2020 Plenaries

Master of Ceremonies: Jake Cohen

When we say we center youth voices at the YTH Live conference, we mean it. Up to 25% of attendees and speakers are young people. We always feature a young member of our youth community as the face and voice of the event in the role of emcee. In 2020, we were proud to announce that person is Jake Cohen. To say that Jake is a leader in his community would be an understatement.

Jake CohenJake Cohen, a 17-year-old queer and Jewish sophomore at Tamalpais High School in the north bay, has been an activist since age 12. After he helped create a diversity alliance for marginalized students at his middle school, he has gone on to do work on issues surrounding gun violence prevention, queer and Jewish causes, voter registration, youth inclusion in media, civil rights, and immigration reform. In addition to also being a 2019 Common Sense Media teen council member, Jake is the founder and co-Director of The SASHA (Students Against Sexual Harassment & Assault) Initiative which is a youth-led activist organization dedicated to ensuring that young people and members of marginalized communities are at the forefront of the social, educational, and political fight to eradicate sexual violence in The United States.

Opening Plenary, August 3, 2020: Tackling Our Greatest Challenges Through Technology
Part I: Opening Keynote, Nadine Burke Harris and Vignetta Charles

We are very excited to announce our opening keynote by California’s first Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. As California’s first Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris has established early childhood, health equity and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress as key priorities. Dr. Burke Harris has set a bold goal to reduce ACEs and toxic stress by half in one generation. Due to COVID19 safety protocols, we have decided that the best way to bring the keynote to all conference participants is a virtual interview with Dr. Burke Harris conducted by ETR’s CEO, Dr. Vignetta Charles.

Interview with:

Dr. Nadine Burke HarrisDr. Nadine Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to one of the most serious, expensive and widespread public health crises of our time: childhood trauma. She was appointed as California’s first-ever Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. Dr. Burke Harris’ career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable communities and combating the root causes of health disparities. After completing her residency at Stanford, she founded a clinic in one of San Francisco’s most underserved communities, Bayview Hunters Point. It was there that Burke Harris observed that, despite the implementation of national best-practices for immunizations, asthma, obesity treatment and other preventive health measures, her patients still faced outsized risks for poor health, development and behavioral outcomes. Drawing in research from the CDC and Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Burke Harris identified Adverse Childhood Experiences as a major risk factor affecting the health of her patients. In 2011, she founded the Center for Youth Wellness and subsequently grew the organization to be a national leader in the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress. She also founded and led the Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress and Health, to advance scientific screening and treatment of toxic stress. She currently serves as a government liaison for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Advisory Board for Screening and sat on the board of the Committee on Applying Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Sciences From Prenatal Through Early Childhood Development: A Health Equity Approach for the National Academy of Medicine. Her work has been profiled in best-selling books including “How Children Succeed” by Paul Tough and “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance as well as in Jamie Redford’s feature film, “Resilience”. It has also been featured on NPR, CNN and Fox News as well as in USA Today and the New York Times. Dr. Burke Harris’ TED Talk, “How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime” has been viewed more than 6 million times. Her book “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity” was called “indispensable” by The New York Times. Dr. Burke Harris is the recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Heinz Award for the Human Condition. She was named one of 2018’s Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times.

Vignetta CharlesVignetta Charles, PhD, is Chief Executive Officer at ETR. Prior to her appointment as CEO, Dr. Charles was Chief Science Officer at ETR–focused on unifying and translating ETR’s science-based approaches to training and research. Her research emphasis is on behavioral health related to the intersection of HIV/AIDS, sexual health and mental health.

She came to ETR from AIDS United, where she served as Senior Vice President, guiding strategic programming for the organization, garnering public and private resources for programs, leading efforts to measure and document program outcomes, and developing an expanded portfolio on the translation of science to community. Prior to her work at AIDS United, Dr. Charles developed and rigorously evaluated innovative, theory- and evidence-based sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention programs. She has focused her professional work on issues that disproportionately impact politically disenfranchised communities, with a focus on urban sexual and reproductive health and an emphasis on HIV prevention.

