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!

Fit NOLA Parks Kick-Off Celebration
On Saturday, February 22nd from 10:00am-2:00pm, community members can look forward to a fun morning filled with FREE park programming and other activities at all three Fit NOLA Parks locations. Check back here for further details. 
Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle Film Series

IWES is one of 473 institutions across the country (one of seven in Louisiana) awarded the set of four films; Slavery By Another Name, The Abolitionists, Freedom Riders, and The Loving Story. The powerful documentaries include dramatic scenes of incidents in the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all. Created Equal programs bring communities together to revisit shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life. 


IWES' first screening of Slavery By Another Name was a great success! Both youth from the TOP� program and community members came out and had an intergenerational conversation on the contemporary prison system facilitated by local community activist Hakim Kashif. Thank you, Mr. Kashif, for sharing your story and thoughts with the audience!


In partnership with Le Musee de Free People of Color, IWES will host a FREE screening of The Loving Story in March. 


The screening will be followed by a public panel and conversation on "Exploring Attitudes Towards Interracial Relationships Across Time." The panelists will represent individuals from academia as well as lived experiences. Check out the IWES Facebook page for further details on the date and the speakers. 

Created Equal is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America's civil rights history. For more information on screenings hosted by IWES please contact Chloe Walters-Wallace
Get Ready for Youth Run Nola! 


 Youth Run Nola's annual 5K is back and will be held on February 15th at 8:30am! Sign up to be a running buddy, register to run, or be a volunteer!  
Founded in 2010 as an after-school club in St. Bernard Parish, and having benefited from a wealth of generosity and guidance as a project of the Young Leadership Council, Youth Run NOLA (YRN) is now an independent organization. YRN empowers underserved youth through running, with an intensive eight-month guided training program of twice weekly practices and monthly events overseen by teacher-coaches and volunteer running buddies. The program combats the obstacles facing our youth - many of whom cope with unsafe, unhealthy, and unsupportive circumstances - with positive, structured after-school engagement. 
Featured IWES Film 

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Follow the links above 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. 

PAUSE for_____ Series
PAUSE for YOUNew Orleans youth in the PAUSE campaign speak about sexuality and labels. Is it always necessary?
PAUSE for LOVENew Orleans youth in the PAUSE campaign talk about acceptance (or not) from friends and family about who they are. If I don't fully know what's going on with me, how can I tell you? Can sexuality be a phase?
PAUSE for LIFENew Orleans youth in the PAUSE campaign remind us to be safe...because you don't want a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)!

Follow the link below to the IWES YouTube channel for more IWES films.

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TOP� Youth Get Involved! 
On Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 9:00am - 12:00pm, youth from a Teen Outreach Program� (TOP�) club will perform a Community Service Learning Project at City Park with Earl Sires, New Orleans City Park's Volunteer Coordinator. Participants will learn how to plant and care for trees in various locations of City Park.    
American Promise Premieres on PBS
This 13-year documentary journey, American Promise, will premiere nationally on Monday, February 3 at 9:00pm CST on PBS (WYES Channel 12) as a special winter presentation and the final film of P.O.V.'s 26th Season.    


American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Mich�le Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, NY, turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys' divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan's Dalton School, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America's struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity. 


Coinciding with the documentary, Spiegel & Grau has published Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life, by Joe Brewster and Mich�le Stephenson with Hilary Beard. Where American Promise raises important

questions, Promises Kept delivers answers, combining insights Joe and Mich�le derived from their own experiences with the latest research on closing the black male achievement gap. 


Join POV for an American Promise OVEE chat with filmmakers Mich�le Stephenson, Joe Brewster and film subject Idris on Tuesday, February 4 from 6:00pm-8:00pm CST. 

