BLACK WOMEN FOR WELLNESS
THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2023
Our conference has made a significant impact, educating and training over 5,000 attendees. By attending our conference, these individuals have gained valuable knowledge, skills, and resources to address critical issues facing Black women and girls. They have become advocates for change and have made a difference in their communities.
Over 1300, professionals and community members have earned continuing education credits from our conference.
Through our advocacy efforts and community engagement, we are making significant strides in creating policy reforms and shifting social norms. Our work is leading to concrete changes that benefit Black women and girls, including increased access to healthcare, improved maternal and infant health outcomes, and greater reproductive justice and equity.
The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) operates as a global nonprofit organization that delivers high-quality HIV care and services to individuals in need. They employ a network of pharmacies, thrift stores, health and wellness centers, affordable housing locations, and food-service programs to generate fresh and innovative approaches to treating and overcoming barriers to care for their clients.
The Black Maternal Health Center Of Excellence is a Los Angeles County-based organization that offers maternity care and support. It aims to empower Black women, birthing persons, and their families, ensuring they feel safe, respected, and informed throughout their entire pregnancy journey.
Cedars-Sinai operates as a nonprofit academic healthcare organization, extending its services to the diverse Los Angeles community and beyond. They have been at the forefront of pioneering medical research achievements, shaping the future of healthcare through their education programs, and engaging in various community benefit activities. In doing so, they are establishing new benchmarks for quality and innovation in patient care.
Coming Clean operates as a nonprofit environmental health collaborative with a mission to bring about a transformation in the chemical industry, ensuring it no longer poses harm. They are dedicated to securing systemic changes that promote a safe chemical and clean energy economy, fostering an environment where both can thrive. The organization’s membership comprises various entities, including grassroots activists, community leaders, scientists, health professionals, business leaders, lawyers, and farmworker advocates. Through principled collaboration, they are committed to advancing a vision of a nontoxic, sustainable, and just world for all.
L.A. Care Health Plan functions as the largest publicly operated health plan in the nation, catering to the healthcare needs of over 2.4 million members. They specialize in offering a diverse range of affordable health plans tailored to meet the requirements of the various communities in Los Angeles. Through their health plans, individuals gain access to an extensive network of local doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, ensuring comprehensive healthcare services are readily available.
Planned Parenthood is a widely trusted health care provider, known for being an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner that collaborates with similar organizations worldwide. The organization is dedicated to delivering essential reproductive health care, comprehensive sex education, and valuable information to millions of individuals across the globe.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson takes great pride in representing the Eighth District of Los Angeles and holds the chairmanship of the city’s Planning Land Use and Management committee. Throughout his tenure, Councilmember Harris-Dawson has been proactive in introducing policies aimed at combating homelessness, fostering the creation of quality jobs, enhancing street cleanliness, and promoting community policing initiatives. His dedication to these issues reflects his commitment to serving and improving the lives of the residents in his district and the broader Los Angeles community.
CCF operates as a public, charitable organization with a clear dedication to strengthening communities in Los Angeles County through effective philanthropy and civic engagement.
The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County (PPAP) functions as an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization, serving as the political arm of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA).
PPAP actively engages in legislative and electoral activities, encompassing advocacy, education campaigns, grassroots organizing, and electioneering. Their overarching mission is to enhance the quality and affordability of reproductive and sexual health care, safeguard and extend services that prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and guarantee ongoing access to safe, legal, and confidential abortion care.
First 5 LA is an independent public agency with a goal to support the safe and healthy development of young children so that by 2028, all children in L.A. County will enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life.
Join us on August 10th, 2023 for our annual Reproductive Justice Conference. This year, we are excited to bring back our Men’s Track, where Black men will gather to discuss the role of men in the reproductive justice community. Don’t miss out on this important conversation!
Facilitator: Akil Bell
Panel Moderator: Tony Wafford
BREAKOUT SESSION 1: Men’s Involvement in the Birthing Process
This session will delve into the critical roles that men play in the family planning and birthing process.
Topics to be Discussed:
• Engaging in Family Planning and Birthing Process: In this session, we will discuss the importance of men’s active participation in the planning and birthing process, the strategies for involvement, and the benefits it brings for both the mother and the baby.
• Preparing Fathers for Pre-Birth and Day of Birth Legal Responsibilities: In this session, we will go over the legal implications associated with childbirth, particularly in the event of unfortunate circumstances like maternal death during or after birth.
• Birth Certificates: Legalities and processes involved in securing a birth certificate, and the father’s role in this aspect.
• Health Insurance: In this session, we will navigate the complexities of health insurance during pregnancy and birth and how men can be active participants in ensuring their family’s coverage.