Dr. Charles served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 2014-2017 advising the White House and Health and Human Services on HIV/AIDS domestically and globally. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Health and Gender Equity and the Executive Advisory Board of BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health) Collective. Other previous work experience includes serving as the national health educator for the Commonwealth of Dominica, West Indies, initiating a teen pregnancy prevention portfolio for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and coordinating HIV and pregnancy prevention programs in both San Francisco and Oakland, California.

She is an alumna of the University of California at Berkeley for undergraduate work, the Harvard School of Public Health for a Master’s degree in health and social behavior, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for her PhD in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health.

Part II: #BLM+Youth+Tech

TECHnically Black an unapologetic conversation with young black leaders about how technology has increased youth activism in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Through this conversation, we aim to amplify youth voices in the BLM movement, define how it’s a public health issue as well, and highlight the use of tech and social media that have been critical in mobilizing communities in the US and around the globe.

Moderated by:

Christopher WalkerChristopher Walker is a project coordinator at ETR. In his role, he coordinates and provides logistical support for several projects on the HIV, Sexual & Reproductive Health services team. With a passion for education, training, and research Chris has six years of experience of working in HIV / STI Prevention. His career began in college while attending the University of Memphis. During his time there he worked with several campus organizations assisting them in creating on campus HIV/STI testing events, and educational forums on cultural inclusivity. Shortly after graduation he moved to Dallas, Texas and took his learned skills to the non-profit world. He was a field supervisor for the CDC funded National HIV Behavioral Surveillance and has experience working directly with marginalized communities. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public health. With a passion for advocacy he aspires to fight disparities faced by individuals who lack access to equitable healthcare and education. Living by the motto “People helping people helping people” and fighting for what is right he wants to make the world a better place for all.

In conversation with:

Cody DyerAs the Founder and CEO of Black Advocates Leading Revolutions, BALR.Life, Coronado “Cody Lopez” Dyer is fully committed to addressing the social determinates of health with a specific focus on the economic development of LGBTQ communities in Maryland and across the country. With the creation of BALR.Life, Dyer has been able to create a national pipeline for emerging social justice activist and entrepreneurs to hone their advocacy skills through in person and online workshops culminating in a 4-day skills-building retreat. With a progressive understanding of human sexuality and gender expression, Dyer uses his unique perspective on sexual and reproductive health to educate youth about a wide range of topics including HIV prevention and treatment, bio-medical and behavioral interventions, and communication skills.

Joy Barnes Joy Barnes is a rising public health professional and social justice activist in Baltimore, MD, serving as both a health advocate and spoken word artist in the DMV. Joy joined the Baltimore City Health Department in 2018 as the Behavioral Health Fellow and serves today as a member of the Overdose Prevention Team as the Opioid Fatality Review Coordinator. Originally from Prince Georges County, she works by day to implement programs that improve community access to resources and address social barriers to health access. She is passionate not only about health equity, and substance use disorder but also food insecurity and self-sufficiency. Joy is also a freelance poet and former teaching artist in Baltimore City, working primarily with high school-aged youth with DewMore Baltimore to provide social justice poetry clubs to schools throughout Baltimore. More recently, Joy has launched a multimedia news conglomerate entitled The NFN Network, which aims to bring news, history, and general information to budding activists throughout the country.

Part III: Youth Health, Climate Change and a Pandemic

The time is NOW. Compelling youth leadership during this defining moment in climate history.

Join these youth leaders as they share their activism, leadership and innovative use of technology in the fight against climate change.

A conversation with:

Natalie MebaneNatalie Mebane always knew she enjoyed the outdoors and wanted to make her career protecting the places she loved. She grew up loving both the U.S. and the Caribbean and has family in both. She has a Bachelors in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland College Park and a Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology. She found her passion for organizing after attending the first Power Shift conference in 2007. Since then, Natalie has worked for the government of Trinidad and Tobago at the Environmental Management Authority and for the 5th Summit of the Americas, she has been a grassroots organizer with campaigns in VA and PA, she worked at Sierra Club as the dirty fuels lobbyist for the Sierra Club, and is currently the Associate Director of U.S. Policy at 350.org working to keep fossil fuels in the ground. She credits Rev Lennox Yearwood’s speech at Power Shift 2007 for recruiting her to the movement.

