Master of Ceremonies: Chris Walker

We are thrilled to announce ETR’s very own Chris Walker will serve as our YTH Live Global Master of Ceremonies!

Chris WalkerChris Walker is a Project Coordinator at ETR with six years of experience working in HIV/ STI prevention. Currently, he coordinates and provides logistical support for several projects on the HIV, Sexual & Reproductive Health services team. 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 has a 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. In his spare time, he is a proud board member of the House of Rebirth, a transitional living space for transgender women of color, Momentum Health a non-profit organization focuses on creating community-based solutions for at-risk youth and cast member of the three podcasts that tackle social justice issues through innovative ways, “BlaQberry View,” “What does it take to End It,” and “CommuniTEA.” 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.

WELCOME & OPENING PLENARY, Mon 10/4 8:00-9:15am: Movements Move Mountains: Gender Equity in Tech
Keynote Address: Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women, in conversation with Vignetta Charles, CEO of ETR

Join us as we officially open YTH Live 2021 in conversation with Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, a global feminist fund. Our very own CEO, Dr. Vignetta Charles, will interview Ms. Frett and explore themes related to gender equity in technology, meaningful youth led organizing across the globe, and how to address burnout in this field. This conversation is sure to leave you inspired and ready to mobilize as we kick off this year’s conference.

Latanya Mapp FrettLatanya Mapp Frett Frett is President and CEO of Global Fund for Women and serves on the Board of Directors for Global Fund for Women and Global Fund for Women UK. As a feminist fund, Global Fund for Women offers flexible support to a diverse group of partners – more than 5,000 groups across 175 countries so far – to create meaningful change that will last beyond our lifetimes. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America. She quadrupled the size of the program in four years to become one of the most innovative and sustainable global health organizations in the field.

Ms. Frett worked for eight years as a human rights officer for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and for 10 years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Ms. Frett served as a delegate to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and continues to fight for the human rights of women.

An attorney by training, she began her career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in Washington, DC. She has received many honors and awards, including two Esteemed Meritorious Honor Awards from the U.S. government and the highest honor in civil service, the Superior Honor Award, from the U.S. State Department. Ms. Frett was one of 30 Foreign Service Officers honored with the Colin Powell Fellowship by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Ms. Frett currently serves on the Board of Directors at Oxfam America and Management Sciences for Health and is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Ms. Frett is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and author of four U.N. human rights reports and manuals. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Alum of ICAP. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in government and politics, a master’s in public policy, and a JD from the University of Maryland.

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.

Panel Discussion: A conversation with members of Global Fund for Women’s Adolescent Girls Advisory Council, moderated by Deeqa Mohamed, ETR

Join three members of the Global Fund for Women’s Adolescent Girls Advisory Council (AGAC) for an inspiring and change-oriented conversation with young feminist leaders about tangible ways to create a more just world for girls and women. Panelists share their expertise on advising funding decisions and harnessing the power of technology to build stronger, more resilient gender justice movements through COVID-19 and beyond.

Besma ArbaouiBesma (Katia) Arbaoui is a pre-med and biology student from Algeria interested in improving healthcare and equity. Some of Katia’s other interests are aviation, entrepreneurship, events management, and diplomatic missions. In 2019, Katia served as a delegate for UNHCR Cyprus. A fun fact about Katia is she loves flying for long periods of time without any hesitation. Currently, Katia volunteers as a mentor at the American Corner, a program sponsored by the US embassy in her city and is an Adolescent Girls Advisor for the AGAC.

Marla de la CruzMarla de la Cruz is a sophomore student at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, where she pursues a double degree of International Relations & Government and Public Transformation. She is also Campus President of Girl Up Tec de Monterrey and intern at the Institution’s Data Science Hub. Marla has a lot of interests like education accessibility, sexual and reproductive rights, youth, politics, data science, citizen participation, among others. Thus, she doesn’t know exactly what she is going to do in the future, but is sure that she will keep advocating and creating a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable community. One of her fun facts is that she has a technical degree in teaching languages.

