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 IWES programs and events. Thanks for continuing to be a part of the IWES family!

IWES would like to wish all partner organizations, schools, and the entire IWES family a heartfelt Happy New Year and a prosperous 2015! This year
brings a lot of new and exciting projects, so keep an eye on the IWES Facebook page
for more information and updates.
Meet the Newest IWES Staff Members! 
Danielle Broussard, PHD - Research & Evaluation Manager
Danielle joined IWES as the Research and Evaluation Manager in October 2014. Prior to this, she worked as a research and evaluation consultant and served as Assistant Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at Xavier University of Louisiana in the College of Pharmacy. She has also worked as a Research Coordinator at the Tulane Xavier Center of Excellence in Women's Health at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and as a Program Coordinator in the Maternal and Child Health Program at the Louisiana Office of Public Health. She received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Miami, and her Master of Public Health degree from Emory University. Her postdoctoral training includes a Maternal and Child Public Health Research Fellowship at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellowship in maternal and child health at the Florida Department of Health. Her interests include women's health across the lifespan, maternal and child health, social determinants of health, and health disparities. She is a New Orleans native, and is dedicated to addressing the issues that impact the physical and mental health of New Orleans women and their families
Emily Danielson, MS - Policy and Program Strategy Manager
Emily joined IWES in October 2014 after serving as the Director of Research and Public Policy for UNITY of Greater New Orleans. She received her Master's degree in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans and holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology/Environmental Science from Grinnell College. Emily has six years of experience working with local non-profits and academic institutions to develop strategic research design, data management, and justice-oriented programs. She has published on the influence of research design and accountable methodologies in a variety of topics including wetland restoration, disaster recovery, and social movements. Emily moved to New Orleans in 2006.
FREE Rapid HIV Testing - NEW SITE!! 
IWES has now expanded its FREE, confidential rapid HIV testing (results in under 20 minutes)

Every Thursday
Walgreens, 1100 Elysian Fields (@ St. Claude)
across from Gene's PoBoys

Featured IWES Film 
HerStory2 SEXfessionals Episode 1: The Gangsta
HerStory2 SEXfessionals Episode 1: The Gangsta
Check out the SEXfessionals series, a blast from the (recent) past featuring young women from McDonogh 35 and Sarah T. Reed high schools sharing their thoughts and research about sexual health, relationships, technology, birth control, bad pickup lines, and MORE! There are over 20 SEXfessionals episodes on the IWES youtube channel from Seasons 1 and 2. So click on the icon below for more and feel free to use them as tools for lessons!

 View our videos on YouTube   

Selma Official Trailer #1 (2015) - Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr. Movie HD

In celebration of Black History Month, IWES would like to promote an excellent and undervalued film. Directed by the incredible, Ava Duvernay, Selma takes a poignant and honest look at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and one of the most crucial moments in the history of the US civil rights movement.  
Check out the list of activities and get involved! 
January 17 - March 7, 10am - 5 pm 
17th Annual Martin Luther King Jr, Commemorative Art Exhibition
 Free and open to the public
Friday, February 6 - 6pm 
Locked In, Locked Out: Organizing Across Race in New Orleans
Ash� Cultural Arts Center
Members of Stand with Dignity, the Congress of Day Laborers, & VAYLA will discuss their experiences in resistance and local cross-racial organizing. Focusing on issues of migration, labor, and access to resources, these grassroots community groups will illustrate how unity and self-determination help create change by challenging systems of oppression and exploitation. Dr. Lara Putnam, a historian from the University of Pittsburgh, will moderate the panel. 
Saturday, February 7 - 12pm  
Leona Tate Speaks
Alvar Library
On November 14, 1960, at the age of six, Leona Tate entered into the civil rights movement when she and two other African-American girls integrated McDonogh No. 19 Elementary School. She stood at the center of a maelstrom of hate and love, terror and praise, playing a pivotal role in pursuit of building a unified New Orleans. Now as an adult, through her foundation, Ms. Tate works to improve equal access and opportunities for all in our city.
Thursday, February 19 - 3pm 
More Than a Month Documentary Screening & Discussion
Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center
When Shukree Hassan Tilghman sets out on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month, he discovers he's dealing with an issue that's not so black and white. Join us for a screening of this PBS documentary. All ages are welcome, but children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, February 26th - Doors: 6pm, Show: 7pm
"Becoming//Black" is a collection of poetry that follows the author's exploration of 'Blackness'/identifying as Black after emigrating from Kenya, a Black African nation, to her diasporic home in the United States where Blackness is a distinguishing feature. The collection features well known poems from FreeQuency exploring the topic of Blackness as well as more intimate never before heard work that uses a more personal lens to explore Black identity. Books will be available for $10 at the show.
Saturday, February 28 - 1pm 
NOPL's 2015 Paul Robeson Acting Competition
Open to all students in Orleans Parish ages 12-19. Each student must select a person from Black History and then write and perform an original monologue of up to 5 minutes pertaining to that Black historical figure. (Register by February 25)

Join over 300 young people from Youth Run NOLA in this community event through the Marigny and Bywater. These youth from 19 New Orleans public-schools train at bi-weekly practices to complete monthly races. Benefits from the 504K support the young runners of Youth Run NOLA. The event will feature local bands along the route, as well as a post-race party benefiting Make Music NOLAWWOZ is joining the race and they're bringing along a few friends like Evan Christopher and the Big Easy Rollergirls. Online registration has passed but you can still register on race day or at a package pick up! 

