Join IWES' PAUSE campaign at two conferences in April!

In the Spring and Summer of 2012, IWES conducted formative research for the Peer Advocates Undoing Stigma through Education (PAUSE) campaign. IWES did an extensive literature review, carried out focus groups and one-on-one interviews, and conducted an online Youth Sexual Health Survey. The findings from this research was combined into a paper, from which abstracts were submitted to conferences.

IWES is proud to announce that PAUSE abstracts were accepted at two conferences! PAUSE will present at the YTH Live: Annual Conference on Youth + Tech + Health (formerly Sex::Tech) in San Francisco, CA, April 7-9. PAUSE will also conduct a poster presentation at the 3rd World Social Marketing Conference in Toronto, Canada, April 21-23. This marks the second time IWES will present at the World Social Marketing Conference on its social marketing work. In 2011, IWES presented at the WSM conference in Dublin, Ireland on the work of the Social marketing Technology Outreach Program (STOP). 

Registration for both conferences is still open, come join us and learn more about the intersections of new media, justice, and health prevention for youth. If you're already attending any of the two conferences and would like to get in contact with the PAUSE team, contact Iman Shervington.


IWES Hosts Root Of It All Mental Health Conference, Sharing Information to Over 200 Attendees!

Attendee signing into the conference

As New Orleans continues to move towards an emotionally resilient community, CHC recognizes that the children of the community play an integral part in sustaining its resiliency. To this end, CHC is dedicated to identifying the unique needs of New Orleans youth and working to enhance existing infrastructure to meet those needs.  


On November 20th, 2012, CHC, Believe in Youth! - NOLA!, and The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University partnered to host a conference entitled "The Root of it All: The State of Mental Health of New Orleans' Youth." The conference presented the community-at-large with mental health data gathered from IWES program participants, and provided a platform for lay community members, community leaders, multi-disciplinary professionals, and policy-makers to come together to address the unique needs of the New Orleans youth population.  


The conference attracted over 200 guests and began with a harmonious rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by the Eleanor McMain Magnet Secondary School Choir.


Attendees were treated to passionate talks from speakers such as featured keynote speaker and world-renowned social psychiatrist, Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove.  

Dr. Fullilove speaking about how to recover from natural disaster  


In addition to Dr. Fullilove, the conference featured other local experts such as Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry of Tulane University and MSNBC, Dr. Andre Perry of Loyola University, Joshua Perry of Juvenile Regional Services, Carol Bebelle of the Ash� Cultural Arts Center, and Dr. Beverly Wright of Dillard University's Deep South Center for Environmental Justice.

Dr. Harris-Perry speaking about  intergenerational shaming and parenting in African American communities


Joshua Perry speaking about the state of youth in the juvenile justice system

Dr. Beverly Wright speaking about climate change impacts and disaster recovery


The conference data was analyzed and presented by social epidemiologist and IWES board member, Dr. Stephani Hatch. CHC will work with Steering Committee members to create action steps, post conference.  

Dr. Fullilove, Dr. Hatch, and members of Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools


The conference concluded with a  performance from the Gentilly Terrace Charter School Drum Line and Dance Team, a presentation of award monies to Kids Rethink and the Children's Defense Fund, and a Q&A session with several of the day's speakers.

Excerpts from speakers at the conference are now available on YouTube. Look out for an email in the upcoming days with direct links to conference presentations and videos! 
Gentilly Terrace Drum Line

Kids Rethink being awarded $1000 from IWES
Children's Defense Fund being awarded $1000 from IWES
Rethinker answering questions during the Q&A session
IWES is on Instagram! 
Check out how we use photography to advocate for HIV prevention and youth sexual health awareness!

In the Winter of 2012 IWES launched two new Instagram accounts through the Media Advocates for Prevention (MAP) program and the PAUSE HIV testing campaign. The primary goal of the Instagram campaigns is to advocate for youth sexual health, which IWES views rather holistically. Therefore, posts range from condom information to healthy eating to inspiring quotes from global figures, addressing mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well as physical health. Below is a sample of the range of the posts for each account. Follow us to see more, just click on the links!

