All panels and activities associated with this convening will take place on Tennessee State University's Avon Williams campus. The address is 330 10th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203. For directions to the campus, click here. For specific room information, see below.


Saturday, October 6th 9:15-10:15 AM

  • What Happens in Tennessee if we Lose the Protections of Roe v. Wade?
    Room: AWC Auditorium
    Justice Anthony Kennedy has resigned from the Supreme Court. He has served as a swing vote in a number of abortion related cases. Without his centrist views, and with the potential appointment of a strict anti-abortion justice (as Trump specifically promised his base) SCOTUS support for abortion rights is likely to fall or be severely restricted. If Roe v. Wade falls, abortion in TN will likely become illegal. What is our plan for the women of Tennessee who will need these services? Underground care? Medication abortions online? Travel services to states with fewer restrictions? This panel will discuss how we can prepare in Tennessee for the end of Roe v. Wade.
    Speakers: Rebecca Terrell, Executive Director of CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; Corinne Rovetti, APRN-BC, Co-Director of Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health; Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women; and Ashley Gray, State Advocacy Advisor at the Center for Reproductive Rights

Saturday, October 6th 10:20-11:20 AM


Breakouts #1: Saturday October 6th 11:30 AM-12:45 PM

  • Let's Talk About Sex (Ed) with the Youth Who Know
    Room: 306
    PG-13 Players are teens from across Middle Tennessee who are passionate about sexual health, advocacy, and theater. Making their work even more imperative, in 2012, the “Gateway Sexual Activity” Law effectively stripped evidence-based sex education from Tennessee public schools. Intensifying abstinence-only education, public schools can no longer equip young people with the information needed to make informed, thoughtful decisions regarding their sexual health.  Reflecting the realities of sex ed in schools today, the PG-13 Players' original skit explores the impact of the law and resulting education. Through the voices and guidance of youth in your community, learn about the realities of sex ed and how you can become an advocate both for the young people in your life as well as through lasting policy change.
    Speakers: Planned Parenthood’s PG-13 Players
  • Immigrant and Refugee Policy: Keeping Families Together in Tennessee
    Room: 307
    What are some recent issues affecting immigrant and refugee families nationally and locally? How and why did the Keeping Families Together campaign emerge? This panel will discuss policy changes and recent campaigns to expand rights and maintain the dignity for our undocumented immigrant and refugee communities.
    Speakers: Judith Clerjeune, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC); Tina Vasquez, Immigration Reporter at Rewire.News.
  • Maternal Health and Mortality in Tennessee
    Room: Training Room 2
    In the United States, Black women are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth or of pregnancy-related causes than White women. A national shame, the United States is the only developed country with a rising maternal mortality rate, largely driven by racial disparities. Research suggests that half of these deaths may be preventable. In a more hopeful move, in 2016, Tennessee passed legislation to establish a maternal mortality review board and to collect and aggregate data on the causes and incidences of maternal mortality. This panel will discuss the state of maternal health and access to care in Tennessee.
    Speakers: Dr. Danielle Tate, OB/GYN at Regional One Health and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Tennessee Health Science Center; Dr. Nikia Grayson, certified nurse midwife at CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; Taneesha Reynolds, Certified Nurse Midwife, Baby+Co and Instructor of Nursing at Vanderbilt School of Nursing.

  • Broken Arm Syndrome in Transgender Healthcare
    Room: Training Room 1
    As part of her capstone project for her doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Leah Carlisle made a documentary film about problems transgender people face when looking for proper healthcare. The film includes discussions with both people who are transgender and healthcare providers. A discussion will follow the viewing.
    Speakers: Kathy Halbrooks, PFLAG Nashville; Ray Holloman, Trans Empowerment Project.

