Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA

by Women's Health Specialists
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA
Cultivating Young Women Leaders in Northern CA

Emerging Leaders Join Together to March for Reproductive Justice!

On January 21st, people across the country participated in a worldwide protest to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality and more.

In far Northern California, 8 young leaders joined together on this day to march for reproductive justice, the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, social and economical well-being of women and girls based on the full achievement and protection of women’s human rights.

These young leaders participated in the local Women’s March to raise awareness about the injustices that impacted their daily personal lives. This march was an opportunity for young leaders to have their voice be heard, advocate for equality and stand in solidarity. Together they made signs that expressed their concerns and shared statements that they wanted to be heard.

At the event young leaders also hosted an educational booth where they shared information with participants on clinical services and programs that are offered by our organization. This provided young leaders with an opportunity to connect with community members and provide compassionate information of where people could access their reproductive needs free and low-cost.

During the March the young leaders joined the crowed of over 1000 people and marched down the streets waving their signs, shouting words for change and taking a stand. These emerging leaders are passionate about their community and fight for reproductive justice, the protection of our rights, our safety, our healthcare and our families.

Many of the young leaders expressed how they felt empowered to speak up and proud to advocate for justice for themselves and their community.

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 Building The Future

As part of our young women’s leadership development program, we provide an opportunity for participants to co-lead and facilitate in community organizing on issues or topics that relate to  women’s rights and reproductive justice. Through community organizing we provide young women with the tools and experience to create change within their communities by bringing people together to build the future. These young women are shifting the culture we live in by tackling issues around sexually transmitted infections, birth control, reducing shame and stigma, all pregnancy options and addressing barriers to access to create an environment of inclusiveness and sex positivity.

Recently several young women leaders of the program united to restore and sustain abortion coverage for low-income women. Together these young women created a space within their community to build support for lifting bans that deny abortion coverage. As part of a nationwide effort in partnership with other grass roots organizations these emerging leaders are removing the stigma and having conversations about barriers that women face when seeking abortion care.

This community organizing provides an opportunity for young women from different communities to come together and invite people from their communities to get involved. Together they shared information on the HYDE Amendment that penalizes low-income women seeking an aboriton. The HYDE Amendment blocks federal funding for abortion services. The young co-leaders would facilitate a group discussion on how these restrictions on abortion care would impact people like them and their communities.

During this event the co-leaders help facilitate an activity called “Walk in My Shoes”. Walk In My Shoes is an activity that consists of 5 women’s profiles, each is pregnancy and seeking an abortion. The activity helps expose the many barriers women face when acceding abortion care. The young women engaged in leading the activity and creating a space to have real conversations about access. Each story represented a different situation. After the exercise the group talked about how to take action to support abortion funding, remove barriers, reduce stigma and empower each other to fight for reproductive justice.

Together we are Building The Future. The young women’s leadership development program reaches youth women from marginalized communities, and provides an opportunity expand their knowledge in reproductive health, women’s right, their bodies and reproductive justice.

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Peer Educator Prevention Training
Peer Educator Prevention Training

Peer Education Works! 

In July, we held another successful Youth Peer Educator Prevention Training in Redding, California. Eight young women from various backgrounds were selected from the community to participate. Young women learned about the various forms of birth control methods, removing barriers to accessing services, STI/HIV transmission and prevention.  They engaged in activities and real conversations about sexual and reproductive health and learned how to have conversations with their peers and connect them to services. Through role play and group presentations participants had coversations that broke down the barriers most youth face with accessing services and developed an idea of healthy and positive responses. 

After reviewing our pre and post surveys as well as evaluations forms that were filled out the training was a huge success! These young women shared how much they appreciate WHS organization and opportunity to connect and have real conversations about sex. Each young woman had an opportunity to share a word that reflected how they felt after the training and those words included, excited, powerful, happy, fun, grateful, and strong. Many participants shared they would like to see more trainings like these happening in the community. 

Upon completing the Peer Prevention Training individuals were given the opportunity to continue their peer leadership and work with WHS. Five of the eight young women were selected to continue. So far these ladies have participated in on foot outreach connecting their peers to clinic services. These young women are taking on leadership roles of tabling at community events, co-presenting at community organizations and networking at local community gatherings. This program is providing an opportunity for young women to connect to their community, find their power and strength in themselves and share that with others.

