Panel to Feature National Leader on Teen Pregnancy

Sindy DURHAM, NC – The highly publicized story of Bristol Palin, the teen daughter of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, focused new attention on the national issue of teenage pregnancy. Meanwhile, government statistics released this month show U.S. teen pregnancy rates rose in 2007 for the second year in a row.

On April 8, 2009 from 6 to 8 p.m., a panel will discuss both public policy approaches and the reality of teen motherhood at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, will give opening remarks. Brown’s nonprofit organization works to promote values, behavior and policies that reduce both teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among young adults.

The panel, in Rubenstein Hall, room 153, coincides with the photography exhibit, “Raising Them Right: Young Motherhood in Chelsea, Massachusetts.” The discussion will be followed by a reception and tour of the exhibit, also in Rubenstein Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Panelists also include Susan Cupito, director of the YWCA Greensboro’s teen parenting program; Carolyn Halpern, a professor of Maternal and Child Health at UNC, Chapel Hill; and Fantasia Johnson, a former teen mother who is now a Durham county social worker. Amanda van Scoyoc, the exhibit photographer, will moderate the panel.

Van Scoyoc’s exhibit includes photos and text created in collaboration with young mothers in Chelsea, Mass., documenting their experiences of pregnancy and motherhood. Van Scoyoc worked with the nonprofit Roca as a Lewis Hine Fellow with Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.  Each year, Lewis Hine Fellows work with local organizations to document humanitarian issues over the course of 10 months.

“Raising Them Right” is supported by the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program at CDS and the Sanford Institute. It can be viewed 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays-Fridays through mid August. The Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program receives support from the Philanthropic Initiative and the Jessica Jennifer Cohen Foundation.

The panel is sponsored by Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) and the Sanford Institute. APPCNC seeks to eliminate teen pregnancy and support North Carolina communities through advocacy, collaboration and education.

For information, please contact Karen Kemp (Sanford Institute), (919) 613-7394 or Lynn McKnight (CDS) (919) 660-3654.

Photo by Amanda van Scoyoc