Dating, the truth about sex and preventing and responding to sexual abuse in a Christian setting will be some of the issues addressed at Our Youth Enlightened About Sex (“O, YES!,”) a Christian conference for middle school and high school students about relationships, sex and health.
The event will be held at the Eastern University Academy Charter School, 3300 Henry Ave., on Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Center for Urban Youth Development at Eastern University.
“The first time we ever had this conference was in 2005,” said director of the Center for Urban Youth Development and director of MA Urban Studies program at Eastern University, Dr. Kimberlee Johnson. “As a minister of Tasker Street Missionary Baptist Church, I observed the problems that teenagers were having as it relates to sex and relationships. It was with my own interaction with the youth, that I noticed we weren’t really addressing these issues.
“That’s really how the conference came about. Our goal through “O, YES!,” has always been to give the youth as well as parents information about sex, relationships and health. We want our youth to be not only be informed, but to also make better decisions.”
The keynote speakers at the conference will be inspirational speaker, coach and author of Rededication: A Story of Sex, Repentance and Restoration, Armond Mosley, executive administrator and youth pastor at Victory Christian Center, and CEO of Wesley Proctor Ministries, Inc. Wesley Proctor, and national youth leader and trainer of youth workers, founder and president of 4th Generation Ministries, director of CHAMPION Youth Ministries Jack Redmond.
Some of the workshops at the conference include Making Good Choices, Authentic Freedom and Sexual Purity, Sexual Intimacy: Becoming One, Keeping Kids Safe in a Broken World, The Real Deal on Sexual Health, Top 10 Relationship Mistakes, True Love Waits, Mom and Dad, You Need to Know, Get Off the Cliff: Emotions on Overload and College; I Know I’m Worth It.
In addition to the workshops, the conference will also have a free HIV testing provided by Esperanza Health Center. Anointed Too of West Chester Dance Works, Kina the Prophetic Poet, Christian rappers RAWC, singer Emily Mitchell, spoken word artist LBoogie and Impulse Acting Ministries will provide the entertainment.
“Just the whole issue of physical and sexual health is something that we need to address and are key issues that we can no longer look the other way on," Johnson said. “In order for the youth to learn, we not only have to teach them about these issues, but we also need to make sure they understand. Embarrassment or lack of information should no longer be an excuse when it come to the health and well-being of our children.”
Johnson also believes that the conference will help the dialogue between parents and their children.
“We ultimately want our youth to make wise decisions,” Johnson said. “Children can’t make wise decisions if they aren’t informed with the best information. The conference will not only give them the tools they need to be informed on various topics, but it will also open up the dialogue among adults and teens.
“Both sides will be able to learn from each other, be inspired, and be able to make Godly decisions. We need to listen to what they [teens] have to say. They need to be motivated and inspired to do the right thing. They can do anything they put their minds to do, but they can’t do it without our love and support. The first step is to inform them about issues that may hinder their future.”
Registration is required for the conference. The cost is $30 per person. To register call, (215) 769-3105 or visit www.eastern.edu/oYES.