MAP (@map_nola)

A sample of a MAP meeting

Condom Advocacy

MAP at the McDonogh 35 Health Fair

Testing Information

PAUSE (pause_iwes)

Condom Resources 

Healthy Eating

Peace of Mind

Ending Stigma
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Follow the links to "like" IWES on Facebook and "follow" IWES on Twitter for interesting articles, events, and opportunities that relate to the health and well-being of women of color and their families. 

Featured IWES Film
That's It_Clinic
That's It_Clinic
Can I take condoms from a free clinic? Are they GOOD? Yes and Yes! Check out this short film and let Brie show you how it's done.

Heard about the PAUSE campaign? Watch the first film released in the campaign, That's It_Clinic, and look out for new videos every month!

Follow the link below to check out our Iwesnola YouTube Channel to see more IWES films.
 View our videos on YouTube 

Meet the YEAH-NOLA interns!

Iman Barr�
MAP & FOY Intern

Iman became a member of IWES' MAP program in 2010 and still participates in media and outreach as an alumnus. In October of 2012 Iman began interning with the program, which has served to teach her all of the behind the scenes work that goes into putting on weekly meetings and maintaining participation. She currently attends Southern University at New Orleans where she is a combined Psychology and Math major. As an intern working for MAP, she enjoys sitting in on MAP meetings in more of a leadership role and assisting the youth that are currently in the program.

Jeremy Tauriac
MAP & FOY Intern

Jeremy is a student at Delgado Community College studying Photography with a minor in Fashion Design. He has been involved with IWES for over 5 years, beginning with the Media Advocates for Prevention (MAP) program. Through MAP, Jeremy was involved in the creation of many media pieces (short films, photos, etc.), which helped fuel his passion for photography. The techniques and tools he learned in MAP have inspired him throughout his journey in becoming a professional photographer. Now, as a freshman in college, he has published work for the New Orleans school board, received an award from the U.S. Congress, and placed 4th in a nation-wide photo contest. Through MAP, Jeremy has also honed his advocacy skills. His inclusion in MAP has taught him a lot of accurate information about HIV/AIDS and other STIs, how they are contracted, and ways that they can be prevented. As a liaison between MAP staff and his peers through the dissemination of prevention information, Jeremy has gained leadership and social skills that have helped him advocate for even more causes. Jeremy feels that being involved in MAP and now interning at IWES has changed his life and the way he lives it.

GIVE BACK! Clothing Drive for Homeless Teens

The Benjamin Franklin High School Student Council is sponsoring a jean drive called "Teens for Jeans" in association with, one of the largest organizations in the US for teens and social change. Donated jeans will go to homeless teens across the nation. Help Benjamin Franklin collect enough jeans to beat other competing schools nation-wide! If so, and Aeropostale will reward Franklin with a $10,000 grant and other prizes. They are accepting ALL bottoms of jean material, ALL sizes. The drop off area is in the lobby at 2001 Leon C. Simon Drive.

Help Franklin reach 800 PAIRS by February 8th!!! To find out more about the Teens For Jeans drive, follow this link. 

Welcome to the Institute Of Women And Ethnic Studies' Quarterly E-Blast. Every November, February, May, and August, look out for this E-Blast to update you on our programs and events.  


Thanks for continuing to be a part of the IWES family!

  Media Advocates for Prevention

MAP is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded program adapted from the evidence-based Community PROMISE model. MAP works with a core group of Peer Advocates (PAs) ages 15-18 to develop HIV prevention messages for youth in New Orleans.  