Youth Paid Internship Opportunity  
Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools' Ujima Collective is a 6-month, paid internship opportunity for youth of color aged 15-21. Youth will take part in a spring semester, weekend intensive program designed to support the development of organizing skills, facilitation techniques and community based change. They will also work full time as paid interns in the summer to co-design and co-lead Rethink's Summer Leadership Institute, a six week arts activism camp for youth ages 10-14. 
Applications are due by February 9th at 5pm. 
Apply here!

Celebrating 20 years in the business, IWES' 2013 Annual Report is here! Click on the above image or here for an online version, or contact Chloe Walters-Wallace for a hard copy.

Wellness Evaluation Community Action Network (WE-CAN!)

Founded in September 2013 as the research and evaluation arm of the Collective for Healthy Communities, WE-CAN! is rooted in participatory action research (PAR) theory and collaborations with various groups and organizations. It is designed to provide space for community conversations to catalyze individual, community and/or systems level change, while shaping the tools to measure that change. The tools created will be used to better understand well-being and community-defined resiliency in New Orleans, and the information gathering and sharing processes utilized by WE-CAN! will be shared as a model for true community partnership in equity and justice-driven research. 


WE-CAN is pleased to welcome Billy Gazard, a PhD candidate from Kings College of London, for a three month residency at IWES. Mr. Gazard is working to deepen the collaboration between IWES and the international Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON) and will present his mixed methodological research on housing, employment, health and discrimination at the Tulane School of Public Health and the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry


On January 22, IWES participated in a panel to present data from its Emotional Wellness Screener at the National Council of Jewish Women's criminal justice forum. The data supports an alternative approach that looks at issues of public safety by addressing trauma and toxic stress. WE-CAN also continues to prepare members of the Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) group to conduct research on topics that they prioritize, including experiences with racism, police brutality, sexism, underpaid workers, and substance abuse. 


Lastly, IWES has been invited to share work at the Each Mind Matters conference in San Francisco. The WE-CAN team looks forward to the opportunity and sharing the experience in future e-blasts.

For more information on WE-CAN, contact Danielle Broussard. 

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 2014, BY!-NOLA! has reached over 200 students in seven schools throughout New Orleans and will implement at an additional six schools in the spring semester, in both Orleans and Jefferson Parish. BY!-NOLA! has partnered with the New Beginnings Schools Foundation to celebrate program participants through a graduation ceremony and talent show. The celebration will include both BY!-NOLA! participants and their families, as well as students from all grade levels. The event will be held on March 6th at Medard H. Nelson Charter School.


On January 26th, BY!-NOLA! hosted a stakeholders meeting, bringing together community leaders, politicians, and school administration from the greater New Orleans area. The event also honored schools that participated in the IWES Youth Town Hall last year.



BY!-NOLA! continues to promote parental engagement through the Parent Advisory Team (PAT). The PAT meets quarterly to discuss issues that arise with raising youth in today's environment. The next PAT meeting will be held in March, with a focus on parental leadership in promoting positive youth development and comprehensive sexuality education in schools. 

For more information on BY-NOLA! contact Brittany McBride.

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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�)TOP� is a 9-month youth development program that focuses on teen pregnancy prevention and academic outcomes serving youth aged 12-18. TOP� utilizes the Changing Scenes curriculum� which includes lessons on sexual health, values, goal-setting, relationships with friends and family, and other topics relevant to youth development.

 IWES is in its 5th year of implementing TOP� and has reached approximately 950 teens. TOP� is currently being implemented with 235 teens at ten TOP clubs in the following locations; McDonogh 35 Senior High School, Fannie C. Williams (FCW) Charter School, Lake Area New Tech (LANT) Early College High School, and Dryades YMCA.  By May 2015, all clubs will have completed at least 25 weeks of educational peer group meetings and a minimum of 20 hours of Community Service Learning (CSL) activities. For example, LANT club members participated in the Desmond Project, a non-profit program working with First Grace United Methodist Church, and served homeless people at the New Orleans Mission Homeless Center. Also, Dryades YMCA club members are participating in a canned food drive through the Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans. They are designing promotional materials and encouraging their school's faculty and staff to donate non-perishable food items. Participants have already shared that they are learning the importance of giving back to their community.