Jessica OlsonJessica Olson: Holding degrees in both environmental and feminist studies, Jessica is a long-time advocate for the connections between gender and climate change. She is the Senior Climate Lead for the Sierra Club’s Gender Equity and Environment Program where she works for justice-centered human mobility and young feminist action.

Sohayla EldeebSohayla Eldeeb is a freshman at Stanford University who also serves as the Zero Hour Director of Global Outreach and Relations in hopes of furthering Zero Hour’s mission and platform across the world. Zero Hour is a youth-led movement that has organized a march and lobby day in Washington D.C. and around the world in over 25 locations. She manages over 200 chapters around the world including ones in Iran, Colombia, India, Kenya, Australia etc. Zero Hour’s inter-sectional platform focuses on the true meaning of climate justice: equity, racial justice, and economic justice. Since Washington DC, Zero Hour has launched into a prominent, national youth climate movement that has put on a Youth Climate Summit in Miami, Florida, led impactful social media campaigns, testified before Congress, and most recently helped coordinate the strikes around the world. Aside from her activism, Sohayla has pursued environmental research focusing on oil spills and finding a novel method of cleaning them up sustainably. She is developing and advocating an environmental curriculum for Egypt and recently attended the first-ever Youth Climate Summit by the United Nations in hopes of starting to engage global leaders around solutions. She hopes her involvement within the movement will aid and inspire the path of other youth pursuing activism to better their futures.

Part IV: Innovation During a Pandemic

Giving a nod to NOD: A COVID responsive app for youth mental health.

Caroline FitzgeraldCaroline Fitzgerald, MScOT is a Project Lead at Hopelab, a social innovation lab focused on designing science based technology to improve the health and well-being of teens and young adults. Caroline’s favorite work moments are when the right process combines with the right people to yield unanticipated possibilities. She works on our project team weaving together tools from systems thinking, human centered design, and research to take our understanding of problems and solutions to new places. Before Hopelab, Caroline worked for nine years as an Occupational Therapist alongside people with serious mental illness. For those of you who like a scientific analysis, a well-validated tool has determined- curiosity, fairness, and hope are her top character strengths.

Opening Plenary, August 4, 2020: So You Want to Work With Youth?

An exclusive launch of the Trauma-Informed Youth-Centered Health Design Framework (TI-YCHD).

With the growing popularity and utilization of design thinking approaches to address sensitive public health topics such as sexual and reproductive health, HIV, mental health, and violence, it is imperative that funders, designers and public health practitioners recognize and respond to the traumatic stress of all those who participate in the design process, including both youth and designers. We are excited to launch our framework, developed in partnership with our community, around Trauma-Informed Youth-Centered Health Design.

Moderated by:

Bhupendra SheoranBhupendra Sheoran, MD MBA
VP Global Development and Managing Director of YTH

Bhupendra Sheoran has over 24 years of health care experience, starting in 1995 as a medical doctor running polio immunization programs in India. At ETR Sheoran is Vice President of Global Development where he develops strategies to increase the global impact of ETRs science-based health equity programs. He also serves as the Managing Director of YTH designing innovative solutions for youth health and wellness using new media and technology. A self-described “Soft Techie”, Dr. Sheoran has designed, implemented, and evaluated multiple health projects, telemedicine programs and social media campaigns to reach at-risk and hard to reach populations. He also works as a technical consultant advising agencies that want to apply new and innovative technologies to country and regional programs.

In conversation with:

Stephanie GuinossoStephanie Guinosso PhD MPH
Senior Research Associate

Stephanie Guinosso, PhD, MPH, is a Senior Research Associate at ETR. Her research focuses on relationship-centered methods that address adverse childhood experiences, toxic stress and trauma and innovations that promote resiliency and healing among youth, families, and communities. She specializes in school-based trauma-informed approaches. Her current projects include providing training and technical assistance on the About Us Healthy Relationships Program for Vulnerable Youth, disseminating findings from ETR’s annual Kirby Summit, and integrating trauma-informed approaches into ETR’s curricula, trainings, and research. Dr. Guinosso is also a key member of ETR’s K12T9 Initiative, where she leads workshops on how K-12 schools can use a trauma-informed lens to bolster their responses to sexual and gender-based harassment.