Yande BandaYande Banda is a vibrant and passionate girls’ rights activist from Zambia. She is the Co- chairperson of Transform Education, a youth-led coalition hosted by the United Nations Girls Education initiative where she champions education issues and uses her voice for change and is is also a member of the Adolescent Girls’ Advisory Council under the Global Fund for Women as its youngest member where she facilitates grant making processes and advises the Global Fund for Women on their work. In 2019, Yande coauthored an Open letter to social media companies, in collaboration with Plan International Global to end online harassment. This open letter accumulated over 60, 000 signatures and resulted in tangible changes in social media policy. In addition to this, she works actively as a member of the adolescent’s mobilization team of UN Women to advocate for adolescent engagement, education, girls and women’s rights issues. Yande has presented her work on multiple international forums such as the CSW, GEF Mexico and Plan International summits. She has also represented her causes at meetings with the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Miss. Amina J Mohammed, The government of Germany’s Education ministry and special envoys of the UK government plus exclusive interviews with the BBC.

Deeqa MohamedDeeqa Mohamed is a public and global health professional with a strong passion for sexual and reproductive health research, especially as it relates to women’s empowerment. She received her M.S. in Global Health Sciences from UCSF. Her Master’s thesis research focused on access to and quality of abortion care for young Kenyan women (aged 18-24 years old) in Nairobi. Prior to joining ETR, she spent almost two years working for the San Francisco Department of Public Health in the Substance Use Research Unit learning all the ins and outs of what it takes to manage large scale opioid use and overdose prevention studies. Currently, she is responsible for managing several evaluation projects in the school health and wellness portfolio at ETR. Outside of her research work, Deeqa teaches workshops to global health graduate students at UCSF and now joins UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health as a lecturer. She is responsible for co-designing a curriculum that incorporates research ethics with cultural humility, social determinants, social justice, and geopolitics.

MORNING PLENARY, Tues 10/5 8:00-9:15am: Our Tomorrow Starts Today: Youth Innovation for the Next Generation
Plenary Speaker: Dr. Titi Shodiya, Dope Labs Podcast, in conversation with Emily Green, ETR

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Titilayo Shodiya as a plenary speaker discussing her strategies of creating community via her podcast, Dope Labs. Using her platform, she meets her listeners where they are and helps them to develop their scientific minds to have greater understand of everyday experiences. She is helping them create healthy skepticism by asking questions and pulling back the veil of how science works. Through this conversation we hope to inspire listeners to share their passion to organize their own communities and learn how technology can help them reach a wider audience.

Dr. Titilayo ShodiyaDr. Titilayo Shodiya received her Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering with a concentration in Electronic and Photonic Materials and a minor in Mathematics from The Pennsylvania State University in 2010. She received her Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2012 and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science in 2015 from Duke University. In 2017, she started her Post-Doc in the Chemistry department at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Titi is currently the Deputy Quality Manager at The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) supporting NIST’s mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology. Throughout her career, Titi has been an active mentor and started initiatives to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to pursue STEM degrees and careers. In those efforts, she co-founded MegaOhm Media LLC and she co-hosts the critically acclaimed podcast Dope Labs, which discusses how science intersects with pop culture. Dope Labs has been nominated for 3 Webby Awards, included in Essence Magazine’s 2019 Woke 100 list, and was in the top 10 most popular science podcasts of 2020. She has also co-hosted 2 seasons of the award-winning podcast Dissect, a serialized podcast that analyzes music albums.

Emily GreenEmily Green MA, works primarily on projects focusing on Equity and Inclusion in STEM. She researches K–12 through adult workforce with a focus on how access to resources shifts throughout this process. Prior to joining ETR she worked as a teacher with youth in Santa Cruz County at IRIS Science Academy and Green STEAM Education, where her focus was on teaching hands-on science to alternatively educated students and providing rigorous science education to everyone. It is through these experiences that she discovered the inequity present in STEM education. With her research, she hopes to alleviate these imbalances. Ms. Green received her MA from San Jose State University in Applied Anthropology. She is an experienced qualitative researcher with expertise in data collection with young people and rigorous data analysis. Her current research brings Computer Science (CS) for All to local school districts with a focus on making CS accessible. She does this by working in Research-Practice Partnerships with local school districts, local community colleges, and other local non-profits. Emily coordinates these partnerships by acting as a broker helping researchers and school staff to understand each other’s needs. Emily regularly conducts, coordinates, and supervises qualitative research methodologies including designing protocols, observations, interviews, focus groups, surveys, case studies, and has expertise in qualitative software, thematic coding, and grounded theory.