On February 22, club members from FCW and LANT participated in a screening of Selma, a chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's campaign to secure equal voting rights by means of an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. After learning more about civil rights and Dr. King, TOP� teens reflected on the movie and it's impact.



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

Peer Advocates Undoing Stigma through Education (PAUSE) 

PAUSE is a social marketing campaign and HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral (CTR) program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce HIV stigma and encourage African American youth in New Orleans to access HIV testing services. Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 PAUSE will provide HIV CTR to a minimum of 450 African American youth ages 13-24 in the greater New Orleans area.

PAUSE materials have officially arrived! PAUSE has water bottles, lip balm, condom/mint packs, temporary tattoos, and coming soon, T-shirts!  



PAUSE staff continue HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referrals (CTR) at two Walgreens sites, 145 Elk Place and 1100 Elysian Fields Ave. Testing takes place at Elk Place every Monday from 2-6 pm (**NEW HOURS**) and on Thursdays from 3-7 pm at Elysian Fields.  PAUSE is also excited to announce a partnership with VAYLA in New Orleans East to conduct HIV CTR at their location once a month, which began in January. 


PAUSE staff involve former IWES youth participants in programming whenever possible. Former MAP Peer Advocates have recently formed the PAUSE Street Outreach Team and will help to promote HIV testing through neighborhood canvassing in addition to social media outreach. 

For more information, contact Aurora Tom-Quinn or Caitlin Wahlers and find PAUSE on social media below.

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Creating A Future Together (CrAFT)

Creating a Future Together (CrAFT) is a comprehensive, multi-pronged initiative that focuses on addressing gaps in sexual and reproductive health, with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes among communities of color in the South. The program is supported by the Packard Foundation, and Advocates for Youth. CrAFT focuses on four areas: gender transformative comprehensive 

youth sexual health education (CSE); sexual and reproductive health advocacy with HBCUs; Affordable Care Act (ACA) information dissemination; and,  advocacy around CSE in New Orleans schools.


On December 5, CrAFT and PAUSE staff members presented sexual health and advocacy information at Warren Easton Charter High School's sixth annual Challenge Day coordinated by council member, Bernell Elzey. Over sixty students from five schools around the city attended. Congratulations to Bernell for coordinating such a successful event!  


LYFT council members also participated in a panel discussion at the Louisiana Public Health Institute sponsored Teen Sexual Health Summit on November 5th & 6th. Breial Kennedy, Brunisha Jones and Bernell Elzey discussed strategies for CSE advocacy and successful youth-adult partnerships. 



In partnership with Raising Women's Voices, CrAFT staff have been promoting Health Insurance Open Enrollment, which began on November 15 and will continue through February 15. Staff have presented open enrollment information at the Harmony Oaks Community CenterBirthing Project USA, and other community sites. Please contact CrAFT if you or your organization are interested in receiving more information on the Affordable Care Act and Open Enrollment.

 For more information about CRAFT, contact Kaitlyn Marchesano.

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. The cultivation of this division has required a concerted effort among professionals from multiple backgrounds (psychiatry, social work, public health, anthropology, and political science). 


IWES is proud to announce the continued support of the Collective For Healthy Communities (CHC) project by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The project is an extension of IWES' previous efforts, and in 2015, CHC will focus on building the capacity of at least 200 youth to use the creative arts as a source for recognizing and managing their emotions through the use of PhotoVoice. CHC is partnering with BY!-NOLA! to pilot a condensed version of PhotoVoice with their students. CHC and BY!-NOLA! have also partnered to add mental health modules addressing stress to the existing BY!-NOLA! curriculum.


Using information from PhotoVoice and IWES' Parent Advisory Team, CHC will also create a city-wide social marketing campaign geared towards parents and school personnel, to underscore the need for trauma-informed youth mental health services versus 'push-out' to the criminal justice system. The campaign will be augmented by a Policy/Advocacy Workgroup (PAW) whose primary task will be to analyze existing policies, seek opportunities for collaboration, and make recommendations for new youth-centered practices, and/or work to reverse policies that are harmful.


In December, CHC held a launch party for the Crooked Room: Stories from New Orleans book at the McKenna Museum of African American Art. In 2015, IWES will create a Discussion Guide to accompany the reformatted book, which will also include a forward from collaborator Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry. 

CHC staff were also proud to present the 6 schools who participated in October's Youth Town Hall event with generous donations from the Kellogg Foundation. IWES will continue to build strong partnerships with these and other schools, working together to make New Orleans a youth-friendly city.

To learn more about CHC, please contact Rachel Van Parys

To request your FREE copy of the Crooked Room book, please contact Chloe Walters Wallace.

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.