Pre-Conference Institutes

On Monday, October 2, Healthy Teen Network will host Pre-Conference Institutes where attendees can choose from intensive all-day or half-day sessions on different topics in the field. The fee to attend a full-day Pre-Conference Institute is $189 (this price includes breakfast and lunch); half-day Pre-Conference Institutes are $89. These sessions are not included in the price of regular conference registration. 

Each Pre-Conference Institute has a limited capacity. Advance registration is highly recommended. Register here.

Full-Day Pre-Conference Institutes (9 am to 4 pm)

Creating Systemic Social Change: Putting the Reproductive Justice Lens into Practice

Ena Suseth Valladares and Marisol Franco (California Latinas for Reproductive Justice [CLRJ])
The Reproductive Justice (RJ) framework analyzes how the ability of any person to determine their own reproductive destiny is linked directly to the (often oppressive) conditions in their communities and their lived experiences. These conditions require transformation through long-term systemic change that calls for us to come together across separate identities, issue areas and disciplines to truly uplift and improve the lives of all people—including youth. In this interactive full-day Institute, participants will learn how the RJ framework can be adapted and applied in their work and how it can enable us to engage in youth-centered culture shift work together. As part of this culture shift work, participants will examine the messaging they and/or their organizations use when discussing young people’s decisions and be challenged to move away from punitive language and keep building on the uplifting and supportive messages already in place. Lastly, because the health and wellness of young people must be reflected in the institutionalized policies we support, participants will explore how they can engage in policy advocacy efforts that champion young people’s rights to self-determination and bodily autonomy.

Action Planning for Sustainability: Leveraging, Communicating, and Building Partnerships (Invite Only)

Valerie Sedivy (Healthy Teen Network), Ryan Schwartz (Full Focus Communications), Chris White (Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network), & Amanda Brown (CAI)

This full-day preconference for CDC-DASH funded local education agencies will focus on identifying and prioritizing activities to sustain beyond the current cooperative agreement along with communication strategies that can be used to sustain these activities. Participants will engage in hands-on activities to develop communication skills and strategies to nurture champions and build long-term support, with expert input from Ryan Schwartz of Full Focus Communications. Participants will also work with their peers to prioritize activities and develop action plans, with direct support from the NGOs representing each approach area.

Freshening Our Public Policy Messages and Strategies to Match Current Times

Gina Desiderio and Bob Reeg (Healthy Teen Network) and Meagan Downey, CFRE (Youth Catalytics)

A shifted landscape of new or strengthened power players (particularly those who lean conservative) at all levels of government, combined with threats to public health investments that our nation’s youth are facing, necessitates a reinvigorated call to public policy action by individuals and organizations that support youth and their families. In this session, we will explore how to advocate in support of adolescent sexual and reproductive health with conservative-leaning policymakers and key stakeholders, including strategies for knowing your audience to understand their background and perspectives; opportunities for finding common ground to work toward a shared goal; and tactics for identifying and cultivating key messengers and mobilizing your community. This session will feature panelists E.A. “Beth” De Santis, Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Molly Clayton, Chief of Staff of the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, who will share successes and lessons learned in finding common ground with conservative-leaning policymakers. Participants will leave the session with an action plan to move forward in navigating the politics of public health in support of adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Making Room at the Table: Expanding Diversity and Inclusion in Mentorship

Judith Steinhart, Tania Chatterjee, Desirée N. Robinson, Shadeen Francis (WOCSHN)

Working with young people is inherently a change-driven process; while you support their growth, the hope is to instill the knowledge and esteem necessary for them to move forward making healthier choices. Creating systemic change is not very different. As is, many organizations are missing key knowledge by excluding people of color (POC) from decision-making processes. Specific strategies can effectively help groups create space at tables for those who are not usually invited. Breaking these barriers benefits everyone. Our work is best when we learn from one another. This interactive learning experience is for teachers, trainers, advocates, family workers, and professionals who are wanting to help make inroads for greater inclusivity and for opportunities to learn. This interactive pre-con will provide opportunities for reflecting, planning, and implementing specific tools for the creation of support networks within your organization. The goal of this session is to identify strategies for using mentoring and leadership skills to diversify the areas in which we work.

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