Welcome to the Institute Of Women And Ethnic Studies' Quarterly E-Blast. Every February, May, August and November look out for this E-Blast to update you on IWES programs and events. Thanks for being a part of the IWES family!
On August 20-21 at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, IWES held the Community Uprising conference, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The conference brought together thought leaders, community stakeholders, and community members to examine recovery and community resilience in the context of ongoing adversity and chronic stress. 

On the evening of August 20th, IWES also hosted Rebel Music, a fundraiser and conference kickoff event, at Café Istanbul, which featured performances by Big Freedia, Courtney Bryan, Michaela Harrison, Joy Clark, Monica McIntyre, Stephanie McKee, and Kesha McKey.
To get the social media play-by-play of the conference, check out the Storify.

Follow these links to see pictures from Day 1 and Day 2.

Follow this link to download keynote speaker abstracts.
The Louisiana Center for Children's Rights, the Joan Mitchell Center, and other community partners are proud to bring the Juvenile In Justice exhibition to New Orleans!

Created by acclaimed photographer Richard Ross, the exhibit exposes the treatment of children in prisons around the nation through powerful photographs and personal narratives. The exhibition will be on view weekdays, 9 am - 5 pm, from Oct. 23rd to Nov. 20th at the Myrtle Banks Building.

The exhibit is sponsored by community organizations and local universities that are working toward a better future for New Orleans' youth. Sponsors will hold related events. Follow this link for the schedule of events.

Check out the IWES landing page, 

Learn more about IWES' leadership centralizing the struggle and power of communities of color at: 

Be sure to download the Emotional Wellness Survey Report and Resiliency White Paper for research and analysis on these topics!
Youth Research Program Podcasts COMING SOON!
The Youth Research Program was a youth participatory action research (YPAR) project conducted with ten youth of color from the Greater New Orleans area aged 11-17 from October 2014 through June 2015. The youth chose to conduct research on how racism affects the health and well-being of youth in New Orleans, with a specific emphasis on how racism relates to sexism, substance use, police brutality, and underpaid workers. They chose to share their findings in the form of a mural and a podcast so they could both talk about their work in their own words and visually represent the commun ity challenges they learned about. Look out for the podcast on the IWES website in November!
  Featured IWES Films: risk Web Series
Episode 1: The Graduation
Episode 1: The Graduation
Episode 2: Orientation
Episode 2: Orientation
Episode 3: The Birthday
Episode 3: The Birthday
Episode 4: The Hurricane
Episode 4: The Hurricane
Episode 5: The Last Party
Episode 5: The Last Party
In 2014, IWES premiered  risk, a web series created with former Media Advocates for Prevention participants that follows a circle of friends on summer break as they navigate relationships, identity, friendships and their health. Check out each episode!
  View our videos on YouTube    

Stacey Cunningham, MS - CHC Program Manager
Stacey joined IWES in September 2015. Prior to coming to IWES, she worked with Ipas in North Carolina providing technical support to work in Nigeria and Ghana, and with Marie Stopes International, supporting programs in South Asia. She has also spent time overseas piloting an innovative maternal and child mHealth project in Malawi, and serving as US Peace Corps staff in Guyana and Kenya, supporting programming and training in the health and education sectors. Stacey received her MS in Biopsychology from the University of New Orleans. She got her first taste of life in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho. Stateside, Stacey previously served as a Program Manager at Tulane's Mary Amelia Center and an adjunct professor at Tulane's School of Public Health. She also spent over six years working for the Louisiana state health department on diverse public health issues including family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and tobacco control. Although she has worked in a variety of settings and sectors, Stacey's work in public health has always focused on: women and children in low resourced areas; the vital role of true community collaboration; and developing strong, sustainable institutions. 

Keeanya E. Dupré, MPA - Director of Finance
Keeanya joined IWES in 2015 after serving over 20 years in the New Orleans Public Education and State of Louisiana Higher Education systems. Prior to joining IWES she was the Director of Finance and Operations (2009-2015) for the New Orleans Charter Schools Foundation, which operated McDonogh City Park Academy, an open enrollment public charter school. While with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, she was the Senior Department Administrator for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery (2007-2009) and the Assistant Department Administrator in the Department of Pediatric Surgery (2001-2007). Both departments operate public and private clinics throughout the state, often times being the sole provider of care for economically disadvantaged patients. She was also a member of the Orleans Parish School Board's Budget and Finance Departments (1995-2001).  Keeanya received her Master of Public Administration in 2011 and her Bachelor of Science in Management in 1993, both from the University of New Orleans.  She is excited to have joined a community centered organization that is committed to the overall well-being of women of color and their families. A native of Los Angeles, she has made New Orleans her home and is proud to be a member of such a vibrant city.  

