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Sessions By Day: Thursday, May 16

SESSION A: 11:15 AM-12:30 PM

A1. Swimming in the Sunlight Zone: Preparing for the Dive

Presenters: Terri Mitchell, PhD, Associate Professor, Appalachian State University; Jenna Sorrells, MPH, EdD student, High Point University

This hands-on session will review the requirements of the 2009 NC Healthy Youth Act, the state law for schools that requires Reproductive Health and Safety Education to replace the Abstinence Until Marriage programs. We will address what content and skills are to be developed at grades 7–9 as well as explore current NC Youth Risk Behavior Survey sexual health data. Participants will practice activities useful to meet the requirements of Reproductive Health and Safety Education and be provided with some recommended resources.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro


A2. Pleasure, Positivity, and Promotion: A Focus on Pleasure to Reduce Sexual Risks

Presenters: Shemeka Thorpe, MS, Co-Founder; and Gabrielle S. Evans, MPH, CHES, Co-Founder, The Minority Sex Report

Over the last decade, there has been a push for sex-positive approaches to sexual health promotion, including discussions around desire and pleasure. Pleasure serves as one of the primary reasons that adolescents are engaging in sex but research has shown that many of them, especially girls, are not having pleasurable experiences. In this session, we will discuss how sex-positive approaches and the inclusion of pleasure in sexuality education curricula can lower teen pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted infections. We will also discuss gender and racial differences in experiences of pleasure and sociocultural barriers.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Intermediate


A3. Transforming North Carolina’s Medicaid Program: Policy Updates on How Reform Impacts Youth

Presenter: Ciara Zachary, PhD, MPH, Health Program Director, NC Child

North Carolina’s Medicaid program is experiencing significant changes as the state transforms the program from mostly fee-for-service to managed care. As 70 percent of Medicaid enrollees are children, Medicaid Transformation will greatly impact how teens and families access and receive the health services they need. This session will provide an overview of the state policy that initiated Transformation, provide an update on the status of Medicaid Transformation, and highlight updates on opportunities to strengthen the current Medicaid program and increase consumer engagement.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate


A4. MindBlown: An educator’s mini-guide to putting the self first

Presenter: Maralis Mercado Emerson, MPH, MACS, CEO, REClaim The Well, LLC

Picture it. Your heart is racing, sweat dripping down your brow, your breathing is shallow and fast, and you are just getting ready. You are about to teach a sex ed class. Whether online or in-person, adults or teens, teaching sex can be a challenge and increase discomfort for all involved. The last thing on your mind is making sure you are okay. Self-care is easier said than done. Trust us, we know – we’re sex educators. In this session, participants will learn mindfulness techniques that will help center oneself throughout any presentation! Participants will also have the opportunity to share best practices for workshop preparation and implementation.

Session Format: Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate


A5. The CUES Approach: Healthcare providers’ role in talking to teen patients about dating violence

Presenter: Cassandra Rowe, Healthcare Program Coordinator, NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and Elizabeth Sager, MPH

The CUES intervention, created by Futures Without Violence, is aimed at training healthcare staff in understanding the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) and Human Trafficking (HT) on health and provides healthcare staff with the resources to talk with patients about how IPV can impact their health and the health of their peers. Participants in this session will learn how IPV/HT impacts health, why healthcare providers are an important part of IPV and HT interventions, the key components of the CUES intervention, and how healthcare centers can partner with a local DV/SA agency for referrals.

Session Format: Lecture; Panel Presentation Content Level: Intermediate

A6. A Thousand Invisible Cuts: Microaggressions & LGBTQ Youth

Presenter: Miller Russell, MSW, LGBTQ Capacity Coordinator, SHIFT NC
This interactive, empathy-building activity will ask participants to engage directly with common microaggressions that LGBTQ youth may face as a way of understanding the cumulative impact these invisible acts of prejudice and discrimination can have on youth well-being. Through facilitated discussion and activities, we will define what microaggressions are, practice interpreting common microaggressions that target LGBTQ youth, and investigate the devastating impact of “a thousand invisible cuts.”

