providing great resources to the bull city and surrounding areas.



Dr. Patricia Hill Collins is a renowned social theorist who is most commonly known for her research on race, gender, social class and sexuality.  Her first book, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and The Politics of Empowerment has served as the theoretical foundation of several studies within the field. This book won her the Jessie Bernard Award for the American Sociological Association (ASA) for significant scholarship in gender.  Another book, Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender and the New Racism received the ASA’s 2007 distinguished publication award. In this book she argues that people must examine the intersection of race, class and gender and looking at each issue separately leads to missing a large part of the problem.  In 2008, she became the 100th President of the ASA and the first woman elected to this position.  In 2005 she joined the University of Maryland’s department of sociology as a distinguished university professor where she works closely with graduate students on issues regarding race, feminist through and feminist theory.  If you have not read any of her books I would suggest you add them to your reading list now.



Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders was the first person in the state of Arkansas to become board certified in pediatric endocrinology. Her work in pediatrics led her to study the sexual behavior of adolescents and increased her advocacy work.   In 1987 she was appointed as the head of the Arkansas Department of Health. In 1989 the Arkansas legislature mandated a K-12 curriculum that included sex education, substance-abuse prevention and programs to promote self-esteem. She was nominated as Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service by President Clinton on July 1st, 1993. She was the first African American appointed as Surgeon General of the United States. On December 9th, 1994 the White House forced her to resign based on her views on sexuality including campaigning for clinic and expanding sex education.   She has been outspoken in the favor of contraceptive distribution in public schools. She describes herself as a very strong advocate of teaching sex education in schools at a very early age. In 2011 the University of Minnesota Program in Human Sexuality established The Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education, the nation’s first department chair in Sexual Health Education. One of my favorite quotes by her is “condoms will break but I can assure you that vows of abstinence will break more easily than condoms”.



Dr. David Satcher served as the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health and the 16th Surgeon General of the US from 1998-2001.  He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta and received his MD and PhD in Cell Biology from Case Western Reserve university in 1970.  In 2001, he released the Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior. Republicans denounced the report as being to open to homosexuality and condom distribution in schools.  Dr. Satcher believed “the only way we’re going to change approaches to sexual behavior and sexual activity is through school.  In school, and not only at the doctor’s office.” In June 2006, Satcher established the Satcher Leadership Institute (SHLI) in order to continue improving public health policy for all Americans and his commitment to eliminating health disparities for minorities and other disadvantaged groups.


sistersongThe mission of Sister Song is to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights. It was formed in 1996 by 16 organizations of women of color from four mini-communities (Native American, African American, Latina, and Asian American). Sister Song is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Monica Simpson is the Executive Director of sister song. She has organized against human rights violations, the prison industrial complex, racism and intolerances, and emotional violence against African American women and the African American LGBTQ community.  One of its goals is to provide a platform for collaboration on shared policy and advocacy goals for the advancement of reproductive justice. To learn more about Sister Song click here.



Tanya Bass, MS, CHES better known as the Southern Sexologist, has over 20 years of experience in the field of health education, minority health, pregnancy prevention, HIV/STDs, reproductive health an sexual health.  She is an NC Central University (NCCU) alumna and was hired as the first health educator at NCCU from 2005-2009.  She has been a part time instructor at NCCU for over 15 years. She was the co-chair for the 2014 National Sex Ed Conference, the Volunteer Coordinator in 2015 and the Social Media Chair in 2016.  Tanya has served as the a past president for the North Carolina Society for Public Health Education.  She works full time as a facilitator of evidence based and evidence informed curricula. She serves a mentor for several NCCU students and alumni. She is also a member of the editorial board for the American Journal of Sexuality Education.  Tanya is currently  pursing her doctorate in Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University.  In 2016, she led the inaugural NC Sexual Health Conference to provide continuing education, collaboration, and networking opportunities for sexuality educators in NC. This is the first conference in NC that focused on sexual health throughout the lifespan. Please visit her website at



Christian Thrasher, MA has worked to advance the recommendation set forth in the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior. Christian became the Director of the Center of Excellence for Sexual Health from 2006-2013 within the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. He earned his MA in Human Sexuality, Marriage and Family Relations from NYU. He is a certified Sexuality Counselor and Educator.  His particular interests are parent child communication, implementing sexual health programming with diverse partnerships, providing HIV/AIDS and STD prevention for young men, and human psychosocial development.   He implemented the National Consensus Process on Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior which brought together leaders in sexual health from national organizations to develop a model framework leading to the designing of parent education curriculums. In 2016, he won The Golden Brick Award at the National Sex Ed Conference, which honors an outstanding leader in sexuality education.



The Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WoCSHN) was created at the 2009 American Association of Sexuality Educator, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) annual conference. It was born from a collective of women of various ethnic and cultural identities who wanted a space for themselves in a place that wasn’t welcoming or supportive of their presence.  Bianca Laureano,MA, CSE, Mariotta Gary-Smith,MPH,CSE,  and Trina Scott were committed to remaining connected to the women that they met at the conference and created a yahoo listerv. Since then WoCSHN has grown from a small Facebook group to a membership directory. “WOCSHN is a group of women, both domestic and international with a focus on the sexual and reproductive health needs of women of color.  It creates opportunities for the inclusion of women of color in the field of sexuality, sexology and sexual health; challenges the White supremacy these fields were built upon.  They task their colleagues to recognize that women of color exist as thriving experts”.  Head over to to learn more about these amazing women and to find a sexuality educator near you. You may see a couple of familiar faces wink wink.











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