Kayley Harrington

Kayley Harrington is the State Policy Manager at Advocates for Youth and formerly the coordinator of Advocates' International Youth Leadership Council. Kayley is part of the media task force of the Toronto Youth Force.

The Evolution of the YouthForce

By: Naina Dhingra, Co-chair Barcelona YouthForce; Kayley Harrington, Co-organizer Bangkok YouthForce; and Beth Pellettieri, Advocacy Taskforce Co-chair and Coordinating Committee Toronto YouthForce.

Rewind four years ago to the Barcelona AIDS Conference in 2002. Fewer than 300 young people shocked the AIDS community by demanding that they start paying attention to youth through a coalition called the Barcelona YouthForce. The Barcelona YouthForce was inspired by Kent Klindera, the former Director of International Programs at Advocates for Youth. After years of attending International AIDS Conferences, Kent was disgusted that there was still no mention of youth. Kent reached out to friends at Family Health International and a partnership was born. The goal of the Barcelona YouthForce was simply youth visibility. Young people, despite being 50% of new infections, were invisible at the largest and most important meeting of the AIDS community. The 150 members of the Barcelona YouthForce armed with stickers, t-shirts, and a passion to be heard, demanded that conference attendees start paying attention to young people.