MAP Peer Advocates have been very active this program year, attending a number of youth events throughout the city and conducting in-person and online engagement, including distributing over 250 MAP kits and DVDs. MAP has also launched a new Instagram account, offering PAs a new platform to develop and share prevention messages. Peer Advocates are in the middle of a year-long curriculum that focuses on comprehensive sexuality education, HIV and social justice, leadership, community engagement, and media literacy. They recently completed a social marketing training that prepared them to further develop and promote IWES's newest social marketing campaign, "PAUSE."

MAP kits
photo taken by MAP Alumnus/IWES intern, Jeremy Tauriac (see below)

Follow us on Twitter

Follow @map_nola on Twitter for daily sexual health tips.


Like us on Facebook

Like "Media Advocates for Prevention (IWES)" on Facebook to keep up with MAP videos and events and ask any sexual health questions you have!  


Follow @map_nola on Instagram for pictures and tips.


 If you or someone you know is a youth aged 12-18, e-mail MAP to receive a FREE MAP kit, or ASK A PA!

School-Based Health Center Engagement Project
The SBHC Engagement Project, a youth health advocacy and leadership development program to increase awareness and utilization of participating SBHCs, is implemented in partnership with the Louisiana Public Health Institute's (LPHI) School Health Connection Program. 


The SBHC staff began the school year by assisting in SBHC registration during various school orientations. Most parents and/or guardians at the orientations signed enrollment and consent forms for their youth, thus assisting SBHC staff meet their primary goal of increasing utilization of SBHCs this school year. To achieve this goal, SBHC Community Engagement is establishing Youth Advisory Committees (YACs) in three schools through the implementation of the Youth Advocacy and Leadership (YAL) curriculum. The three targeted schools are:   

YAL participants will transition into SBHC Youth Advisory Committees, which will be charged with developing a school mapping project to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the school environment from the perspective of student advocates. Other YAC proposed activities include: promoting the SBHC during morning announcements; assisting the LPHI Wellness Coordinator in promoting "Fresh Fruit Fridays" and "Taste Testing Tuesdays"; and, participating in various SBHC health promotional campaigns.


Additionally, SBHC staff invited several council-members to tour a School Based Health Center of their choice. Community members, a City Health Department representative, a member of Congressman Cedric Richmond's staff, and council-member's representatives, were invited to attend the SBHC Community Advisory Committee meetings at SBHC schools, as well. Lastly, the Community Engagement SBHC staff actively participates on a number of local and state committees and boards; including the Louisiana Assembly on School Based Health Care (LASBHC) Board, Connect to Protect's Linkage to Care Committee, FitNOLA, and the CDC Take Charge Take The Test coalition.


Focus on Youth with Informed Parents and Children Together

FOY + ImPACT is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded 8-session evidence-based small group education program that works with youth aged 12-15 to help them develop the skills and knowledge needed to protect themselves from HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).      


  In the Winter of 2012, FOY staff continued collaborations with various youth serving organizations in the city to offer HIV prevention and sexual health information to groups of adolescents. During November and December, staff worked with the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and implemented FOY during YEP's afterschool program. Ten young women graduated from the program, taking with them valuable knowledge and practical skills regarding sexual health and healthy relationships. Staff are eager to begin the spring cohort with YEP again.  


FOY graduates pose with FOY facilitators Melanie Powers and Katherine Eyster at the Youth Empowerment Project  


If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about FOY or coordinating a summer group, please contact Melanie Powers or Katherine Eyster for more details.


Believe in Youth! - NOLA!

 IWES was one of six entities in Louisiana awarded monies to fund teen responsibility and pregnancy prevention programs through the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Adolescent Health's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. Through this initiative, IWES has created BY!-NOLA!, which serves youth aged 11-13 through the utilization of the 8-module evidence-based Making Proud Choices curriculum along with two additional modules developed by Dr. Denese Shervington which focus on emotional health and resiliency.  


During the fall/winter of 2012, BY!-NOLA! partnered with FirstLine Schools to implement at four of their schools. More than 260 students from Samuel J. Green Charter School and John Dibert Community School participated in the program.



