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!
Meet the Newest IWES Staff Members! 

Gabriella Roude, Administrative Assistant

Gabriella joined IWES in February 2015 as the Administrative Assistant. Gabby's academic training is in Social Anthropology, in which she completed a B.A. with a minor in Global Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. . Prior to moving to New Orleans, Gabby completed a postgraduate diploma in Social Science Methodology at Stellenbosch University as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Stellenbosch, South Africa. Gabby has extensive international experience, volunteering in Haiti with the Rotary Club of the Upper Keys, COHEF (Children of Haiti Enhancement Foundation) and Zanmi Beni. In addition, throughout her undergraduate career Gabby participated in short semester programs to Brazil, Guatemala and the Galapagos, all experiences where she conducted community level social research, which has assuredly heightened her interests in non-profit work. 

SUPPORT Our Youth!    
SUPPORT Senate Bill 54!  

All children deserve to be educated at all times, yet harsh and ineffective discipline methods for minor subjective infractions in Louisiana schools deny children the right to education.  Keeping all kids in school should be a number one priority for our lawmakers. Support Senate Bill 54 for positive effective change! Call or Email the Senate Education Committee TODAY!!! #Letkidsbekids
See the full summary of Bill 54 for more information
Take Action! Get involved in your local issues! 

There are a lot of issues out now affecting Louisiana women and their families that you can rally behind! Check out the petitions that the National Council of Jewish Women's Greater New Orleans chapter is working on at their online Action Center
Our top issue right now? 
Support Sex Ed in Schools! 
Crooked Room Conversation Series 
Third Session
Our last two conversations in the series have been deep, poignant, honest and fun! Come join us at our next Crooked Room Conversation on  Wednesday, May 13th from 6-8pm at  The Mckenna Museum of African American Art
This month we'll focus on the theme "Self-Defined or Other Determined," a frank look into the stereotypes of Mammy, Jezebel and Sapphire.  

Crooked Room: Stories from New Orleans is a compilation of experiences shared by women of the Crescent City. The book is based on "Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America" by Dr. Melissa Harris Perry, which focuses on the idea that Black women in their confrontation with race and gender stereotypes are constantly standing in a crooked room and have to navigate which way is up. This conversation series explores six of the book's themes. We welcome women of color to join us, discuss, and reflect on these shared experiences in a nurturing environment.

For more information or to RSVP contact Chloe Walters-Wallace.
Featured IWES Film 
That's It_Clinic
That's It_Clinic

Can I take condoms from a clinic? Are they good? Yes and YES! Watch this clip and let Brie teach you how it's done!

 View our videos on YouTube   

Kickin it Ol' Skool!     

St. John #5/Camp ACE presents its 2nd annual 
Ol' Skool Party: A fundraiser for HIV Awareness
June 13th, 8pm-midnight
The Homer L. Hitt Center, UNO Campus

Enjoy great Ol Skool R&B and Hip Hop music, a fun photo booth and enter a best dressed contest! There will be FREE food, a cash bar, giveaways and a silent auction! All proceeds will go to support the operating costs for their HIV Program. So get your Ol Skool gear ready and bring friends and family with you to have a good time!! 

Check their facebook page or get tickets here
The 10th Annual VAYLA Social! 

On July 24-26th VAYLA presents their 10th annual Sports Tournament and Entertainment showcase. Participants from across the Gulf Coast share their talents to promote physical activities for better healthy lifestyles at Joe W. Brown Memorial Park
Register a team to participate, volunteer or just come on out! See their website and facebook page for more information. 
FitNOLA & Tulane PRC 


Next Thursday May 7th from 12-1pm FitNOLA and Tulane PRC are moderating the #LiveFitNOLA Twitter Chat with guest host the French Market District! Join in to talk about how New Orleans' history and culture can promote healthy living!  

Maiti Nepal needs your help! 

In the wake of the recent earthquake in Nepal there are thousands that need our help. Here is a way to help, one amazing organization Maiti Nepal works against sex trafficking. They are adopting 200 orphans and are seeking individuals who would "adopt" one of the girls (i.e. willing to pay her expenses for a year). Their already traumatized girls and staff are horribly shaken and have been sleeping outside for days and lost family members. 
Donate here and pay it forward. 
Tell us your opinion! Help create opportunities for NOLA youth! Win a gift card!  

The Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies has developed a brief survey to gather the honest opinions of community members throughout New Orleans. Survey responses will be used to help develop messaging for a city-wide social marketing campaign tackling issues regarding opportunities for New Orleans youth. Participants will be entered to win a $50 Target gift card! Click on the flyer above to get involved!

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. 


 In March, Billy Gazard, a PhD candidate from Kings College of London, concluded a highly productive three month residency at IWES as part of the collaboration between IWES and the International Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON). In addition to making presentations at Tulane University and the Tulane School of Public Health on his doctoral work examining the impact of discrimination on health, employment, and housing, Mr. Gazard worked with WE-CAN staff to analyze and interpret emotional wellness survey (EWS) data. EWS data was collected from young people participating in IWES' programs and has been used to inform various elements of the WE-CAN project. Although he is now back in London, Mr. Gazard continues to work with WE-CAN staff on a publication summarizing the findings from the EWS data analysis.


WE-CAN continues to facilitate the Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project, which will provide youth perspectives on issues related to community health, wellness, and resiliency. The YPAR cohort has developed and administered a survey and has conducted focus groups to collect data from other youth in the community on various issues including experiences of racism, police brutality, sexism, underpaid workers, and substance abuse. 