Be Aware! New Insurance Resource Guide for Women 

Check out Insurance Quotes' new online resource guide regarding women's inequalities in getting insurance. The resource dives into the unequal coverage and treatment women have historically experienced while seeking health care and explains how the Affordable Care Act directly speaks to the women's unique health needs more than any health care legislation has. 
Urban League 2014 Schools Expo
THIS SATURDAY, February 1, check out the Urban League of Greater New Orleans' 2014 Schools Expo at the 
 from 10am-2pm. The event is FREE and will have FREE parking and FREE rides to voting precincts! As its main goal, the Expo empowers parents with information to make informed school choice decisions and better understand the city's changing educational landscape without having to visit each individual school. Parents will also be encouraged to take the "I Am Engaged" pledge, a citywide initiative launched by the Urban League to increase parental involvement in New Orleans schools.
1 In 5 Women


President Obama just announced that he is taking major action against sexual assault by creating a presidential task force to fight rape on college campuses.

Having the President support such an effort is huge at a moment when sexual assault on college campuses has reached an epidemic level. Right now, 1 in 5 women will be assaulted or raped during college.


 The White House wants to know what solutions YOU want to see. A federal task force will create uniform guidelines that colleges should follow to stop sexual assault and punish rapists. Data and research is helpful, but input from citizens who care and know about the problem is critical to finding the right solutions.


When colleges don't take rape accusations seriously, it discourages survivors from reporting. Only 12% of survivors report the assault, and it's more often the survivors rather than their attackers who drop out of school. 


Let your voice be heard.  Please take 3 minutes to fill out a short, easy survey about what you think the Presidential Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault should do. Responses will be delivered to the White House next week.

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 group of Peer Advocates (PAs) ages 15-18 to develop HIV prevention messages for youth in New Orleans.    


MAP PAs and staff have been busy sharing sexual health resources at various community events. On November 23, MAP screened four PSAs (That's It_Clinic, That's It_Test, Now You Know, and Young.Responsible.Safe) at the American Friends Service Committee's Oppression Fashion Show. PA Richard Chattmon not only represented MAP during the event, he also modeled his own designs during the show. On November 29, MAP tabled at the Bayou Classic Health Fair, distributing MAP kits and discussing the importance of HIV testing. MAP staff also gave an interactive presentation on the effects of media on HIV and teen pregnancy at the 5th Annual SAVE/No Place for Hate Challenge Day program in Deecmber at Warren Easton Charter High School to 56 students from various high schools. 


Last December the PAs released their first media piece, PAUSE Moment: Twerking! In this short rant 4 PAs inform everyone of the etiquette of twerking, what to wear while twerking, and most importantly, where not to twerk. Check out this fun video to get to know some of this year's PAs and comment what the next PAUSE rant should be about!


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Follow/like @map_nola on Instagram and Twitter and "Media Advocates for Prevention (IWES)" on Facebook for sexual health tips, videos, and other resources. 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!

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).       

This winter FOY+ImPACT was implemented with a group of eight young men at the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP). As always, Ms. Karah Adams at YEP was a great support to IWES throughout the group and the FOY participants truly made the most of their learning opportunity. Every member of the group completed the program and graduated. Evaluations taken with the group showed an increase in HIV prevention knowledge amongst all participants! FOY staff look forward to beginning the next all-girl group with YEP soon. 


IWES is happy to offer the FOY + ImPACT evidence-based intervention to groups of 10-12 African American youth (all boys, all girls, or co-ed) between the ages of 12-15. If interested, please contact Melanie Powers for more information.

Believe in Youth! - NOLA!

 IWES was one of six entities in Louisiana funded to provide teen 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. 


 Since September 2013, BY!-NOLA! has served over 200 youth at several schools including: McDonogh #32 Literacy Charter School, Alice M. Harte Charter School, Pierre A. Capdau Charter School, Gentilly Terrace Charter School, Medard H. Nelson Charter School, Schaumburg Elementary School and Sci Tech Academy


BY!-NOLA! is excited about its newest partnerships with the Algiers Charter School Association, the InspireNOLA Charter Management Organization and ReNEW Schools. Through these and other partnerships, BY!-NOLA continues to provide comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention programming to youth throughout the city. 


