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Meet Carmen Gray: Advocate for Gender Equality and Reproductive Rights

Carmen Gray
By , 17, Staff Writer Originally Published: June 19, 2015 Revised: September 14, 2015

Twenty-year-old Carmen Gray is a college student at Georgia Southern University and member of Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equality (URGE). URGE supports young leaders in organizing, networking and exchanging ideas to build a youth-centered, pro-choice agenda and mobilize communities for reproductive justice. Carmen developed a passion for advocating for gender equality after noticing double standards for guys and girls when she was little.

I’d also make [sex ed curriculum] more body positive and less about scaring kids away from sex.”

Today her local chapter of URGE promotes sexuality education, reproductive choice and gender equality during campaigns, like Bro-Choice Week. Carmen explains, “During this week, URGE—then Choice USA—tabled on campus and had pledges that were about supporting comprehensive sex education and pro-choice legislation. URGE targeted men for this campaign because issues about reproduction often center around women, especially the topic of abortion, so URGE wanted to break down that barrier and make men feel included in the conversation because these issues affect them as well. The members of URGE asked each person who stopped by their table to make a pledge to work to become part of the solution and work together for the rights and betterment of everyone. This way, men could stop feeling alienated by the pro-choice movement and learn that there was a place for them in the movement too. By doing this, URGE created a more inclusive environment that promoted gender equality and supported comprehensive sexuality education.”

Carmen’s work with URGE and her advocacy for gender equality and reproductive rights for young people made us want to learn more about her and her passion for reproductive equality.


“Under the umbrella of URGE, the issue I’m most passionate about is proper sex education in schools. It’s mind-blowing how many young people don’t know enough about their bodies and the services available to them to make informed decisions about their sexual health. However, I am also extremely passionate about the advancement of black people in America because the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s didn’t solve all of the problems that black people face in America, and there is still more work to be done.”


“My mother inspires me. She is one of the most beautiful, supportive, loving and sensitive souls I know. Without her influence and example in my life, I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far in school. She really and truly is my rock.”

Makes Her Really Happy

“One thing that has made me really happy was being accepted to study abroad in Morocco this summer. I’m excited to be immersed in a different language and culture.”

Ridiculous Myth

“The silliest thing that I heard when I was younger and actually still hear today is that people can tell when a girl starts having sex because her hips spread out wider. I don’t know why people think this because women’s hips only change during puberty and pregnancy.”

Remove It From the Dictionary

“I don’t think I would remove a word from the dictionary. I rather enjoy learning new words.”

Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr?

“All three. They have their different purposes. Twitter is cool because you can find out what’s happening right now. Also, the users are hilarious. Facebook is cool because I can keep in touch with family and give them little updates on my life. Tumblr is just everything you could ever want in a social media site. There are short, to-the-point posts, funny ones, informative and more developed things about what’s happening in the world. There’s also art and music. I love Tumblr because it’s everything in one place.”

Show Her the Money

“I’d have people create a more inclusive sex ed curriculum that wasn’t so heteronormative and that did not teach abstinence as the only protection against sexually transmitted infections. I’d also make it more body positive and less about scaring kids away from sex.”

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