In April, WE-CAN staff traveled to Washington, D.C. to share successes and best practices with other participants in the Well Community Project from around the country.

Original artwork by Greg Gersch from the Well Community Summit. 


WE-CAN will be conducting focus groups and interviews with community members. If you would like to participate in a focus group/interview to share your thoughts, experiences or feelings on your community, contact Danielle Broussard through the link below. 

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 365 students in eight schools throughout the greater New Orleans area.  The program has partnered with NORDC to implement at Orleans Parish summer camp programs for Summer 2015. 


BY!-NOLA! recently hosted the Belie

ve in Us Talent Show and BY!-NOLA! graduation at Lake Area New Tech Early College High School which was attended by over 300 parents, community members, and school st aff and leadership. The celebration included 50 BY!-NOLA! graduates from the New Beginnings Schools Foundation and over 15 talent show acts. 


On May 7th, BY!-NOLA! is hosting a Parent Advisory Team (PAT- West Bank) meeting for the Algiers Charter School Association to provide a space for parents to learn and share with each other in an environment promoting the positive development of our youth. Additionally, BY!-NOLA! is hosting a Parent Advisory Team meeting on May 13th for all BY!-NOLA! participants to continue promotion of parental engagement.  

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 Early College High School, and Dryades YMCA.  


All clubs have completed 25 weekly educational peer group meetings ahead of schedule and have nearly completed 20 hours of Community Service Learning (CSL) activities. TOP® has worked with several partner organizations to conduct CSL including Second Harvest Food Bank, Southern University of New Orleans, college prep courses with Student Government Association president Dylen Johnson, and National Nutrition Month

At the New Orleans Family Justice Center, TOP® Clubs also participated and gained knowledge around types of stalking and dating abuse - physical, emotional/verbal/psychological, digital (via social media), sexual, and financial. TOP® participants were able to share the knowledge and other information they received to classmates, friends and family members. 


If you have any questions about TOP®, contact Timothy Maple.

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.

IWES staff continue to conduct HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral (CTR) at two Walgreens sites, 145 Elk Place and 1100 Elysian Fields Ave.  Staff offer free HIV testing on an ADJUSTED SCHEDULE. Now, PAUSE conducts testing at Elk Place every 1st and 3rd Monday from 2-6 pm and at Elysian Fields Ave every Thursday from 3-7 pm.  In March, staff initiated a partnership with Liberty's Kitchen's Youth Development Program. Staff conducted sexual health education presentations with each class as well as offered optional HIV testing.  


PAUSE is also pleased to announce a partnership with First Presbyterian Church (5401 S. Claiborne Ave.) and Broadmoor Community Care/Rosa Keller Library (4300 S. Broad St.). IWES staff will now be offering free HIV testing at both locations on the first Wednesday of each month from 9am-11am at the Church and 1pm-4pm at the Library. 


On March 28th, in recognition of National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, IWES provided free HIV testing and sexual health information at the first annual Women's Wellness Day at The Estates in the Ninth Ward. April 10th marked National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day to honor the impact of HIV in the youth population and their critical role in stemming the virus. The PAUSE team joined the French Quarter Festival festivities, handing out PAUSE safer sex kits and safer sex information.


For questions about HIV testing times or locations, please call the PAUSE Google voice number at 504-410-7591.  


For additional information about the PAUSE program, please contact Melanie Powers 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.



The Louisiana Youth for Truth (LYFT) Council is looking for 10 passionate activists from across Louisiana that will support and promote high-quality, comprehensive sexuality education and increased access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services for all young people.


LYFT works to ensure that youth voices are heard in the debate around what sexual health information and resources are available and accessible to young people. IWES, in partnership with Advocates for Youth, prepares this diverse group to shape and drive LYFT's advocacy work.


Each activist will serve on the LYFT council for the duration of the academic year (August 2015 through May 2016) and attend an all-expenses paid training in Washington D.C. September 17-21. Activists must commit approximately 15-20 hours per month and for their work will receive a total stipend of $1,000 ($100 per month).



1. High school or college student, age 15-24

2. Passion for sexual health advocacy, including STI/HIV prevention, LGBTQ health and rights, and/or other social justice issues

3. Leadership skills, and proven ability to work well in a group

4. Strong verbal and written communication skills

5. Experience with the use of social networking and social media tools (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr)

6. Ability to respectfully work with a wide range of groups and individuals, including LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) persons, people of different cultural, religious, racial and political backgrounds, and people with disabilities


Application due TOMORROW, Friday May 8th. Apply here


 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). 

CHC has been busy with many different projects over the past few months! Members of the IWES team attended the Well Community Conference in Washington, D.C. where Dr. Shervington presented on resiliency in the face of injustice. The CHC team also organized an IWES Signature Red Tent event in April in partnership with the New Orleans East Hospital, during which community members enjoyed free services in a healing setting. IWES would like to thank everyone who came out and all those who helped to make it a success! 



 Additionally, CHC held its first Advisory Group meeting in April. Advisory Group members come from many difference sectors, including community health, academia, law and justice. These Advisory Group members will help to guide the work of CHC and will provide feedback on all CHC programs.


CHC has completed two of six sessions of our Crooked Room Conversations series, tackling topics "Back in the Day: Elders Speak Out" and "Black Women and Beauty." A huge THANK YOU to Casa Borrega for providing food and the Central City Renaissance Alliance for hosting us at our last session! See the sidebar of this newsletter for info about our upcoming May session. Finally, Crooked Room Stories has been such a success, we are accepting donations towards reprinting more copies! DONATE to support the publication. 


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.