• Power of Attorney: In this session, we will provide an understanding of the importance of power of attorney in the context of childbirth and the role of fathers in establishing it.
• Family Matters (Mothers and In-Laws): In this session, we will address the role of the extended family during the birthing process and how fathers can manage these relationships for a smooth experience.
• Accessing Mental Health Resources During the Birthing and Postpartum Process for Fathers: In this session, we will explore the often overlooked aspect of paternal postpartum depression and how to access the necessary resources.
Panelists: Davion Mauldin, Erik Emel, Nigha Roberts
BREAKOUT SESSION 2: Black Men and Mental Health
This session aims to shed light on the mental health challenges faced by Black men, including stigma, personal and cultural barriers, systemic barriers, and the impact of the pandemic.
Topics to be Discussed:
• The Stigma of Mental Health: In this session, we will discuss the stigma surrounding mental health within Black communities and how it can be addressed.
• Personal and Cultural Barriers: In this workshop, we will provide the unique personal and cultural barriers that Black men face when seeking mental health support and strategies for overcoming them.
• Systemic Barriers: In this session, we will explore the structural and systemic barriers to accessing mental health services for Black men and possible solutions.
• Post-Pandemic: In this workshop, we will discuss the impact on Mental Health in Black communities, the heightened mental health challenges due to the pandemic, and how to support healing and resilience in the aftermath.
Panelists: LeHenry Solomon, Donald Grant
Civic Engagement Track: How to Stay Engaged During the Off-Election Years
Facilitators: Meron Shita and Anthnette Drone
The track will consist of one session:
Session 1: Reparations
In this session, we will explore the topic of reparations. We will have a panel of speakers and a moderator from the Reparation Task Force, including Cheryl Grils, Kevin Cosey, and James Wood.
The panel will discuss two positions:
- Whether all Black people need reparations, with overarching organizations and other collectives represented by James or Kevin as panelists; and
- Whether only descendants of enslaved Africans/Blacks need reparations.
Environmental Justice Track
Facilitators: Astrid Williams and Tianna Shaw Wakeman
Workshop: How to Tackle Environmental Concerns of Fast Fashion
Fashion for the Earth: How to Live Fashionably Well in a Fast Fashion Society
Fast fashion has completely revolutionized the apparel industry, but not for the better. Behind every piece of clothing in a store, there is an industry stripping the Earth of its limited resources and exploiting the labor force that works in its garment factories. Tremendous waste characterizes this industry as it depletes healthy soil, contaminates fresh water sources, pollutes the air we breathe, defiles our oceans, destroys forests, and damages ecosystems and the health of their biodiversity.
- Sustainable practices
- Plastics pollution in outerwear/fashion
- Lifecycle of fashion garments (e.g. wastes, landfills, and air pollution via incineration)
- Possible solutions- the supply chain, ethical sourcing, certified B-corp
Moderator: Astrid Williams
Speaker: Samata Pattinson
Maternal Health Track
Facilitators: Gabrielle Brown and Adjoa Jones
Theme: “Righting the Wrongs through Birthing Justice”, “Overhauling the System”, “Taking Accountability,” “Solutions Only From This Point On.”
Session One: “The Pathway to Healing Our Womb”
This interactive workshop will be presented by Kindred Space LA, Frontline Doulas, and Sister Maat, a midwife/birth worker who also incorporates belly dancing in her work. The workshop will focus on health and wellness and will include a 30-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute interactive session.
The speakers will include doulas, birth workers, holistic healers, and Adjoa Jones.
Session Two: “The Realness of the Maternal Infant Health Crisis”
This panel discussion will focus on bringing light to the maternal-infant health crisis and data. The workshop will include a video with data, group discussion, highlighting and validating stories, and exercises to build solidarity and community. The speakers will include doulas, midwives, OBGYNS, physicians, administrators, Diana Ramos, CA Surgeon General, Dr. Joia
Ashley Skemper Thompson, Bree Anderson
The panel moderator for this session will be Adjoa Jones.
Session One: Sexual Health and Safer Sex.
This workshop will include fun and engaging trivia questions about STIs and safer sex and will cover topics such as STD/STI prevention, HIV, HPV vaccines, self-exams, regular testing, and communicating with your partner(s) about your collective wellness.
Presented by the Black Women For Wellness Get Smart B4U Get Sexy Team
Session Two: Reproductive Life Planning: Real Talk: Real Options
This workshop will support young people to understand their access and how to advocate for their health and will cover topics such as how identity can influence health and health decision-making, identifying valid sources of health information, and determining the accessibility of those resources.
The presenters for this session will be Helen O’Connor, Gwendolynne Cole, and Lonnell Schuler.
Don’t miss out on this important conversation at the Annual Reproductive Justice Conference 2023!