  • Exploring the Intersections: Sexual Assault, Harassment, & the #MeToo Movement
    Room: 354
    The #MeToo Movement, started by Tarana Burke, has sparked considerable change, particularly around workplace sexual harassment and assault. However, the movement has room to grow. For example, the push to hold individuals who sexually harass or assault others accountable for their actions has largely passed over areas like health care, and individuals such as restaurant workers, sex workers, trans people, and people with disabilities have largely been left out of the national conversation. This panel will provide participants with an opportunity to explore the intersections of the #MeToo movement, and create a space where panelists and participants can discuss the change (if any) the movement has brought about, the existing barriers to change, and how reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations can leverage the #MeToo movement to achieve their goals.
    Speakers: MiQuel Davies, Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellow at National Women’s Law Center; Sarah Jordan Welch, Prevention Education and Victim Resource Specialist at the Project Safe Center, Vanderbilt University; Trish Noe, Restaurant Consultant; Cassie Upshaw, Restaurant Worker; Akua Forkuo-Sekyere, Advocate and SART Coordinator, Sexual Assault Center, Nashville.

Breakouts #2: Saturday October 6th 1:45-3:00 PM

  • De-stigmatizing Abortion: How to Have Difficult Conversations with Friends and Family
    Room: 306
    This session is about moving beyond talking points and facts on abortion to appeal to people's heart and sense of reason (even if they completely disagree with you). As abortion rights continue to be on the line, we're all realizing we need to buckle down and have hard conversations about abortion, but we're never taught how to do that and how to prepare ourselves for these conversations. Whether you want to know how to talk to complete strangers, family, friends, progressive allies with different values than you, this session is for you.
    Speakers: Lizzy Thomas, MSSW, Community Organizer, Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi; Elise Krews, M. Ed, Tennessee Stories Project.
  • Exploring The Complicated History and Relationship Between Black Women and LARCs (Long-Acting Reversible Contraception) in the United States
    Room: 307
    In Trump’s America, LARCs (Long-Acting Reversible Contraception) have become extremely popular. Women have been flocking to take advantage of LARCs in an effort to maintain bodily autonomy. However, for Black women, LARCs are not an option. Historically, LARCs have been used against Black women and as a result of this, there is a lot of misinformation about the birth control method in the Black community. This workshop will explore the hostile introduction to LARCs to the Black community and its use to police Black women’s reproduction throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. This workshop will also cover effective ways to engage with and educate Black women on LARCs from a non-judgmental standpoint.
    Speaker: Takeallah Rivera, Full Spectrum Doula, Educator, and Placenta Artist.

  • Racial Equity in Your Organization: Moving Beyond Hiring People of Color
    Room: 354
    The realities of doing Reproductive Justice work often means that folks of color find themselves in White-dominated organizations that tout their diversity while maintaining oppressive practices. This workshop is built from the lessons that Healthy and Free Tennessee has learned as we have transitioned our organization toward racial equity practices. We'll share some of our missteps, insights and resources; and together, participants and workshop leaders will explore more tools and possibilities for transforming ourselves and our organizations.
    Speakers: Briana Perry, Co-Director of Healthy and Free Tennessee; Lyndsey Godwin, Assistant Director for the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

  • HIV Treatment: How to Access PrEP and PeP in Tennessee
    Room: Training Room 1
    This panel discussion will cover the HIV prevention strategies PrEP “pre-exposure prophylaxis” and PeP “post-exposure prophylaxis” and their access in Tennessee. There is already access to PrEP; attention needs to turn toward wider accessibility of PeP to the general public.
    Speakers: Dewayne Murrell, The P.A.I.G.E. (Program for the Advancement in Gays' Efforts), Memphis; Representative from My House of Nashville CARES; Mario Forte, Chattanooga CARES.  

  • Expanding Engagement for Racial Equity in Breastfeeding
    Room: Training Room 2
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), striving for health equity involves addressing the “differences in health that are judged to be avoidable, unfair, and unjust.” Inequities arise when there are different “systemic patterns or gradients in access or outcomes across populations with different levels of underlying social advantage or disadvantage—that is, wealth, power, prestige, or other markers of social stratification.” In this roundtable discussion, speakers will address these barriers with expert recommendations to developing comprehensive, multi-sector strategies that help institutions and communities implement policies and practices that more effectively offer equitable breastfeeding support to mothers.
    Speakers: Veronica Haywood, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Latched; Ashley Green, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Latched.  

