From the grand ballroom in the Atlanta Aquarium you see the tank where the white Beluga whales are swimming.
After the dinner, I spoke about what I learned as Goodwill Ambassador to the UN Population Fund at the UN 1994 conference on Population & Development in Cairo, Egypt and how that lead to forming G-CAPP. It was there, in Cairo, that I learned that if we want to end world poverty, stabilize population growth and create sustainable development we must empower women and girls through education, micro loans, job training and knowledge of their rights. Ted works on this globally through his U.N. Foundation and G-CAPP works on it locally (well, statewide in GA).
I then brought Ted out and Vikki Morrow, G-CAPP’s President, presented him with the Big Thinker Award.
Then, Ted and I engaged in a dialogue about our work. Pat Mitchell, as always, knew how to keep the conversation moving and interesting.
I announced the news that beginning in January, G-CAPP is expanding our work from a singular focus on teen pregnancy prevention to a broader, more holistic approach. This is an approach urged by UNICEF, Office of Adolescent Health and other public health experts and advocates here & around the world. Adolescence is the gateway to adulthood and a critical stage of development in which more attention and resources need to be invested. There are 1.2 billion adolescents in the world and, while there has been significant progress for children—lower infant mortality, vaccinations, etc, not enough is known about adolescents–their situations, their habits, their dreams. How they come through this stage of life has a huge bearing on how they do as adults.
As a result, G-CAPP has decided to broaden our focus beyond reproductive health to include physical health & nutrition (Georgia has the 3rd highest rates of teen obesity in the nation). and healthy relationships.
Not wanting to lose our well known acronym with this expanded focus, G-CAPP has been renamed The Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential. This seems fitting because the work we do does expand their power and potential as you can see on the screen above our seats.
Altogether, it was a wonderful and very successful evening.