Friday, January 9, 2015

Chakena Conway Memorial Service 01.23.15

In Loving Memory

Chakena R. Conway
Also known as
DaviD Isaiah Joseph
10/10/86 – 1/8/15

Please join us for a Celebration of Life for Chakena
Friday, January 23rd, 2015
6:00 – 8:00pm
(Doors Open at 5:30pm)
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
Laura Parsons Pratt Conference Room on the First Floor
281 Park Avenue South (at 22nd. St.)

Take the #6 train to 23rd St. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Youth Resources...YWCHAC is Thankful

YWCHAC is thankful for the national focus on adolescents and young adults. The Office of Adolescent Health highlights five resources that are providing the nation’s emerging demographic with much needed life altering information.

The transitions occurring in adolescence and young adulthood are a time of growth and vulnerability for young people. Maintaining support through both these periods is important, especially as career and personal pathways become more complex. The Institute of Medicine’s new report, “Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults,” investigates specific health issues that young adults face and the actions programs and policymakers can take to help. Similarly, “Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity,” from the White House Council on Women and Girls, shares the successes of evidence-based programming to improve economic and health outcomes for minority girls and women. Both reports recognize the progress that has been made, while highlighting the work that remains to be done.

Schools can use new resources to promote safe spaces for students and help them build healthier relationships, including training for school support personnel to address dating violence (from the National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments) and guidance on preventing sexual violence (from the U.S. Department of Education). Just as safe physical spaces can help prevent in-person bullying and violence, safe online spaces can help prevent cyber bullying. The Federal Trade Commission has a new site with free printed materials targeted to adolescents on preventing cyber bullying. Additionally, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention have new tip cards on cyber bullying for law enforcement professionals

Flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks around December or January; approximately five to 20 percent of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. Fortunately, you can prevent the flu with the flu vaccine, recommended for everyone six months and older. has many resources to help people stay healthy during flu season, including a flu vaccine locator widget and a handy infographic that explains the different types of flu vaccines and dispels myths about the vaccine. 

Schools play an important role in adolescents’ nutrition. Farm to School programs operate in over 40,000 schools across the United States and expose students to locally grown foods. The Food and Nutrition Service, within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed a new toolkit that walks schools through the processes of starting and growing these programs. Another tool that helps adolescents eat better is USDA's SuperTracker. To supplement this resource, USDA recently released lesson plans high school teachers can use to introduce students to the tool.

The Office of Adolescent Health updated their fact sheets on adolescent healthy relationships, mental health, physical health, reproductive health, and substance abuse. These updated sheets enable visitors to see the health status of adolescents across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam. Visitors can browse the data using either the interactive map or the list of states. Find out how teens in your state fare in measures of health such as tobacco use, physical activity, and more!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

YWCHAC Alum, May Vutrapongvatana with Councilman Ben Kallos, 5th District and Co-Founder, Claire Simon (far right), Tracie Gardner, Legal Action Center (left) and staffer.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

YWCHAC Summer Update

YWCHAC spent the month of June spreading prevention messages to young women of color in NYC and to young women of color across the pond in London. 

I'M POSSIBLE a women's empowerment movement of London,  created by Simone Bresi-Ando sponsored a young women's empowerment day at local school in London. Kymsha Henry, Co-Director, facilitate a workshop on social influences via Skype.  The experience was both fun and enlightening on both sides of the pond.  

YWCHAC Alum, May Vutrapongvatana is spending her summer as an intern with Councilman Ben Kallos, 5th District focusing on the implementation of the city-wide mandate of sexual health classes for NYC public school students
(Kymsha Henry, supporter Dawn Skeete Walker, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Claire Simon, Verneda White)
 YWCHAC Co Directors  with supporters and Sheryl Lee Ralph at the benefit performance, "Sometimes I Cry" at the Shomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem, NYC
LOVE & POLITICS III was held at Suite 36 in NYC to a host of well over 500 guests and where the HIV testing initiative for young professionals of color mix and mingle.  This year's honorees were NYC Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr. 34th District-Brooklyn, US Congress Woman Yvette Clarke, Rapper/Entertainer-Doug E. Fresh, HIV/AIDS Activist-Hydeia Brodbent, TV Personality/Author Demetria Lucas.  YWCHAC serves on the planning committee.

