North Minneapolis students give lessons on sex

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Instead of discouraging any mention of sex, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) have filled the halls with sexual awareness. MPS joined with Girls in Action, UCare, Freemont Clinics, and Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) to produce a documentary about sex. “Sexy without Sex” is a short documentary that provides information; not scare tactics.

The documentary airs Sunday, February 10 at 7 p.m. on TPT Channel 17 (for Minneapolis Comcast subscribers it’s on Channel 13). North Community High School students got a special viewing of the film on Friday, February 8. In addition to students, the initial viewing was attended by community members and parents. Already there is talk by community members of showing the film at other schools in the Twin Cities area.

Present at this event was founder of Girls in Action, Dr. Verna Price. Price thought the students responded extremely well and understood the initial reaction to the awkward subject of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and AIDS. “They were so funny; giggly,” Price said and related that a lot of students lack basic information about sex. The film is a serious look at STD’s in the 55411 and 55412 zip codes in Minneapolis. This encompasses North Minneapolis and a large number of African American youth.

The star players in this project are the inspiring girls taking part in the Girls in Action program. Lucy Swift of Twin Cities Public Television talks about the girls’ involvement in the film process. “Part of the objective of the production was not only to address the topic at hand, but also to give the girls a behind the scenes view into…the production process,” Swift explained. Led by Emmy award winning producer, Hlee Lee, the girls oversaw the entire production process.

The girls were involved in creating an innovative approach to the issues, formulating questions for interviews, organizing group discussion, and participating in the actual taping. “It was a wonderful learning experience. I think that [the girls] were wonderfully civically engaged, empowered and brought that spirit to their work with us,” Swift related.

“I was very proud,” Price said, “It was great. The girls did a good job.” Price started the group Girls in Action a couple years ago, and now it is in 4 area schools, as well as making strides nationally. “It just took off very big,” Price enthused.

Find out just who these talented young women are and what they have to say about sex; watch “Sexy without Sex” this Sunday night. There will also be a rebroadcast of the program on Saturday, March 29 at 9 p.m.

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