Laiah IdelsonLaiah Idelson, MPH
Strategic Partnerships & Innovations Lead

Laiah Idelson has worked in the U.S. and abroad in the areas of mobile health, health education, and youth empowerment. As the Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Lead for YTH, Laiah supports new business development and provides leadership for YTH in innovative digital health programming. Prior YTH, Laiah worked at the Center for Interfaith Action, FHI 360, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs on a variety of health behavior change programs in sub-Saharan Africa related to family planning, maternal health, HIV, and malaria. She has also worked at the Alameda County Public Health Department leading health equity projects and communications and has served as a public health consultant for Glow, a US-based mobile application designed to help women track and understand their fertility. She received her MSPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Part II: WHO Youth Engagement Framework and Guidance

An exclusive preview of the launch of WHO Digital Targeted Client Communication Interventions for Adolescents/Youth on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Digital4youth – the technology changes, the objectives stay the same. What can we learn from the first generation of youth-centered digital health interventions and implementers? Join Lianne Gonsalves and Briana Lucido as they preview a framework and guidance.

Briana LucidoBriana Lucido works in the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research. In her position she is responsible for leading the development of a document focused on best practices and lessons learned for planning, developing and implementing digital health interventions for young people. Previously, she was the Toolkits Officer for the WHO-ITU joint initiative, Be He@lthy, Be Mobile where she coordinated the development of technical guidance documents for implementing mHealth programs for noncommunicable diseases. Briana has also worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention as a member of the Science Team for the Million Hearts initiative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Health degree in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Lianne GonsalvesLianne Gonsalves  is a Technical Officer in the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, where she has worked since 2013. She is the WHO focal person for sexual health, and also coordinates research in Kenya and Peru, focusing on innovative ways to reach young people with sexual and reproductive health information, commodities, and services outside of health facilities (including digital health and pharmacies). Previous experience includes working on sexual health and rights promotion among young people in Latin America; and strengthening positive interactions between marginalized youth and police officers in the United States. She earned her MSPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

Part III: Project LIYT, funded by ViiV Healthcare

Megan FalkenhanMegan Falkenhan, Senior Manager, External Affairs North America, ViiV Healthcare
Megan Falkenhan, is Senior Manager at ViiV Healthcare, the only company solely focued on HIV, where she leads the company’s Positive Action community giving programs in the US. Her focus is on national initiatives that drive new insights, connection and impact for people living with HIV, as well as initiatives focused on supporting mentorship, leadership and workforce development to empower youth living with HIV with the tools, networks, choices and resources they need to navigate into and stay engaged in adult care. Prior to her role with ViiV Healthcare, Megan served as Manager, Government Affairs, Emerging Markets Asia Pacific at GlaxoSmithKline, where she was responsible for designing and leading integrated public and government affairs programs to support operations in 118 countries outside the US and Europe.

ETR’s Project LIYT youth grantees innovation presentations.

For the first time, our LIYT youth grantees will present their innovative solutions for HIV prevention among vulnerable youth populations in the US.

Moderator and LIYT Grantee:

Christopher WalkerChristopher Walker is a 24-year old from Dallas, Texas with a heart for people. He has six years of experience in the HIV work force and has a passion for qualitative research. With his project he plans to create an online brave space that connects people from across the nation in efforts to educate, build community, enhance HIV prevention and reduce related stigma. This online space will be like a Facebook group and is entitled “LIYT” (Living in Your Truth). He also plans to create and interactive card game that can also be used as a normal deck of cards to educate on sexual health and queer issues called, “LIYT TALK”.

LIYT Grantees:

Jerissa BowersJerissa Bowers (she, her, hers) is a 16-year-old homeschooled student from Memphis, TN. Her project focuses on enhancing the conversation around reproductive health for youth and young adults within her community. She plans to host a weekend retreat called, Metamorphosis jam-packed with activity that makes sexual education fun. Through interactive presentations, games, and structured activity she plans to increase the educational capacity of her peers.

Isiah JohnsonIsiah Johnson (he, him, his) is a 23-game developer from Pittsburg California, with an extensive back ground in technology. His project will be focused on the creation of a video game entitled, “Secret Identity “. This game explores the life of a gay superhero during the 80’s HIV epidemic who educates and challenges individuals that proliferate HIV related stigma against marginalized populations of people. His goal is to make people aware of HIV related history and encourage people to advocate and fight against systems of oppression and people that aide them.