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 Like "Believe in Youth!-NOLA!" on Facebook, follow "BY_NOLA" on Twitter and "bynola_iwes" on Instagram for more information & 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 to implement TOP�, which 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 making great progress with youth in its clubs at the New Orleans Public Libraries, Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET), Harmony Oaks, Dryades YMCA and NFL Youth Education Town (NFL YET) Unit of the Boys & Girls ClubFor the 2013-2014 school year, participants have completed approximately 13-15 weekly sessions and have begun to impact their community through service learning projects. For example, TOP� participants at the New Orleans High School - Main Library Club and Harmony Oaks Club participated in the New Orleans Family Justice Center's household drive. They provided supplemental baskets to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families. 


Participants at the New Orleans Middle School - Gentilly Library Club made holiday cards and disseminated them to families at the Ronald McDonald House. Participants also served a holiday meal and completed arts and crafts activities with the families.


Participants at the New Orleans High School - Main Library Club and Harmony Oaks Club volunteered in the Krewe of Jingle Parade, led by the Main Library. Participants got to march in the parade and some dressed as characters - the Nut Cracker and Gingerbread Man. 

If you have any questions about TOP�, contact Ragan Collins

Peer Advocates Undoing Stigma through Education (PAUSE) 


  PAUSE is a social marketing campaign that grew out of Media Advocates for Prevention (MAP). Formative research conducted with over 175 African American youth in the Greater New Orleans area collected baseline sexual health data, HIV risk practices and beliefs, and ideas for effective campaign strategies. The research showed that many youth engaging 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 bisexually-behaving Black youth ages 11-19 to prevent the transmission of HIV and unwanted pregnancy.


In honor of World AIDS Day 2013 on December 1, PAUSE released three NEW short films in the PAUSE for_____ series featuring local youth talking about love, life...and ending stigma! PAUSE for YOU discusses sexuality and labels, PAUSE for LOVE talks about acceptance, and PAUSE for LIFE gives advice on how to be safe and avoid STIs. Watch the videos and comment your thoughts. What do you PAUSE for?


Check out PAUSE's favorite Instagram photos for this quarter below, and don't forget to follow @pause_iwes on Instagram and pauseiwes.tumblr.com!




Contact Iman Shervington to get involved in the campaign.

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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 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). 


This January, CHC launched its first PhotoVoice and ArtVoice projects at two sites: Warren Easton Charter High School and Lawrence D. Crocker College Prep, respectively. The PhotoVoice project at Easton works with 14 youth and utilizes photography to explore the impact of colorism on the self-esteem and emotional well-being of African-American adolescent females.

The Artvoice project, which is in collaboration with Young Audiences, works with fifteen 4th grade students and utilizes the visual arts to explore the impact of bullying on 4th graders. Future implementation of

PhotoVoice and ArtVoice is anticipated to take place at Sci Tech Academy with 2 different cohorts of varying ages exploring themes regarding community violence.


CHC remains committed to concentrating on the plasticity and strengths of youth, their family, and their community. To get in touch with CHC, please contact Danielle Wright.

NIRH Urban Initiatives Project

IWES received funding from the National Institute for Reproductive Health's Southern REACH Initiative to develop and work with a youth and multi-sectoral coalition to promote comprehensive sex education among key community stakeholders. The goal of the coalition work is to create a positive shift in attitudes regarding comprehensive sex education and to build the capacity of the New Orleans City council and New Orleans School Boards to develop and implement policies and resolutions in New Orleans by the end of May, 2014. 


IWES staff have been meeting approximately every other week with a group of youth stakeholders from Dillard University, Delgado Community College, The International High School of New Orleans, and Eleanor McMain Secondary School.  IWES staff trained participants in various aspects of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) advocacy and presently the youth advocates are working on creating a CSE advocacy toolkit to share with New Orleans School Board and City Council Members.  During January, staff worked one-on-one with youth participants to support them in the development of their individual portions of the toolkit which is scheduled to be released in April!


If you would like more information or are interested in participating in the Urban Initiatives advocacy project, please contact Melanie Powers mpowers@iwesnola.org.  

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.