WHGE COE Student Ambassadors

The WHGE COE is engaging UC students in a leadership opportunity to learn about and support programs related to women’s health, gender, and empowerment

The 2021 Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment (WHGE) Student Ambassadors are a passionate and diverse group of 41 students from across the UC system and Charles Drew University. Student Ambassadors’ roles include identifying and raising awareness about events related to WHGE on campus and in the community, participating in monthly webinars with community leaders, engaging with COE faculty mentors, and supporting WHGE COE programs related to addressing campus-based sexual assault and intimate partner violence. 

February 2021 Webinar

Ena Vallardes and Maricela Cervantes, from the California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), hosted the first monthly webinar and led a lively discussion with the students about reproductive justice and how that intersects with social, economic, and community-based issues.  The speakers also gave students a list of suggested readings to further their learning of reproductive justice,  including: 1) Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty and Fatal Inventions by Dorothy Roberts; 2) Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried, Loretta Ross, and Elena Gutierrez; 3) Reproductive Justice: An Introduction by Loretta Ross and Rickie Solinger; and 4) Repeal Hyde Art Project.

March 2021 Webinar

The second webinar was hosted by Lauren Roberts, Samantha Cheney, and Tony Muñoz from The Thriving Initiative and focused on resiliency in response to violence by promoting holistic community healing initiatives. The webinar was interactive, inspiring, and informative and allowed students space to brainstorm suggestions for how their campus can improve sexual violence resources, including (in the words of students):

  • I would love to see healing practices that incorporate movement, creativity, and mindfulness. I really wish my campus had horticultural therapy!
  • More groups focused on healing
  • Better counseling services
  • An effort to destigmatize the act of disclosing! Efforts to take the weight/feelings of shame off of the shoulders of the survivor (thriver).
  • More safe spaces and programs for survivors
  • More funding for the CARE office and more POC counselors/support staff
  • Incorporating The Thriving Initiative into institutional support services such as CARE, CAPS, or even start up your own service.
  • I would like more attention, care and concern to go to students of color whom reach out these services.

Student Ambassadors have two upcoming webinars before the completion of their program. Throughout the program, several students have become active members in the WHGE COE by meeting with WHGE faculty mentors, volunteering to support WHGE projects, applying for internships with the WHGE, and joining the WHGE Retreat Planning Committee!