Youth in the program are not only engaged throughout the class sessions, they also have the opportunity to seek further information through journaling. At the start of each session, students are asked to write in their journals and IWES facilitators respond to their entries before returning the journals to them at the next session. "I really enjoyed writing in my journal because sometimes I didn't want to ask certain questions in class," D.Q., a 6th grade participant from Green Charter School, explained.


BY!-NOLA! also focuses on promoting emotional resiliency and a positive self-image, often through working with teachers, school counselors and social workers. "I think the Believe in Youth!-NOLA! program was a tremendous success this year at John Dibert Community School," Ayanna Molina-Mills, the school counselor/social worker said. "Most students seemed very engaged and one student stated that he learned a lot more than he ever knew about sex. He told me all about the different STDs he learned of through the program and why he will use a condom when he is ready to have sex, which according to him will be a long time!"


At the conclusion of each cohort IWES hosts graduation ceremonies where students receive certificates of completion, their writing journal, resource materials, and a financial stipend. IWES invites parents/guardians to attend and students have an opportunity to share what they learned during the program. "The graduation ceremonies are a great way to reward the students for participating in the program," Issa Moquete, BY!-NOLA!'s Program

Coordinator, stated. "The students at Green and Dibert looked forward to it throughout the entire program and it was also great to get parents and family out to participate in the graduation." IWES looks forward to its continued partnership with FirstLine Schools. 


  8th Grade Graduation at Samuel J. Green Charter School 


6th Grade Graduation at Samuel J. Green Charter School  


Like us on Facebook

Like BY!-NOLA! on Facebook for more information and regular updates about the program.

Teen Outreach Program (TOP)
Through the Department of Health & Human Services' Office of Adolescent Health's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health Family Planning Program was awarded a grant to implement the evidence-based Teen Outreach Program (TOP�) throughout the entire state of Louisiana. IWES was selected as one of the agencies qualified to implement TOP�.


TOP� serves youth aged 12-18 through a 9-month program that focuses on teen pregnancy prevention and academic outcomes, including drop-out and course failure rates. The curriculum includes lessons on sexual health, values, goal-setting, relationships with friends and family, and other topics relevant to youth. TOP� also includes a community service-learning component in which participants plan their own service projects, carry them out, and strategize sustainability.


TOP� is successfully in its second year of full implementation. IWES has established six TOP� clubs that are meeting weekly in multiple locations, with 250 current participants. IWES facilitators are in the process of planning lessons and community service learning opportunities for TOP� club members, and the clubs are learning about community engagement and examining their values.

IWES is currently recruiting participants for TOP� clubs next year. If you know any youth between the ages of 12-17 or youth-serving organizations who might be interested in being a part of TOP�, call IWES at (504) 599-7712 or contact Ragan Collins or Della Wright.
4 Real Health

In addition to implementing youth programs around the city, IWES also serves in a training, fidelity monitoring, and quality assurance role for the Health Education Program (HEP) and Staying Mature and Responsible Towards Sex (SMARTS) components of the 4 Real Health program. 4 Real Health is one part of the Louisiana Public Health Institute's Orleans Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project.    


The Health Education Program encompasses sexual health, nutrition, and physical activity utilizing the evidence-based Becoming A Responsible Teen (BART) curriculum and the "Live It!" Healthy Living curriculum. These curricula include information on HIV prevention, communication skills, problem solving, and negotiation, as well as exercise, healthy eating, and nutrition. The SMARTS program utilizes the Safer Sex Intervention, which is a one-on-one curriculum implemented with sexually active teen girls in a clinical setting. The SMARTS curriculum includes information on HIV and STIs, pregnancy prevention, negotiation and communication skills. 4 Real Health serves youth aged 15-18 during summer implementation at community sites throughout New Orleans.    