Jakevia Green, MPH - BY-LA Senior Program Coordinator
Jakevia joined IWES in August 2015. In 2011, she earned an interdisciplinary BA in Medicine, Health, & Society from Vanderbilt University. Later that year, she moved to New Orleans to attend the Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, where she earned an MPH in Epidemiology and also received the Outstanding Student Service Award in 2013. Upon completion of her schooling, she remained at Tulane and served as the Senior Program Coordinator of a federally-funded randomized control trial designed to evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-based pregnancy prevention intervention. Jakevia brings years of experience in academic research and knowledge and skills in data management and analysis. Her interests include reproductive justice, unintended pregnancy prevention, HIV/STI awareness and prevention, expansion and promotion of comprehensive sexuality education, and youth advocacy.  

Shelbi Gatlin, MSW - COOL Program Coordinator
Shelbi began working with IWES in August 2015 as the Creating Our Own Lens (COOL) Coordinator. She received her Masters of Social Work degree from Tulane University and has since utilized the unique perspective instilled by TSSW through work with individuals, institutions, and communities. Her experience ranges from social work within the criminal justice system, with both offenders and victims of crime, to inpatient psychiatric care, with a specialized focus on children and adolescents. Shelbi attended undergrad at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, majoring in social work and Spanish, and is originally from Texas.

Ebony Hampton - Social Work Intern
Ebony Hampton joined IWES in September 2015 as a graduate intern. She is a graduate of Howard University, where she received her Bachelors of Science in biology. After graduation, Ebony moved to Baton Rouge for one year to serve as a City Year AmeriCorps member, providing hands-on tutoring and mentoring support to high school students who were at-risk of dropping out. She is currently enrolled as a Master of Social Work student at Tulane University. Ebony is excited to be a part of the IWES team, and looks forward to getting more involved with women and children of color in the New Orleans community.

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. 


Starting in November, WE-CAN! will lead a panel of community stakeholders through a consensus building process to prioritize factors related to youth well-being. These factors are based in part on data collected by youth through the WE-CAN! Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project focus groups with parents, educators, and other community members. Results from the panel's efforts will help identify a set of community-driven indicators that can be used to assess and monitor the status of youth well-being.


Upcoming WE-CAN! activities include two Red Tents with IWES partners the Women Donors Network (November 15th) and the Water Collaborative (November 22nd).

For additional information about WE-CAN! activities, contact the WE-CAN! Program Manager, Danielle Broussard. 

Believe in Youth - Louisiana (BY-LA)
BY-LA is a comprehensive sexual health and teen pregnancy prevention program aiming to reduce the rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among African American and Latino youth aged 11-19 in Southeast Louisiana. Target reach for BY-LA is 16,500 youth. Employing a trauma-informed approach to sexuality education, BY-LA integrates medically accurate information, positive youth development practices, and stress management strategies to promote safer sex practices and emotional resiliency. BY-LA prioritizes quality program delivery and is inclusive of LGBTQ-identifying youth. The program is federally funded by  the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Adolescent Health's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative.     
In July, 11 youth were selected to serve as members of the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) and received intensive training on leadership development, communication skills, and personal wellness. The YLC meets every two months to discuss issues pertaining to adolescent well-being, inform the content/delivery of IWES programming, and offer ideas for generating youth interest and participation in positive youth development activities.

On September 22, IWES held a press conference at Schaumburg Elementary School to announce $8 million of federal funding awarded to expand sexual health education, STI prevention, and HIV testing in Southeast Louisiana over the next five years. Speakers included: President & CEO of IWES, Dr. Denese Shervington, Representative Wesley Bishop of the LA House of Representatives, New Orleans City Councilmember Susan Guidry, City of New Orleans Health Director Charlotte Parent, Rev. Isaiah Stewart, New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council Coordinator Gina Brown, and Schaumburg Elementary Principal Laci Blondell.

BY-LA will sustain partnerships made during implementation of BY!-NOLA! from 2010-2015 and will continue to foster new partnerships. BY-LA has formed a Community Advisory Group (CAG) to ensure the program is responsive to the population served. BY-LA invites parents, politicians, business owners, educators, administrators, and other community stakeholders to join this group. Please request additional information if you or someone you know would be interested in joining the CAG.

For more information on BY-LA and the YLC/PAT/CAG, contact Brittany McBride .
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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. 
IWES' Comprehensive High Impact Prevention (CHIP) Program continues to offer free HIV testing at two Walgreens sites (145 Elk Place and 1100 Elysian Fields Ave). Staff also continue to offer sexual health presentations and optional free HIV testing to each incoming class of Liberty's Kitchen and look forward to engaging further with them through service on their Youth Advisory Board.

In July, AIDS United AmeriCorps member, Caitlin Wahlers, completed her year of service and IWES is thrilled to now have Ms. Wahlers as a full-time staff member as a Program Facilitator with the Believe in Youth-Louisiana Program.

