Youth-led advocacy day is nationally coordinated by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
“Tobacco companies make smoking look cool in their ads, but that’s nothing but a lie,” said Asia Allen, 15. “I was sad to learn about how many African American people die because of tobacco, so I’m looking forward to being able to do something about it.”
As part of the Kick Butts Day celebration, the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network (www.waatpn.org) and the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance has teamed up with local teens from the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club to literally “air out the tobacco industry’s dirty laundry” outside the Club, 3000 N. Sherman Blvd, March 21stfrom 4:00-6:00 p.m. To air out tobacco’s dirty laundry, the youth will visually express their feelings about tobacco on 123 t-shirts that they will hang on clotheslines during rush hour for drivers and bystanders to see.
Each year, 45,000 African Americans die from a tobacco related illness, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids. Sadly, this amounts to 123 African American deaths per day. Each t-shirt hung on the clothesline will represent a life and help residents visualize the magnitude of this statistic.
“Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death,” emphasized Michael Campbell, project manager, Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network (WAATPN). “Getting youth involved in tobacco related advocacy is not only a great way to help educate youth and the community, but it is also a great way to prevent future generations from addiction and preventable death.”
“Our youths are ecstatic about this day and they’ve been diligently preparing for it,” said Gregory Ware, manager of the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club. “The partnership with WAATPN, the event and this critical cause all fit our mission of inspiring and empowering all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
For more information about the Kick Butts Day event at Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club, contact Michael Campbell at [email protected] For information on the national initiative, visit the Kick Butts Day website at kickbuttsday.org.
More about Tobacco Free Kids:
The Washington, DC-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is one of the largest non-governmental education and advocacy initiatives ever undertaken to decrease youth tobacco use in the United States. Tobacco-Free Kids strives to build a healthier future for our children by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.
More about Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club:
Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2012. Known as the oldest and largest youth-serving agency in Milwaukee, the Clubs offers high quality after-school and summer programming for children ages 5-18, focusing on those who have major life obstacles, most often poverty. The Clubs operates 40 sites, which include six primary locations, 32 school sites, Camp Whitcomb/Mason in Hartland and an extension site at St. Charles Youth and Family Services in Milwaukee. Membership to the Clubs is only $5 per year, per child, but no one is ever turned away based on inability to pay. For all the latest Club news, visit www.boysgirlsclubs.org, www.facebook.com/bgcmilwaukee or Twitter @bgcmilwaukee.
More about City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance
The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance is a coalition of local advocates working together for a healthier, safer, tobacco-free Milwaukee.