During December 2012 and January 2013, IWES trained over twenty health educators in the BART and Healthy Living curriculums. IWES will offer supplemental training to health educators in Spring 2013 on sexual health, mandatory reporting, and facilitation skills. IWES, in collaboration with the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), held an end of the summer retreat with Health Educators to evaluate the success and areas of improvement needed for future planning and programming.


 IWES conducts SMARTS fidelity monitoring through the review of audio recordings of sessions with participants. IWES provides technical assistance to health educators after the fidelity monitoring process through feedback to enhance and/or improve health educator skills and implementation.


IWES will continue to provide trainings, fidelity monitoring and technical assistance to health educators for the Orleans Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. IWES participates in weekly team calls with LPHI and the Policy Research Group (PRG) to ensure program goals and objectives are met. 

Peer Advocates Undoing Stigma through Education (PAUSE)


PAUSE is an IWES social marketing campaign that grew out of the Media Advocates for Prevention (MAP) program. Formative research was conducted with over 175 African American youth in the Greater New Orleans area (focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and an online Youth Sexual Health Survey) that collected baseline sexual health data, self-reported HIV risk practices and beliefs, and ideas for effective campaign strategies. The formative research showed that many youth that engaged in sexual activity with either both sexes or the same sex did not identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. These youth also presented inconsistent protective measures (i.e. condom usage) with sexual partners of different sexes, often when engaging in high-risk behaviors. Taking into account this identification dissonance, the goal of PAUSE is to increase the utilization of HIV testing services and condoms among bisexual African American youth ages 11-19 to prevent the transmission of HIV and unwanted pregnancy.


MAP kicked off the PAUSE campaign on December 1, 2012, coinciding with World AIDS Day, at the Oppression Fashion Show with the premiere of new films, buttons, and redesigned MAP kits. A variety of youth-generated media pieces are available through PAUSE campaign sites on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, many of which have incorporated direct quotes from the formative research. PAUSE PSAs will be released on an ongoing basis, and a PAUSE photo campaign will kick off soon on Instagram. Check out some of our recent images below:





Contact Iman Shervington if you would like to receive PAUSE promotional materials or find out how you can get involved in the campaign.

Collective for Healthy Community
CHC, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded program, was created in response to the disproportionate negative mental health impact on poor people and people of color in the aftermath of Katrina. IWES developed a division of post-disaster mental health recovery and emotional resiliency to respond to the needs of the community. In an attempt to address the aforementioned concerns, IWES has developed several projects; namely, the HIM/Fatherhood Consortium and Community Based Listening Circles. The cultivation of this division has required a concerted effort among professionals from multiple backgrounds (psychiatry, social work, public health, anthropology, and political science).

CHC has conducted 5 Community Based Wisdom Circles (CBWCs) to collect data on protective factors and other assets that promote emotional resiliency and create supportive villages in which children can thrive. CBWCs have been implemented among the following cohorts:  

Through CHC's partnership with Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry's Anna Julia Cooper: Project on Gender, Race and Politics in the South, CHC will utilize the data gathered from the aforementioned CBWCs to guide the promotion of emotionally resilient communities beyond the greater New Orleans area.  


The CHC staff is excited about the second program year. This year's program activities seek to expand on CHC's current work through the following target areas:
  1. Direct Programming
  2. Research and Evaluation  
  3. Policy and Advocacy
  4. Social Marketing and Media  

CHC will continue to take a multi-level approach towards promoting community healing among the citizenry of New Orleans. To further accomplish these goals, CHC has recently hired visual anthropologist Chloe Walters-Wallace to assist in media creation and production. If you would like to get in touch with CHC, please contact Danielle Wright.

The Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies (IWES) is a national non-profit organization founded in 1993 in response to the overwhelming health disparities among women of color.
IWES is dedicated to improving the physical, mental and spiritual health and quality of life of women of color and their families, especially those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.

Thanks for taking a moment to read our Quarterly E-Blast. If you ever have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to email us.