Melissa-Anne Cunningham Sereque (MAC) has a multi-faceted understanding of the importance of sexual and reproductive health issues in South Carolina. Born and raised in Spartanburg, she feels she received inadequate sex ed in her PE class in the 7th grade. Her mom, along with others, called the school to complain about some things said in the class. MAC saw devastating consequences of these sex ed courses in her friends, many of whom were distraught about “losing their virginity,” a concept that has no scientific support and does not carry real meaning outside of societal norms.
“I see the impact of, not just sex ed, but the bigger picture of how much that affects your health, your lifelong income, your living status, your situation.”
MAC’s life was changed by birth control. When she was 17, she was diagnosed with a blood disorder that threatened her life. The first thing the doctors did before starting treatment was put her on birth control to control her bleeding. MAC says this is one of the reasons she became involved in sexual and reproductive health issues, given that birth control is constantly attacked. Some people use birth control to lead healthy lives.
Being a Tell Them Ambassador is a huge relief for MAC. Before she found her way to Tell Them she was very frustrated with the current order of things. Now, her role as an Ambassador reassures her that there are good people working to change reproductive health policies in South Carolina. One such person is our very own Eme Crawford, Director of Advocacy. MAC admires Eme for her grace and her brains. She laughs and says, “I’m a little bit more of a bull in a china shop, and she’s much more of a Kate Middleton.”
MAC fits in very well with the Tell Them team because she believes in the power of grassroots. Telling stories and putting faces on issues are amazingly effective. She also believes in the power of education. Educating oneself on an issue will make talking about sexual and reproductive health issues less awkward, even for someone who is new to the issues. Maybe MAC isn't Kate Middleton, but her bold voice is helpful encouragement to those who have a desire to speak up.
“I have been so much more comfortable talking effectively to anybody else once I took care of myself, once I educated myself. The more you know, the more comfortable you are.”