Friday, June 27, 2014

National HIV Testing Day

Monday, May 19, 2014

An Evening wtih Sherly Lee Ralph 6.14.14

Sold Out

YWCHAC partners with
 Sister to Sister: One in the Spirit

to present An Evening of Empowerment with Sheryl Lee Ralph in a one-woman performance, “Sometimes I Cry,” to be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem, NY. “Sometimes I Cry” is a one-woman show, written and conceived by award winning actress and honored AIDS activist Sheryl Lee Ralph. This moving and provocative show was inspired by the real life stories of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Ralph becomes each one of these characters, breathing life into them and their stories with every move and simple gesture.

This performance by Sheryl Lee Ralph, albeit presented through entertainment, shines light on a serious health issue that disproportionately affects communities of color and is essential to the Harlem community. Additionally the work aligns itself with Sister to Sister’s mission to “educate to empower” women of color. It is important to note, that although it has been reported that AIDS has remained stable in recent years, there’s an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections that continue to surface annually. The Center for Disease Control’s National Surveillance, continues to collect, analyze and provide information about new and existing cases of the HIV infection, including AIDS. Admission is $35 and includes show, reception, and gift, tickets and registration is available online by visiting

Media Partner: Black Celebrity

Friday, May 16, 2014

Be Young Be Brooklyn Be Safe 5.22.14

Join Us!
Free Swag, DJ, Free & Confidential HIV Testing
The Park by Prospect Hall HS & Clara Barton HS

Gospel Under The Stars 6.13.14 @Restoration Plaza

Rejoice & Learn
Health Resources, Free & Confidential HIV & Hep. C Testing, Raffles, & More

Friday, May 9, 2014

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

Martin, J.A., Hamilton, B.E., & Ventura, S. J. (2013). Births: Final Data for 2012. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved January 21, 2014, from

Hamilton, B. E., Mathews, M. S., & Ventura, S. J. (2013). Declines in state teen birth rates by race and Hispanic origin. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved January

Friday, March 28, 2014

YWCHAC Community Survey

The members of YWCHAC have created a survey to get a better understanding of what young people know about their immediate communities. We hope that you can help us learn more about NYC and the needs of young people by taking our survey. Thank you.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

WE SPEAK BU brings Mardi Gras to Binghamton University...

Women Empowered  Support Protect Educate Advocate Know    Binghamton University


WE SPEAK BU is an alumni led & driven chapter of YWCHAC. SA Chartered in partnership with HHS Office of  Womens Health, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS

Friday, February 7, 2014

Relationships in the Age of Technology

Sponsored by CAMBA, Junior Advisory Board of YWCHAC, NBLCA, b Condoms

Thursday, January 16, 2014



Power of My Parts -A Film Festival For Youth By Youth is committed to showcasing the best in independent cinema from our young talent. Our Power of My Parts -A Film Festival For Youth By Youth Shorts category features emerging young filmmakers work in narrative short films. Please note these films must be under 41 minutes.

The Film Festival has featured past Scenarios USA films written and co-directed by young people from around the country and award-winning directors.

If you have a short film that focuses on issues that young people face daily, send us a clip to Your short film could be featured at our 5th Annual Power of My Parts -A Film Festival for Youth By Youth in April 2014. Deadline is March 7, 2014.

To advance use independent films as teaching tools and create dialogue among young people about the issues that they face daily and to provide resources so that they can make informed decisions.  

