THE OUTSPOKEN TEAM
Drawing on our diverse professional and cultural experiences (we’re from America and Denmark) and our understanding as parents (our children are teenagers and young adults), we’ve set out to give parents the guidance and resources to communicate openly and positively with their children
Introducing Outspoken Sex Ed’s driving forces...
Leah, who grew up in 1960s San Francisco and went to Barnard College/Columbia University in New York, is a writer and editor. After 19 years at the Guardian as deputy chief sub-editor of the Observer Magazine, she took voluntary redundancy to go down the route of relationships and sex education (RSE).
A trained focus-group facilitator, she was Working Group Lead on RSE for the Women’s Equality Party from 2017-19 and sits on both the International Advisory Board of Media Matters For Women and the Education Panel of Our Streets Now. For the book she co-edited – Supporting New Digital Natives: Children’s Mental Health And Wellbeing In A Hi-Tech Age (published by Policy Press in October 2021) – Leah wrote a chapter on Outspoken Sex Ed. She also co-authored the card game Sex Ed on the Cards.
Leah brings her writing skills and research expertise to bear on her passion for both empowering girls/women and addressing issues around masculinity. She is driven by an interest in hearing people question things and open up, and particularly focuses on the impact of porn on kids and the interrelationship of pleasure and consent.
Married to the Englishman she met while she was working in film journalism in Paris, Leah has a teenage daughter and young-adult son.
Leah swims through the winter at the Ladies’ Pond on London’s Hampstead Heath
Originally from Denmark, Yoan is a relationships and sex education (RSE) facilitator, educator and consultant who has worked with children, parents and schools in the UK and internationally for over 12 years. As a qualified health professional and the founder of Teaching Lifeskills, she has a wide range of experience in educating and promoting sexual, reproductive and health rights.
The Deputy Chair of Trustees of the Sex Education Forum, Yoan is affiliated with international practice in comprehensive sex education (CSE) and strives to improve and develop RSE through sharing of best practice from different contexts.
Yoan has a masters in International Child Studies at King’s College London, where she received a distinction for her 2017 dissertation on parental engagement. In 2021 she appeared on BBC Radio 4 and was quoted in the Guardian piece Viva La Vulva. See her in action in our Consent & Pleasure video.
The mother of three young-adult sons, Yoan brings to her professional overview an ease with approaching sex-ed subjects with families, professionals and wider audiences. She is passionate about shifting the barriers to effective and comprehensive RSE for all and about helping parents become their children’s most important RSE educators.
Yoan loves the colour yellow – it reflects her fundamental optimism
Social media manager
Karen is a writer, mentor and wellbeing specialist who focuses on women’s mental and emotional wellness and blogs at 365 Pearls of Wisdom. Having started her career as a healthcare assistant at an NHS sexual health clinic, she has worked alongside parents and young people for over 15 years with mental health, domestic abuse and wellbeing issues.
Karen is excited to continue supporting parents and young people through social media and content creation work with Outspoken, bringing her experience and knowledge of parenting and health and social care into the online world.
She is mum to 3 spirited kids and likes to spend her free time being creative, reading a good book and working out