Breakouts #3 Saturday October 6th 3:15-4:30 PM

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding in the Workplace: Medical and Legal Perspectives
    Room: 307
    This panel will provide information on addressing pregnancy/breastfeeding barriers within the workplace from a medical and legal perspective, including providing resources and tools for advocacy. Its goal is to inform attendees about workplace rights, how medical providers can support their patients, and how medical-legal partnerships can be used to benefit low income pregnant and/or breastfeeding workers, especially those of color, who may face extensive barriers to remaining at work during pregnancy and returning to work after birth and exercising their breastfeeding rights.
    Speakers: Elizabeth Gedmark, A Better Balance; Dr. Susanne Tropez-Sims, M.D., M.P.H., Meharry Medical College; Sharde Curry, Worker and Advocate.
  • TRANSitioning in the Workplace
    Room: 306
    This presentation aims to raise discussion about the steps of transitioning in the workplace. It is frequently seen in the Trans* community, that when an individual is ready to transition or live a more authentic, gender non-conforming life, they will switch jobs for a fresh start. This presentation aims to answer questions about what happens when you keep the same job. How will your boss react? Who do you need to talk to in Human Resources (HR)? What kind of Information Technology (IT) changes can you expect? How long will it take before your email address matches the name you present with? On the flip side: What can an employer do to help make the employee feel as comfortable as possible throughout the transition?
    Speaker: Ray Holloman, Trans Empowerment Project.
  • Sexism in Women's Healthcare: Telling Jessi's Story
    Room: Training Room 1
    In 2016, Nashville-based artist, activist, and musician, Jessi Zazu, fell ill with alarming symptoms. One month later, she received a diagnosis of stage 4 cervical cancer caused by exposure to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Prior to diagnosis, Jessi had a nearly impossible time finding a doctor to take her symptoms and pain seriously. She finally found the community of care she needed when she walked through the doors of Planned Parenthood. After 18 months of struggle, Jessi died on September 12, 2017 at the age of 28. Like many women, Jessi struggled to receive the care that she deserved - from navigating the healthcare system to being belittled by doctors. This panel discussion will examine how patriarchy embedded within the healthcare system causes harm, and often, untimely death, for women. Panelists will speak to the intersection of gendered discrimination and the medical profession, as well as the interconnectedness of healthcare and social justice.
    Speakers: Marie Campbell, Lauren Mitchell, Bianca Marks, Jessica Chan, and Jamille Robinson.

  • A Feminist Health Care Clinic Takes Birth Back
    Room: 354
    CHOICES, an independent, non-profit reproductive health clinic in Memphis, TN is creating a new model of care which will provide comprehensive reproductive health care to patients. CHOICES’ new facility will be the country’s first nonprofit clinic to offer fully comprehensive reproductive health services including abortion care, LGBTQ+ inclusive fertility assistance, transition-related care for transgender people, integrated mental health services, prenatal care and a midwife-led birth center. The center will house the region’s first birth center where midwives are the primary caregivers and birth takes place outside of a hospital setting. This panel will discuss the rationale behind the decision to shift to this model and what CHOICES hopes to accomplish by "taking birth back." The panel will also discuss the midwifery model of care, the role of doulas, and how the model is different from the medical field of obstetrics.
    Speakers: Dr. Nikia Grayson, Certified Nurse Midwife at CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; Jodilyn Owen, Certified Practicing Midwife at CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; Rebecca Terrell, Executive Director of CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health.

  • Self Managed Abortion Training
    Room: Training Room 2
    Within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, medications are safe and effective in terminating a pregnancy outside a medical setting. This training will cover information around safe, self-managed abortions.
    Speaker: Stacy Palmer.

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