SIECUS announces new leadership of Board of Directors
For Immediate Release
Oct 1, 2020
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) — SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change is excited to announce that, as of October 1, 2020, Dr. Sofia Jawed-Wessel will serve as Chair of the SIECUS Board of Directors and Andrew Aleman, MSW will serve as Vice Chair.
“Sofia and Andrew bring an incredible energy to the board, to SIECUS, and to the field at large. They ask hard questions. They push themselves and fellow board members to think deeper. They have a clear vision for the role that SIECUS must play as we work to create the inclusive world we all deserve to live in. And they constantly provide new and innovative ideas that allow SIECUS to reach greater heights–even as we find ourselves in an incredibly challenging moment in history. They have already contributed so much to SIECUS’ leadership; I am thrilled to see what else they accomplish during their tenure as our Chair and Vice Chair,” said Kristine A. Kippins, J.D., SIECUS’ immediate past chair. Kippins remains on the SIECUS Board of Directors as Secretary.
Dr. Sofia Jawed-Wessel is an Associate Professor in the School of Health and Kinesiology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and serves as the Co-Director of the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative. In 2017, Sofia was a Women’s Center for Advancement Tribute to Women Honoree and received a Ten Outstanding Young Omahans award in 2018. Andrew Aleman, MSW, serves as the Director of Programs at Black & Pink and is an adjunct instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In 2019, Andrew was also named one of Ten Outstanding Young Omahans and received the Young Black & Influential Omaha award.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve and guide an organization that is working to create systemic change through policy and advocacy efforts,” Dr. Jawed-Wessel said. “And I am thrilled to be doing this work alongside my friend and colleague, Andrew Aleman, our President & CEO, Christine and her team, and our 15 board members from across the country. We are a diverse, collective force and we are here to make sure young people in the U.S. have the access to quality, affirming sex education that they deserve.”
“As a Black Queer person from the Midwest, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead SIECUS alongside Dr. Jawed-Wessel and Christine Soyong Harley,” Aleman said. “Now, more than ever, we must lean on the values and teachings of sex education as we challenge oppressive institutions and center the lives and lived experiences of Indigenous and Black individuals.”
“We are grateful for the amazing leadership and dedication that Kristine A. Kippins exhibited during her tenure as Board Chair,” said Christine Soyong Harley, SIECUS President & CEO. “I am personally thankful to have worked with her to advance our vision of ‘sex ed for social change’ at SIECUS. Moving forward, SIECUS’ board and staff are incredibly excited for the fresh perspective that Sofia and Andrew bring as our new Chair and Vice Chair. Their leadership will be critical as we navigate this turning point for SIECUS, for the field of sex education, and for our country. I am beyond thrilled to be able to work closely with two passionate, committed, and thoughtful individuals who will help SIECUS grow toward a better tomorrow.”
SIECUS also welcomed four new members onto its Board of Directors: Dr. Kimberly Chestnut, Maisaloon Dias, Reverend Naomi Washington-Leapheart, and Ian Wright. For a complete list of members, please visit https://siecus.org/about-siecus/staff-and-board.
SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education for 55 years, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.