About the event: Eight years after California adopted a law requiring that sex education be comprehensive and medically accurate, UCSF's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health conducted a survey to assess how well the law is being implemented in schools. Sarah Combellick of UCSF will present the findings of the survey, detailing both the progress made by schools and the areas where more advocacy is needed. Phyllida Burlingame of the ACLU, which sponsored the legislation and commissioned the survey, will describe the policy and political context for sex education in California and talk about how advocates will use the survey to further advance comprehensive sexuality education in California.
About the Speakers:
Sarah Combellick, MPH is a Research Associate and Project Director at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She has a Masters of Public Health in Health and Social Behavior from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Combellick’s research experience centers on the reproductive health of women and adolescents, with a focus on program evaluation and research that informs public policy. While a graduate student, she coordinated a statewide survey of California adolescents which measured the projected impact of legislation that would require parental involvement in minors’ reproductive health decisions. For the past five years at UCSF, she has coordinated studies as part of the evaluation of California’s Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment (PACT) program. She also coordinated UCSF’s role in a multi-contractor project which documented the landscape of girl/adolescent health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, in their efforts to design a national initiative on girl/adolescent health. Other evaluation projects she has directed included Johnson & Johnson Company’s Bridge to Employment Youth Program and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s www.Bedsider.org website. Currently, she co-directs an evaluation of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City.
Phyllida Burlingame is the reproductive justice policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. A nationally recognized expert on sex education policy, she was instrumental in drafting and securing passage of California’s two landmark sex education laws and is the author of Sex Education in California Public Schools: Are Students Learning What They Need to Know? (ACLU of Northern California, 2003) and Sex, Lies and Politics: Abstinence-Only Curricula in California Public Schools (Applied Research Center, 1997). Other publications include Preventing Unfair Prosecution of Abortion Providers: An Investigation into Political Bias by the Medical Board of California, (ACLU of Northern California, 2000) and Making the Link: Pregnancy Prevention and the New Welfare Era (Center for Law and Social Policy, 1999). In her role at the ACLU, she uses community engagement strategies, as well as legislative and administrative advocacy, to advance reproductive justice for Californians.