Session Format: Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate


SESSION B: 2:00-3:15 PM

B1. Sex Education for Social Change

Presenter: Jennifer Driver, MPP, Director of State Policy, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)

Sex ed is vital for providing young people the information and skills needed to ensure their lifelong sexual health and well-being. Sex education can also be a powerful vehicle for social change. With sex education, we have a golden opportunity to create a culture shift – tackling misinformation, shame, and stigma that create the basis for many of today’s sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. This workshop will not only inform participants of how sex education can (and should) be used as a vehicle for social change, but also how to use this messaging to influence policy change in conservative areas.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate; Advanced

B2. Considering Explicit and Implicit Bias in Our Practice: The Case Of Yo Veo Salud

Presenter: Mimi Chapman, PhD, Professor, UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work

In this session we will discuss the idea of implicit bias, distinguish it from explicit bias, and look at the implications for bias on health and mental health practice with adolescents. The results from a pilot intervention aimed at decreasing bias among health care providers working with Latinx adolescents, Yo Veo Salud (I See Health), will be presented.  At the end of the session, attendees will be able to distinguish implicit from explicit bias, consider ways in which these biases contribute to health disparities, and be able to think about how to decrease the impact of these biases in their own practice.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate; Advanced 


B3.  Encouraging Reproductive Life Planning in the Latinx Community in NC

Presenter: Rocio C. Anderson, Director, NC Preconception Health Campaign, March of Dimes

The March of Dimes NC Preconception Health Campaign aims to decrease the percentage of unintended pregnancies in North Carolina. Preconception health interventions provide access to knowledge and services that allow for improved health prior to pregnancy, thereby positively impacting birth outcomes – including the reduction of birth defects and preterm birth. To do this we understand that we must improve women’s wellness, improve reproductive outcomes, and reduce health disparities. This session will provide background and current status of Latina pregnancies and birth outcomes in NC. We will also share strategies and evidence-based programs for providers to consider when implementing and enhancing practice to better serve Latinx families in North Carolina.

Session Format: Lecture Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate


B4. Adolescent Sexual Health in the Digital Age: Addressing Consent and Healthy Relationships using a Media Literacy Education Approach

Presenters: Christina Malik, PhD, Research Scientist; Elyse Keefe, MSW, MPH, Research Specialist; and Abigail Morrison, MPH, Research Specialist, innovation Research & Training

This workshop will describe the latest research on media and their impact on adolescent sexual health, paying special attention to broader topics like gender roles, rape myths, consent, and healthy relationships. Media literacy education (MLE) represents an engaging, innovative, and accessible way to teach comprehensive sexual education to adolescents. Participants will see MLE in action and learn effective strategies they can apply to a variety of educational settings. Attendees will engage with each other in analysis of media messages and a lively breakout activity including the creation of positive messages (media advocacy).

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate

B5. Making Your Campus Queer-Friendly

Presenter: Leslie Dill Robinson, M.A.Ed., CHES, Health Education Specialist

During this session, we will discuss ways that professional staff and students have worked to make UNC Charlotte a queer-friendly campus. We will offer ideas and action steps that you can take back to your campus, high school or college, to improve campus culture as it relates to queer students. Bring your thoughts and your experiences and be ready to engage in discussion around ways we can work to make all of our campuses more queer-friendly.

Session Format: Lecture Content Level: Beginner/Intro


B6. Re:MIXing the Stigma of Teen Pregnancy

Presenters: Melissa Pintor Carnagey, LBSW, Health Educator; and Elroy T. Hendricks, III, Peer Educator, EngenderHealth

This workshop highlights the Re:MIX program as an example of youth-centered sex education that is destigmatizing teen pregnancy and creating opportunities for young parents to use their experiences to positively impact the sexual health of peers. Participants will learn about the program’s stigma-crushing approach to teaching adolescent sex ed; how to incorporate storytelling to deepen youth’s engagement with sexual health concepts; and best practices for utilizing young parents as peer educators in sex education programs for youth.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity Content Level: Intermediate

SESSION C: 3:30-4:45 PM

C1. Integrating PrEP Education into Sexual Health Education

Presenters: Bianka Reese, PhD, MSPH, Evaluation Specialist; and Ashley Stewart, MS, CHES, Clinic Improvement and Linking Specialist, SHIFT NC

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a pill taken once daily to help prevent HIV infection in uninfected people. This session will provide an update on the current HIV/STI status among young people in North Carolina and will describe the new laws regarding PrEP provision and access for youth. Participants will also identify the best practices for integrating PrEP education into sexual health education in community and school settings, including how to communicate discussions about PrEP with young people, the potential language and messaging to use, as well as how to locate and make referrals to local PrEP providers.

