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Fridays at Newcomb: Reproductive Justice Organizing in Louisiana

Uptown Campus
Newcomb Institute, The Commons, Diboll Gallery
43 Newcomb Place, New Orleans, LA, , ,

Fridays at Newcomb is a lecture series featuring speakers across disciplines that provides students with the opportunity to learn about subjects outside of their majors. The events are held in the Diboll Gallery at Newcomb Institute, on the third floor of The Commons - lunch is provided and the event is free and open to the public.___________For more than 25 years, Deon Haywood has worked as a human rights defender and advocate for Black women, working class and low-income women, and LGBTQ communities in the Deep South. As the Executive Director of Women With A Vision (WWAV) in New Orleans, she led the organization after Hurricane Katrina in successfully changing the “crime against nature” statute being used to criminalize street-based sex work, thereby securing the removal of more than 800 people from the Louisiana sex offender registry. Through her relentless advocacy, she has grown WWAV into a leading voice on Black women and criminalization in the American South, advancing community-led policy solutions on the international and national stages and at home in Louisiana. In 2018, she was appointed to the New Orleans Human Relations Commission to advance the body’s work on Human Rights and Equity.
Lakeesha Harris is the Reproductive Justice and Sexual Health Program Manager at WWAV. As a community healer, Lakeesha’s primary focus is on centering the complete health and health care access for Black people, specifically queer and trans Black people, who are often shut out of services that are culturally affirming, financially accessible, and whole being centered. Lakeesha holds a bachelor’s degree in Women and Gender Studies from Northeastern Illinois University and master’s level credits in Political Science. She is a playwright whose collaborative political literary work, Spirit House, was commissioned by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center for the educational engagement and healing of the community. As a practicing healer, her work has spanned more than two decades and evolved from her roots as a Certified Nurse Assistant, Doula, Apprentice Midwife and Community Health Worker.

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