Power of My Parts -A Film Festival For Youth By Youth  launched in 2010 welcomes numerous young filmmakers including most recently, Jordan Coleman, Mama Don't Play Productions and Jason Charles, Cinematic Empowerment (9 ½ Minutes).  While there are more than 1,000 film festivals worldwide, very few feature the work of aspiring young people under the age of 24 with a focus on social issues.

Power of My Parts -A Film Festival For Youth By Youth  is  much more than an annual event, the film festival supports the work that is done by YWCHAC which operates all year round to achieve the organization's mission of fostering the development of young women of color  in leadership, organizing and advocacy skills. The film festival provides a venue for exhibiting the skills that the young women in the program have learned as well as a vehicle to impart life-saving information that they can share with their peers, families and immediate communities.  

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Contact Kymsha Henry, Co-Director for ways you can be part of this amazing event.

ORGANIZERS: Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition, Pixod, Sundree Brand Management, Cinematic Empowerment, Social Cinemas, LLC., HEAT Program, Project KISS, Montefiore Adolescent AIDS Program, Legal Action Center

Monday, January 13, 2014

Schooling Sex: A Community discussion on sex education in the NYC school system.


Guest Moderator Tracie Gardner with Guest Panelists Youth Activist Mister Louis G, Principal Mark Ossenheimer, Monica Rodriguez from SIECUS, Council Member Danny Dromm and Ace Robinson (GMHC)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Seasons Greetings 2013

Give the gift of voice! Your donation can help to empower young women who've yet to find their voices.
This is why #WE_SPEAK

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Look Back @ the Red Heels & Bow Ties World AIDS Day 2013

RED Heels & Bow Ties Guests @Bubble Lounge Tribeca
YWCHAC decor @ Bubble Lounge Tribeca

YWCHAC Alumni, Kim, Jody, Emma
Human Intonation Executive Director, Verndeda Whyte & Zena Mine

Love Heal Staff in the House

Thursday, December 5, 2013

WE SPEAK BU Play Raises HIV Awareness

National Prevention Information Network

WE SPEAK BU Play Raises HIV Awareness

The Binghamton University Pipe Dream recently reported that Women Empowered Support, Protect, Educate, Advocate, and Know at Binghamton University (WE SPEAK BU) in New York recently presented their third annual “HIV Positive Monologues” to spread HIV/AIDS awareness and educate students about prevention methods. Students performed the theatrical monologues, which followed the story of four characters whose lives were affected by HIV/AIDS. It included the story of a young woman who had to tell her boyfriend that she had been infected with HIV as a result of mother-to-child transmission, and that of a married man who resisted temptation to cheat on his wife after they had an argument. However, the wife only admitted to her own extramarital affair after she had infected both her newborn child and her husband with HIV. The performance emphasized the importance of prevention to the students.
Date of Publication
Sarah Novak
Article Type
General media
Article Category
News Briefs

Friday, November 8, 2013


YWCHAC was founded on the premise that, in order to address mission focused issues, we need to address issues of gender, racial, economic and social inequalities and its’ impact on HIV, teen pregnancy and young women of color. These issues are paramount in the lives of young women of color and it is important to include as a fundamental part of our discussions and in raising the awareness, young women provided with opportunities to affect change in their communities. The information and knowledge sharing raise awareness in communities and agencies to further develop programs, policy statements, and future funding priorities that include best practices.

According to the Guttmacher Institute report, Nation Pays Steep Price For High Rates Of Unintended Pregnancy (May 19, 2011), it costs NYS an average of $749 million in tax payer spending to support young women who have unintended pregnancies. The state-specific costs from new HIV diagnoses in 2009 for total lifetime treatment costs of HIV in NYS totals $1.7 million (CDC HIV Surveillance Report 2009, Vol. 21).