Session Format: Lecture Content Level: Beginner/Intro


C2. Finding Common Ground with Faith-based Organizations – A Panel Discussion

Panelists: Rick Brown, Youth Education Program Director [moderator]; Tony Casas, M.Div.,Jóvenes Sabios Educator; and Thomas Barksdale, M.Div., Wise Guys Educator, Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, Inc.; Gin Reid Hall, MA, Director, Partnership Village/Greensboro Urban Ministry

In some communities, partnering with faith-based organizations to help reduce teen pregnancy rates can be challenging.  In this panel discussion, you will hear the experiences of several leaders who have experience in both the teen pregnancy prevention field and involvement with their faith-based organization. We will discuss potential opportunities to open doors and create partnerships, as well as identify and discuss the obstacles that sometimes prevent these partnerships from forming. Questions will be encouraged in this interactive session.

Session Format: Panel Presentation Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate; Advanced


C3. A Powerful Look at Health from a Young Parent’s Perspective

Presenters: Rebecca Shirsat, Evaluation Coordinator; and Elroy T. Hendricks, III, Peer Educator, EngenderHealth

In this session, we will examine the social and economic factors that affect the ability of youth to access the resources needed to maintain their sexual health. First participants will view the Re:MIX peer educators’ narrated PhotoVoice videos, then a peer educator will discuss their experience working on the project. Afterwards, we will present key project findings and break attendees into groups to debrief and complete an activity focused on the social determinants of health. Guided by facilitators and using content from the Re:MIX curriculum, participants will identify key resources that promote positive youth sexual health.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro


C4. Hey Healthcare! Let’s Talk About Sex!

Presenters: Casey Kaplan, MPH, CHES, Research & Evaluation; Shamieka Dixon, MD, Medical Director; and Katherine Hogan, PhD, Director of Research & Evaluation, Teen Health Connection

A critical strategy for addressing unintended pregnancy is the use of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs). Despite the effectiveness of LARCs, utilization among adolescents remains low. Pediatricians, family medicine providers, and health educators are key stakeholders in reducing unintended pregnancy through LARC promotion, but data suggest that patient education is inconsistent. This session will provide tools and strategies for adolescent-serving healthcare professionals to enhance their patient education. Additionally, a Teen Health Connection clinical provider will present case studies highlighting ways to overcome challenges related to modifying and improving reproductive health education in adolescent care settings.

Session Approach: Lecture Content Level: Intermediate  


C5. Shaped by You: Reducing Negative Stigmas Associated with Sex through Student-Led Peer Sex Education

Presenters: Cameron Burnette, Cody Williams, and Sondous Eksheir, Peer Leader Educators; University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Peer Leader Educators Advocating for Sexuality Education

Intersectional peer education offers a way for teens and young adults to feel comfortable talking about and exploring their sexual health and social identities. Through a panel of students that are diverse in sexual orientation, race, and class from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, we will discuss the importance and success of this approach on college campuses from the perspective of a student-led peer sexual education program.

Session Format: Panel Presentation Content Level: Beginner/Intro


C6. Unleashing the Power of Students for Effective School-Based Sexual Health Education

Presenters: Joyce C. Loveless, M.Ed., NC Executive Director; and Tyrek Corry, MSW, M.Div., Project Manager, Center for Supportive Schools

Students in schools have an important role to play in their own sexual health education. They are not merely recipients of instruction; they are largely underutilized resources, capable of delivering prevention education programs and services in a way that impacts significantly their own lives, the lives of their peers, and the overall quality of their schools. While peer education programs may be undertaken due to a belief that they are easy and convenient, effective peer models require intensive planning, coordination, supervision, and resources. In this session, we will explore strategies, actions, and lessons learned from over 15 years of implementing an evidence-based, high school sexual health education program that taps into the power of older students to educate younger students in responsible decision-making.

Session Format: Lecture; Group Activity; Group Discussion Content Level: Beginner/Intro; Intermediate; Advanced


C7. Our Voices Through Our Lens: A PhotoVoice Project

Presenter: Nia Sutton, MPH, CHES, Capacity Building Specialist, SHIFT NC; youth participants from North Carolina  

Our Voices Through Our Lens is a PhotoVoice project conducted with young people in Wilson and Durham counties. During this workshop, the presenter will share methodology, topics of interest, and photos from the youth that address what sexual health looks like to youth with marginalized experiences in North Carolina. The presenter will also share successes, challenges, and lessons learned from engaging youth in a PhotoVoice project. This session will also feature a panel of the participating youth who will describe their experiences participating in the PhotoVoice project.

Session Format: Lecture Content Level: Intermediate