We are excited to offer this unique project to young women in Northern California. These young women will be inspired to create a network of positive relationships and connections among youth peers, adults, local organizations and community groups. At the end of the project they will have gained confidence, the power they need to make alliances with women, reproductive health care information and become positive, productive forces in their communities.   

Peer Educator Prevention Training
Peer Educator Prevention Training
Peer Educator Co-Presenting at Education Session
Peer Educator Co-Presenting at Education Session
Peer Educators Tabling a College Event
Peer Educators Tabling a College Event
Peer Educators Clinic Escorting
Peer Educators Clinic Escorting
Peer Educator Networking with Community Leaders
Peer Educator Networking with Community Leaders
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WHS Peer Outreach Workers have been " Rocking it in the Northstate". They have put on one more training for 15 to 19 year old youth with the theme"Knowledge is a Lifesaver". Continuing messages that encourage sexually active teens to access contraception; and to reduce the incidence of gonorrhea in Shasta County. Peer Outreach has been so successful, that Shasta County has gone from number two in the state, to number four, going down is a good thing.

Peer Outreach workers have partnered with Shasta College Campus Clubs, and organizations to get the word out that "Knowledge is a Lifesaver" at campus meetings and events. This has increased clinic visits for birth control information,STD information, services and testing in our community. WHS Outreach workers continue to have information booths at Shasta College events with much success.

WHS has outreached to the Shasta College Community Engagement Proram for Interns, for our 19 to 20 year olds for Peer Education Sessions this summer. There has been great response, and looking forward to working with these young adults.

Peer Outreach Workers have also been engage with our local Native American Youth in our community. Local Indians for Education (LIFE), located in Shasta Lake City has been very welcoming to our native youth that has been trained to put on their education sessions and train LIFE youth from their cultural perspective. WHS Peer Outreach have attended native youth events, education sessions, and family night events at the center.

Girls Inc.of Northern California requested peer outreach workers to attend "Vagina Monologues" theater events here in Redding and Redbluff. They had information tables at both events and shared information and services with all that attended. They had a Vagina Costume" and this broke the ice for may positive "Knowledge is a Lifersaver" conversations.

Our peer community outreach workers have also assisted in training session to get youth ready for a busy summer here in the Northstate. Information, ideas were shared where the best outreach places for young teens and young adults will be hanging out, and how to reach them. So, sharing WHS services, hours, and how services can be for free removes the barriers to reproductive health for all. Plus, continuing to have information tables at Shasta College for summer school classes increases outreach.

New Interns, and outreach workers continue to secort at WHS clinic and support client services. These young people continue to show their power and voice for positive change in their community.

Peer Outreach Workers continue to show that "Knowledge is a Lifesaver", to all young people in their community and beyond.


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Recruitment Time For  Young Women Leaders in Northern California


Women’s Health Specialists of Redding California continues to work with our young women in our communities to spread the power of peer education. Reproductive health knowledge and life skills support young women to continue the need for building self-confidence and honing leadership abilities through this peer-based leadership program. Our past graduates have taken the lead with the support of Women’s Health Specialist to continue this education with their peers, friends, schools, education sessions, and community events. At this time our past graduates are recruiting 32 new young women to be enrolled in our next 4 training programs.

Young women 15 – 29 still receive 50% or less reproductive health services and education. With the Young women’s Leaders Training, this number will continue to decrease when these young women stretch their circle of knowledge, raise their voices and believe in their power for change.

Numerous graduates are now in the positions of Volunteer/Youth trainers at WHS Redding Clinic. These young women are working with interns from Shasta College. They are sharing the services for reproductive health care and beyond. Bringing in young women for tours of the clinic and meeting the staff, supporting them by learning escorting and advocating for women’s services. They are aware that their involvement helps to remove barriers for young women seeking services. These young women and 8 others are working on recruiting more young women by attending community events, education session and networking in their community.
These young women know what it takes to be a peer educator plus youth outreach worker. Young adults, choosing and training future leaders in their circle will make a huge difference in our community on all levels.
Graduates will continue to help with their input in updating peer outreach training manual, educating sessions, also work as co-educators.
These young women will continue to provide positive word-of-mouth information to their friends, peers, and family creating a trusted referral network while continuing to build leaders trained in Reproductive Health Education.
With on-going support these awesome young women will continue to educate, empower, and support a positive future in the field of reproductive health care for all women here in the United States and beyond.

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Organization Information

Women's Health Specialists

Location: Redding, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @whs@cawhs
Project Leader:
Linda McCrea
Redding, CA United States
$24,370 raised of $30,800 goal
 
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