Make an investment in a young woman in YWCHAC &
change the trajectory of her life.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Become a Friend of YWCHAC

According to the Guttmacher Institute report, Nation Pays Steep Price For High Rates Of Unintended Pregnancy (May 19, 2011), it costs NYS an average of $749 million in tax payer spending to support young women who have unintended pregnancies. The state-specific costs from new HIV diagnoses in 2009 for total lifetime treatment costs of HIV in NYS totals $1.7 million (CDC HIV Surveillance Report 2009, Vol. 21). 
  Among the young women of color that graduate from YWCHAC, 
  • sees a 100% high school graduation rate
  • seeing 100% college graduation rate from the first 3 cohorts of YWCHAC
  • sees 100% prevention of unintended pregnancies
  • sees 100% prevention of new HIV diagnoses, & sexually transmitted infections

$100 Contribution
Provides stipends for 4 WE SPEAK members for a week
$75 Contribution
Pays for metro cards for 10 WE SPEAK members for 1 session
$50 Contribution
Pays for snacks for WE SPEAK members during 1 WE SPEAK Summer Advocacy Institute session
$25 Contribution
Pays for supplies for 2 WE SPEAK members

“When youth take action to improve their contexts, their efforts are empowering & also improve the contexts for themselves & their peers. The impact of youth action is cumulative, because youth who take action once are more likely to continue doing so & because other youth may be inspired by their example to take action.”
Positive Youth Development So Far, Search Institute
By making an investment in a young woman in YWCHAC, you change the trajectory of her life.
Thank you,
Claire Simon,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

#WE_SPEAK 2013 Summer Advocacy Institute

#WE_SPEAK 2013 Summer Advocacy Institute
The WE SPEAK Summer Advocacy Institute graduated newly recruited members from the eight week program.  They were provided with the skills to mobilize peers to speak up and out on issues that put them at risk for HIV infection.  WE SPEAK members were trained on advocacy skills and techniques to create a campaign to engage their peers 
in their HIV prevention and advocacy efforts.   

YWCHAC Alumni coordinate the 2013 WE_SPEAK Summer Advocacy Institute
(L-R: Jody Adams, Sade Powell, Rocina Dalzell)

Upon completion of the Advocacy Institute, WE SPEAK members will spend the year working on issues and campaigns discussed during the Institute at weekly meetings held on Friday evenings during the academic year.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Participatory Action Research: Outreach Day 2013

Akeem, Kisma, Rachel, & Symone
New YWCHAC members collecting surveys  in Crown Heights, Brooklyn


The Outreach Day culminates 8 weeks of the WE SPEAK Summer Advocacy Institute.  Newly recruited YWCHAC members hit the 5 boroughs to collect surveys that they created using participatory action research to gather information about their neighborhoods.  The data collected will be used to further their new campaign-
#WE_SPEAK for Change!

Samantha B. with volunteer: T. Davis
#WE SPEAK:  Collecting surveys at Port Authority

“Through civic activism, the ideas and energy of young people can contribute meaningfully as they participate in community building, work toward social change, apply their leadership skills, and simultaneously gain access to services, supports and opportunities that facilitate their own development.”
Youth Leadership for Development
Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Huffington Post recognizes Sparks Nation: Announcing the Top 24 Under 24 Youth Changemakers: Youth Changemaker: Sadé Powell

Sadé, 19, is an outspoken young woman who has worked diligently to share HIV/AIDS prevention messages in her native city of New York, New York.

Sadé works as a part of the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDs Coalition (YWCHAC) in New York, a coalition for and of young women of color addressing the increasing HIV rates among their population by building partnerships among individuals and organizations that serve and empower adolescents. She first got involved at age 14, when one of her teachers connected her with another student involved with the program. She sent in an application and has been working with them ever since. 

Sade Powell with her mother
& HIV/AIDS activist, Sheril Franklin
Sadé's involvement with YWCHAC is driven both by her indignation with current health policies for HIV/AIDs, and by personal experiences: her mothers also work with substance abuse and HIV- infected populations, and her grandfather died suddenly from an AIDS-related issue.