On August 25th, CHIP staff presented sexual health information to participants in the Girls Reaching Out Working Wonders (GROWW) Program through the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court and will continue conducting monthly presentations. CHIP staff also partnered with the American Friends Service Committee to address the safety of New Orleans youth and participated in their Annual Peace is Power Parade on September 19th.

As mentioned above, IWES recently held a press conference to announce five years of continued funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Office of Adolescent Health (OAH). This funding will allow CHIP staff to offer resources, sexual health education and HIV testing to thousands of youth in the greater New Orleans and greater Houma regions.
For more information on HIV testing, outreach, or volunteer opportunities, contact Michael and/or find PAUSE on social media.
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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.
CrAFT kicked off the school year at Paul Habans Charter School, where it began implementation with their eighth grade class. Moving forward, CrAFT will be implemented with sixth and seventh graders, as well, reaching over 120 students.

Meet the 2015/2016 Louisiana Youth For Truth (LYFT) Council!

Clockwise from bottom left: Paris Scott, Brittany Firstley, Bernell Elzey, Claire Stagg, Sean Sylve, Haley Smith, Charlie Briley, Bianca Bumpers, Foster Noone, Sheba Scott (not pictured)

The LYFT Council attended Advocates for Youth's Urban Retreat in Washington D.C. September 17 - 21. At the retreat they met with other youth leaders from across the country, learned valuable skills around organizing and advocacy, and met with their representatives on Capitol Hill.
 For more information about CRAFT, contact  Melanie Powers . To follow the council, check them out on social media.
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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. 
As a partner in the city's Trauma Informed Schools Collaborative, CHC is bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise and school staff to build capacity of schools to create supportive environments for students and staff. IWES serves as the liaison organization to Crocker College Prep where it will be providing technical assistance through the establishment of a weekly trauma-based group for young girls.

Having completed formative research, CHC is developing content and materials for a Public Will Campaign to address youth emotional wellness. Using new and traditional media, the campaign will feature stories from local youth to suggest alternative interpretations of the narratives around young people.

On the heels of the successful publication and positive reception of the Crooked Room book, a second edition is underway. This edition will revisit the original themes and offer new insights from scholars and success stories from community women. 
To learn more about CHC, please contact  Stacey Cunningham .
Creating Our Own Lens (COOL)
Funded by the  W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Young Men's Voices (have) Power in New Orleans (YMVP-NOLA) initiative , COOL works to dismantle the complex challenges & barriers young men of color face to set them on a path to success. The grant funds two intern cohorts for 15-month periods and a job placement program. COOL utilizes a trauma-informed model which combines technical skills and job training with emotional wellness, healing and stress management. IWES  partnered with the  New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC)  and the  City's Office of Cultural Economy to  provide extensive training and job placement assistance for interns in the film industry. Additionally, they will support IWES' city-wide public will campaign designed to reframe narratives around youth emotional wellness. 
Meet the first cohort of COOL interns!
G'Kar Jackson

Ikeem George

Ikeem and G'Kar have been successful thus far in immersing themselves in the world of media production. They have gained experience in  film production and editing, Photoshop,  screen-printing, and more through NOVAC's Born Digital Youth program. Most recently, they assisted with video production and sound coverage of a conference held by the National Organization of Minority Architects. The interns have utilized their new skills at IWES by assisting during the filming of the IWES press conference previously mentioned by BY-LA and PAUSE at Schaumburg Elementary School.   
In the upcoming quarter, the program will begin its emotional wellness portion with the interns from several partner agencies. IWES' goal is to provide the young men with a chance to socialize and support one another via groups facilitated by clinical psychologist, Dr. Arnold James. The groups, or "wellness circles," will continue throughout this cohort's involvement with the YMVP-NOLA grant.

   To learn more about COOL, please contact  Shelbi Gatlin .
Soccer For Success
Soccer for Success is a free after school program that uses soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. The program is funded and supported by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and is serving 300 children in the Greater New Orleans area. Soccer for Success is built upon four components: physical activity; nutrition; mentorship; and family engagement.
Fall is an exciting time for the Soccer for Success program. With the support of FirstLine Schools and Excite All Stars, programming has begun at all operating sites, which  include Langston Hughes Academy, Phillis Wheatley Community School, Samuel J. Green Charter School, Fannie C. Williams Charter School, and Einstein Charter School. Serving 140 youth in the greater New Orleans area, fall season participants are now learning the importance of nutrition, in addition to the benefits of physical activity. Additionally, o n October 24th, Excite All Stars hosted a Fall Fair for program participants - a soccer clinic, scrimmage, and demonstration on nutrition were just a few of the activities planned for the fair!

   To learn more about Soccer for Success, please contact  Caitlin Wahlers.
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.