Alfredo FloresAlfredo Flores (he, him his) is a 24-year old from Chicago with six years of experience in HIV/STI prevention. His passion comes from his personal experience and a lack of sexual/ reproductive health education within Latinx communities. He has a background in true HIV/STI prevention and program/event coordination, and community mobilization. For his project he plans to create a social media campaign centered around HIV education promoted by social media influencers from different communities. He plans to couple this campaign with events designed to educate those within his community of HIV relates topics in innovative ways.

Emani ColemanEmani Coleman (she, her, hers) is 16 -year old innovator from Sacramento, CA with a passion for computer science. Her passion for HIV prevention is drawn from personal experience. Before she was born her uncle died of HIV related complications and her mother made it her mission to make sure that her children would be educated and aware of the consequences of unprotected sex. She plans to create an app for youth that reminds and motivates them on the importance of sexual/reproductive health.

Evelyn SaveaEvelyn Savea (they, them, theirs) is a 20-year-old gender non-conforming youth from Riverside, California. Their passion for this field of work comes from the learned and lived experience of someone apart of the LGBTQ community who has difficulty accessing resources because of the ignorance of others. Their project is to create an interactive virtual storyboard game that allows its players to take on the role of a gay pastor living with HIV in the southern United States. The goal of this adventure is to allow individuals playing this game to take on the persona of this character, walk a mile in their shoes, and make decisions as if they were that individual.

Closing Plenary, August 5, 2020
Part I: A YTH Live talk by Shafia Zaloom, Author of “Sex, Teens and Everything in Between”

Shafia ZaloomShafia Zaloom is a health educator, consultant and author whose work centers on human development, community building, ethics, and social justice. Her approach involves creating opportunities for students and teachers to discuss the complexities of teen culture and decision-making with straight-forward, open and honest dialogue. Shafia has worked with thousands of children and their families in her role as teacher, coach, administrator, board member, and outdoor educator. Shafia is currently the health teacher at the Urban School in San Francisco, and develops curricula and trainings for schools across the country. She was honored by the San Francisco Giants Foundation in 2018 for her work with Aim High, a program that expands opportunities for students from low-income neighborhoods and their teachers through tuition-free summer learning enrichment. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, and PBS. She lives in California with her husband and three children.

Part II: Closing Keynote, Miriam Warren

This closing keynote will discuss how technology funders can be more responsive to community needs and be better partners to nonprofit efforts, particularly in our current global pandemic. Miriam will provide a closing keynote.

Miriam WarrenMiriam Warren chairs the board of the Yelp Foundation, and is senior vice president of engagement, diversity, and belonging at Yelp. She serves on the boards of Common Future and ETR.

Part III: Responsive Philanthropy Amidst A Global Pandemic

Miriam will lead a conversation with Gwyn and Ulili to share with the YTH Live community about what they are seeing as changes in the sector, how their respective agencies are responding to the pandemic and best practices for nonprofits to engage with funders.

Ulili OnovakpuriUriridiakoghene “Ulili” Onovakpuri is a Partner at Kapor Capital, an early stage, social impact venture capital firm that invests in gap-closing startups. At Kapor Capital, she leads healthcare and people operations practice as well as the firm’s Summer Associate program.
Prior to her role at Kapor, Ulili served as Director of Global Programs at Village Capital, a global accelerator program and venture capital firm. While at Village Capital she worked side by side with entrepreneurs from around the world helping them grow their ideas into marketable businesses. Ulili received her MBA with a concentration in Health Sector Management from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is a native San Franciscan and a proud UC Berkeley Alum. In her free time, you will likely find her writing or watching YouTube videos with her niece, Maya.

Gwyn HainsworthGwyn Hainsworth is the Senior Program Officer for Adolescents and Youth on the Family Planning Team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She manages a portfolio of investments focused on innovative solutions to address system and user barriers to adolescent/youth access to contraception. She also provides strategic direction across the team on scaling up evidence-based interventions for adolescents and youth. Gwyn has over 20 years of experience in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), adolescents and youth, and gender working across 18 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

ZonaSegura ZonaSegura is a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative mobile solution to address teen dating violence in Honduras. Learn more about ZonaSegura on our program page.