Project LIYT Next Pitch Competition, moderated by Chris Walker, ETR

Project LIYT Next is a pitch competition and learning collaborative focused on inspiring leadership, innovation, and technology within a new generation of public health leaders. For the past nine months, four groups of young people across the country have developed innovative products aimed to target HIV-related stigma through a Trauma-Informed Youth-Centered Health Design (TIYCHD) process. During this year’s conference, you will see their ideas come to life and have the opportunity to vote on your favorite! Creating innovations for the next generation! Now let’s get LIYT!

CLOSING PLENARY, Wed 10/6 8:00-9:15am: The Birds, The Bees and the Bots: Curated Digital Comprehensive Sexuality Education
Plenary Discussion: A Conversation with Global Content Creators, moderated by Caitlyn Caruso, ETR

The days of relying on your high school gym teacher for sexual education are over. Social media content creators are using platforms like Instagram and TikTok to give young people “The Talk You Never Got” in creative and accessible ways. Hear from three young women from India, Canada, and Kenya who are using social media to provide youth friendly, culturally competent, and even funny comprehensive sexual education. Our panel of experts will discuss how they combat digital censorship, how they create unique content, and most importantly, how they support each other through it all.

Karen LucasAward winning musician and 2021 TED fellow Karen (Kaz) Lucas is an established leader in the Kenyan arts and culture ecosystem. Having begun her career in 1997 as a rapper/singer, she has gone on to run creative ventures and projects cutting across the performing arts, media production, digital marketing and innovative events that shape the industrial standard. Kaz has had a lifelong passion for changing the way sex education is taught to young people. Driven by this passion and enabled by her media experience, she started The Spread Podcast. The Spread is a sex positive podcast that only exists because there is no comprehensive sex education in Kenya. Information about sex is rooted in the negative consequences: HIV and AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. But while these are some real consequences, there’s a need to highlight all the positive things that can come out of healthy, informed and consensual sexual practices. The Spread provides a platform advocating for comprehensive sexuality education and comprehensive consent education in our academic institutions.

Karishma SwarupKarishma Swarup is an internationally experienced sexuality educator and advocate, holds an undergraduate degree in Geology-Biology from Brown University and runs a sex ed Instagram page @talkyounevergot. While studying in the U.S., Karishma volunteered with Planned Parenthood to teach sex-Ed to high-schoolers for 3 years. After graduating, Karishma worked as a middle school science teacher in Brooklyn before she began her work in sex Ed. In India, she conducts workshops & online webinars with top educational institutions, student groups and young adults across India. She also volunteers for Scarleteen, USA, one of the oldest sexuality education websites for young people around the world. On a day-to-day basis, Karishma works at a global consulting firm as an analyst. In her free time, she enjoys acting for theatre, trying to train her dog and writing poetry.

Tess VanderhaeghTess Vanderhaegh is a sexual health educator who advocates for an enthusiastic and positive approach to education and conversations about sexuality. From workshops to social media, Tess offers inclusive, evidence-based, and sex-positive information about sexuality, menstruation, birth control, puberty, STIs, and more!

Caitlyn  CarusoCaitlyn (Cece) Caruso has over 7 years of experience in the sexual health field, predominantly in community organizing, engagement, and communications. They approach all of their work from a reproductive justice framework and are humbled to have worked across the field in several capacities over the years. They attended University of Nevada Las Vegas, and received a Bachelors degree in Critical Race, Gender, & Ethnic Studies with a concentration in communications before moving across the country to Washington DC. It was there that they joined Advocates for Youth as their state and local campaigns manager, working specifically with young people back in their home state of Nevada. She now works both at ETR as a marketing assistant, and at Plan C Pills, serving as their digital organizer. When Cece’s not working, she’s spending time with her two cats and partner, doing mutual aid work, and doodling/painting the hours away.

Digital Comprehensive Sexuality Education Innovation Challenge, moderated by Caitlyn Caruso, ETR

Join YTH for the unveiling of our finalists from our global challenge for youth ages 18 –29, meant to spark the next great digital innovation to increase access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). While many young people receive some form of sexuality education in school, evidence suggests that it is often lacking. This is where these young experts come in, creating innovations to revolutionize the world of digital CSE. Come watch video pitches from our top four finalists and vote to help us decide the winner. The winner receives $4,000 USD in seed funding to bring their idea into reality, plus support and mentorship from YTH.

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.