Hundreds of singles, virgins and second-chance virgins, and others seeking purity are joining actress Cee Cee Michaela on a Hollywood-meets-Holywood retreat just outside Atlanta.
The GodzGirl/GodzGuyNetwork 2007 Holywood Retreat kicked off Thursday and is sending out the message to teens and adults that "everybody's not doing it ... it's fun to be set apart!"
"Pre-marital sex breaks you down even if you don't know it. It cheapens you," says Michaela who founded the GodzGirl/GodzGuyNetwork and plays Yvonne on UPN's "Girlfriends." "I always say, 'Never be a girlfriend who gives a man wife's privileges.'"
This week's event is the third annual Holywood Retreat and some attendants will either be vowing purity or renewing their pledges at a Purity Ring Ceremony on Saturday to become official Godzgirls and Godzguys.
Before making the commitment, attendants will participate in a trip to Six Flags over Georgia, a Gospel Music Extravaganza, makeovers, a fashion show and a talent showcase. Also featured are "straight talk" panels for teens and parents.
Although a faith-based retreat, the network stresses that it is about relationship and not religion.
Michaela began GodzGirl/GodzGuyNetwork to educate and empower young people with services to help equip them to improve their quality of life.
"Lack of knowledge among teens and the fatherlessness of this nation are at an all-time high! Someone has to make a difference and help to educate and inspire them to dream, live, grow and prosper without pre-marital sex, drugs, and alcohol!" said Michaela in a statement.
The goal of the retreat and non-profit ministry is to establish self-awareness, build self-esteem, promote abstinence, and to provide education and awareness in the areas of teen pregnancy, repeat pregnancy prevention, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS.
"When you're talking about 26 STDs, I want to live. I have a lot to live for," said Michaela in an interview with NPR. "The Bible says to offer up your body as a living sacrifice."
When Michaela first hit Hollywood as an extra and was trying to make it as an actress, she was in a sexual relationship with her boyfriend. After a free clinic gave her a false alarm that she was pregnant, she decided to commit to purity. The actress has remained celibate for seven years and she said it's about "realizing your worth."
"It is not cute to keep laying down with random men, and it is not cute to go out to dinner and afterwards [your date asks] 'Can you give me a little something?'"
Working with youth is Michaela's life, she said. She hosts purity ring parties and is becoming a sought after empowerment speaker on youth and women's issues.
The GodzGirl/GodzGuyNetwork 2007 Holywood Retreat is being held June 14-16 at Destiny World Church in Austell, Ga.