Sadé graduated from the WE SPEAK program at the Coalition in 2011, and currently acts as the Summer Institute Advocacy Associate. She is involved in a mapping project with Legal Action Center, designed to support for the implementation of NYC's mandate on comprehensive sex and HIV education in public schools, which also require quality evaluation to track effectiveness.

"When I was in middle school, we received a two-day sex education course provided by a local clinic Mount Sinai Adolescent Clinic. Even then, the only students that were given these classes were student whose parents signed permission forms," says Sadé. Comprehensive sex education for all students regulated by this mandate would ensure access to the right information for all students in the city—an important cause for Sadé and the YWCHAC.

Sadé's "sole reason" for being involved in mentoring and policy change, she says, is to engage all people, especially marginalized groups, in civic issues.
"In this field you are taught to feel strength and believe in it.," she says. "The foundation for my philosophy is very much grounded in grassroots politics."
Sadé has interned with Advocates for Youth and was chosen to address the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS to share her thoughts on the importance of including young people in the HIV/AIDS prevention efforts laid out by the White House in 2011.
In addition, Sadé has taken her advocacy global: She participated in the 2012 International AIDS Conference where she had the opportunity to speak on a panel for the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.

While many aspects of the conference were inspiring to her, Sadé learned something very important about public conversations around HIV/AIDs. "I left the conference feeling disillusioned and disheartened by the politics of such a grand event," she reflects. "Instead of just policymakers and community organizers, I would have enjoyed having a diverse crowd of youth as well as local DC residents at the conference, especially considering the city currently has one of the highest HIV rates in the nation."

As an advocate, this realization compelled Sadé to examine the assumptions that activists "blindly traverse and often fuel" when working on public health issues. Her next project is to bring a diverse, young group of people into a conversation to inform advocates from all walks of life.

"Sadé is a dedicated advocate who understands that youth involvement in policy making is imperative to their futures and to their immediate communities," says her nominator Kymsha Henry. "She works hard to mobilize the newer members of the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition whenever she can."

"I am honored to be named a Top 24 Under 23 Young Changemaker," says Sadé. "Recognition for youth activists is extremely rare as we are oftentimes belittled and excluded from the decision-making process. This is why it is imperative that youth are given more leadership positions to foster healthier youth-adult and peer relationships. Unfortunately, we see this undermined even within youth organizations that may indeed provided health services however they lack fundamental structure to nurture and support youth leaders.

"My decision to continue to be a voice and vital part of YWCHAC has everything to do with its ability to foster empowerment and in all of its members. Hence, we work as would a village," she says.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2013 End of the Year Celebration & WE SPEAK Graduation

YWCHAC Members at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
Christina, Sade, Marvel, Amelia, Jensine, & Natalie

Friday, June 7, 2013

Safer Sex Education Party @ Studio 10, Bk

Annual Summer Safer Sex Education Party at Studio 10, Brooklyn, NYC with FREE & Confidential HIV Testing & health resource tables

Friday, May 17, 2013

YWCHAC Open House

YWCHAC Members
at Federation for Protestant Welfare Agencies

WE SPEAK Summer Advocacy Institute Recruitment

YWCHAC’s WE SPEAK Summer Advocacy Institute application is now available. We are looking for young women of color ages 13-21 (HIV positive & HIV negative) who have an interest in women’s issues, policy and advocacy work and becoming a resource for other young women in their families, schools and immediate communities. The WE SPEAK Summer Advocacy Institute is an eight (8) week program where 25 young women of color will be provided with the skills to mobilize peers to speak up and out on issues that put them at risk for HIV infection. WE SPEAK members will be trained on advocacy skills and techniques to create a campaign to engage their peers in their HIV prevention and advocacy efforts. WE SPEAK members do receive a stipend for their work.

Upon completion of the Summer Advocacy Institute, WE SPEAK members spend the year working on issues and campaigns that are discussed during the summer at weekly meetings held on Friday evenings.

The application accompanied by the two (2) recommendation letters is due June 7, 2013. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact via email at
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