Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to dine out with 2 iconic women I grew up adoring – Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin! They held a special Empower Party here in Atlanta where they shared some information about an organization called The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (or GCAPP).
What is GCAPP?
“All children are entitled to a safe and healthy adolescence characterized by hope, respect and opportunity for a productive future.”
The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP) was founded in 1995 by the one and only Jane Fonda with the purpose of addressing the high number of young girls getting pregnant throughout the state of Georgia. I had no idea if this beforehand, but these were some alarming stats I learned in regards to teen pregnancy in Georgia:
- Georgia has the 17th highest teen birth rate in the nation.
- 19.5 percent of all births among teens ages 15-19 years old were repeat births.
- Three in ten girls in the U.S. become pregnant at least once before age 20; that’s over 750,000 teen pregnancies a year.
- Teen pregnancy costs Georgia taxpayers $395 million a year.
- Approximately two-thirds of teen mothers never finish high school and are more likely to end up on public assistance than those who have children later.
- Only 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22.
- Only 2% of teen mothers finish college.
In the past year, with the help of GCAPP, teen birth rates have decreased by 10%!
As a mother of 2 daughters myself, I find it particularly important even now to begin educating my children about healthy relationships – intimate or otherwise. While my mother’s approach to all of this leaned more towards scaring the living death out of me if I got too close to a boy, I can appreciate that GCAPP has tons of resources for teens and parents, which enable young people to make smart decisions and to help make the dreaded sex talk not so scary for parents.
GCAPP’s vision encompasses the idea that Through elements such as teen pregnancy prevention, physical activity & nutrition, healthy relationships, GCAPP is committed to bettering our youth.
2016 Empower Party
The 2016 Empower Party I attended is an annual event and fundraiser held to help bring awareness of G-CAPP and raise the necessary funds to help finance and grow the initiatives of the organization that touches so many lives. Some Platinum and Gold Sponsors of the event include the following:
- Atlanta Charity Clays
- Cox Enterprises
- Legendary Events
- Everywhere Social Media Agency
- Georgia Crown Distributing Co.
- Untitled Entertainment
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin were so incredible inspiring (and hilarious), reminding us of the fact that we’ve all got to step outside of our own bubbles to help our community. In case you ever wondered, the sheer comedy and chemistry between the 2 of them is truly as authentic as it can be!
Some of the speakers included a 17 year old peer educator and first generation Nigerian-American girl. She shared her story of feeling like an outsider at times when facing the disconnect that stems from the difference in cultural values. I immediately thought about my life growing up as a first generation Liberian-American. The conversation with my parents about teen sex and prevention was as simple as, “Don’t You DARE!”
Another touching story came from a teacher about how one of her students who became a teen mom. She shared how the student was so determined to excel, she requested and completed all of her assignments while on maternity leave. Unfortunately, after returning to school, she had to quit permanently after winter break because she could not find childcare. Heartbreaking!
Just some celebrity supporters who were in attendance last night included Julius Erving (Dr. J), Keshia Knight Pulliam, and CeeLo Green.[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
We had a blast participating in a live auction for some incredible prizes. These included the following:
- An experience on the set of Grace and Frankie,
- VIP access and tickets to the AMAs,
- An Ellen DeGeneres and Conan O’Brien VIP package,
- and many more!
Throughout the course of the evening, GCAPP raised over 1 million dollars!
Lastly, Suzanne Malveaux interviewed Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin about their passion behind GCAPP. Also, their hilarious new Netflix series, Grace and Frankie and how its recurring themes of female empowerment, sexuality, and self-discovery tie into the core work of the organization.
PS. If you haven’t seen Grace and Frankie yet, it’s certainly binge-worthy. We even got an exclusive look at some of the hilarious outtakes from Grace and Frankie.
*For more information and resources about The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, visit http://gcapp.org/resources.
I received a ticket to the Empower Party, thanks to the non-profit, GCAPP and Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Kelly Hutchinson says
I bet this was a great event to be part of! I had no idea Georgia ranked so high in teen pregnancy.
It looks like you guys had a great time at the event! I would have felt honored to be there, as well 🙂
Wao tremendous privilege dinner with two such talented women and such excellent artists. I’m glad you are supporting philanthropic causes.
Amber Myers says
The event sounds like it was a lot of fun! And a great cause too.
Crystal Gard says
It looks like you all had a good time at the event
Wow this looks funand Great cause! 🙂
Bre | Maintaining Me says
Looks like a great opportunity! And for such a good cause too!
Liz Mays says
I love Grace and Frankie! It’s so cool that Jane and Lily are teaming up for this important cause. The speakers at the Empower Party must have been great!
Tasheena @Simplytasheena.com says
Sounds like a event. It looks like you really had a great time.
parpar de real says
Such a fun post. Glad you share this with us.
Our Family World says
Such an awesome opportunity and a good cause as well.
Oooo what a great event and for an even better cause! Must of been one great evening!!!
Aww, this is such a worthy cause
I have lost an aunt who got pregnant too young and another had to raise hers all alone
Janalyn Sullivan says
Wow what a great event! I love the photos!
This looked like a great event and for a good cause.
Julie Syl Kalungi says
S sad that ones so young take part in adult sex and so get pregnant. I wast aware Georgia is just as high as UK. Looks like an event that was worth attending. !
i’m am so jealous that you met these two amazing women….such a great cause and very much needed. Thanks for sharing the information.
peace k says
This looks super fun, and amazing a amazing cause. sad for the girl who had to give up education because she could not find child care 🙁
The event sounds amazing and it seems like you go to hang out with amazing people
Jill Conyers says
What a fun event. And a wonderful cause to support.
Elizabeth O. says
I think this is better than scaring the living daylight out of the kids. Doing so will only make them curious about what happens when they go against your wishes. Properly educating them about what can happen and what they can expect is so much better.
Jojo Vito says
It looks like the event was fun. The cause of the organization was really great.
Carol Cassara says
There’s nothing better than an event focused on empowering young girls. I love this! It’s a step towards making this generation realize that they are worth more than they think.
Lisa Rios says
The motive to empower young girls is quiet amazing, And this sounds like a great event and I love that Jane and Lily have teamed up for this important cause which could be so helpful for many.
love how everyone is learning a lot about this topic. Sure this is serious and we need more campaigns or events like this
Amanda Love says
This is exactly what young women need. A group of women that will help empower them and make them aware that they are awesome on their own. I really appreciate this event.
Mommy Peach says
It is nice to know that there are programs like this. Teen Pregnancy is alarmingly rising.