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Feature Speakers

Gabby Aranda

Gabby Aranda is a 5th year senior at UW Madison studying Biology and Gender & Women’s Studies with a certificate in Integrative Studies in Science, Engineering and Society. She initially aspired to become an OBGYN, but has since become invested in politics and hopes to run for office in the future. As a first-generation student with immigrant parents, she realizes the importance of centering marginalized youth in political engagement and activism. (Youth Development in Political Engagement by Centering Mobilization Organiza- tion for Reproductive, Social and Racial Justice)

Maria Barker

Maria Barker is the Director of Latinx Programs and Initiatives for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. She is a bilingual (English/Spanish) sexuality educator who facilitates reproductive health education. She is recognized for training and using lay community workers (Promotores de Salud) to reach the Latino Community. (Presenting session in both Spanish and English: Usando Servicios de Interpretación para “Realmente” Comunicarnos; Using Interpretive Services for “Real” Communication)

Latoya Bates-Barnes

Latoya Bates-Barnes is the Director of Education and Outreach at Wounded Wings Association for the Betterment of Women and Girls in Milwaukee, WI. Latoya is an advocate for LGBTQ women’s rights. She works for acceptance of sex, sexuality and gender expression within the faith community. (Good God, Good Sex and Faithful Solutions)

Meghan Benson, MPH, CHES

Meghan Benson, MPH, CHES, has been with the PPWI Education Department for 11 years, providing sexual and reproductive health education and training. Meghan is an alum of University of Wisconsin -Madison and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health. She serves on the Dane County Youth Commission and the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health board, and co-chairs the Maternal Child Health Section of the Wisconsin Public Health Association. (Contraceptive Equity)

Micaela Berry

Micaela Berry’s love for children is her life mission. She has had a niche for children from the time she started babysitting. She graduated with a double major in Early Childhood Development and Art Therapy from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN, and holds DONA Doula, Infant Specialist and Lactation Consulting Certificates. Micaela also serves as a board member for Madison Area Parent Support (MAPS) and is a Doula at Harambee Village. She is dedicated to helping families during every season of parenting. (Racism in Sexual Health: How Implicit Bias Impacts Sexual Health Care and Education)

Rachel Bloom-Pojar, PhD

Rachel Bloom-Pojar, PhD, is a professor in the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has eight years of experience as an investigator for intercultural communication for health care and the rhetorical practices of interpreters and translators. Rachel teaches classes and investigates the influences of stigma, racism, and classism in the perceptions of dialects in English and Spanish. (Presenting session in both Spanish and English: Usando Servicios de Interpretación para “Realmente” Comunicarnos; Using Interpretive Services for “Real” Communication)

Samantha Carwyn

Samantha Carwyn has worked in a wide variety of roles during her 10 years in the social services field. She serves on a nonprofit board that supports foster children and another dedicated to LGBTQ students in K-12 schools. She works full time as an educator to address unintended teen pregnancy and part time as Children and Youth Director focused on Christ’s inclusive love. (Your Values are for You and Ethical Nonmonogamy and Polyamory)

Denise Cawley

Denise Cawley is Unitarian Universalist seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. She provides spiritual and emotional care chaplaincy at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Denise has been a pivotal player working on diversity, inclusion, marriage equality and voting rights in Madison and Door County. Denise serves as the intern minister at Bradford Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Kenosha, WI. (The Intersection of Spirituality, Abortion and Chaplaincy)

Katie Childs

Katie Childs holds MSW and MPH degrees from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the Coordinator of Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence Prevention and Education at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. (Pleasure as Prevention in Clinic Spaces: A Case Study and Recommendations)

Lauren Salgado Cortes

Lauren Salgado Cortes is an Education & Outreach Specialist and Health Mentor at Planned Parenthood of the North Central States, where she offers confidential support to students with any questions or concerns regarding sexual health. She also runs a peer education program for Latinx students twice a year called ¡Qué Onda! In the Spring, she runs a day-long retreat about puberty for Latinx mothers and daughters. She also offers presentations about sexual health to the Latinx/Spanish speaking population in the Twin Cities. (Presenting session in both Spanish and English: El Amor A Través del Folklore Latinx; Love Through Latinx Folklore)

Samantha Crowley

Samantha Crowley is a senior undergraduate at UW-Madison studying Neurobiology, Gender & Women’s Studies and Women’s Health. As the Advocacy Lead for the local Partners in Health Chapter and a member of the Fight for HER campaign, she has published op-eds in local newspapers, held advocacy trainings for other students and advocated for health, education and human rights on Capitol Hill. Samantha hopes to continue pursue an MD/MPH with aspecific focus on reproductive health and health policy. (Youth Development in Political Engagement by Centering Mobilization and Organization for Reproductive, Social and Racial Justice)

Jill Denson, MSW

Jill Denson, MSW, is a PhD candidate at the Zilber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. She has worked with diverse populations, including women from underserved communities. Her experience with marginalized populations sparked her interest in intersectionality and critical race theory to further explore Black women’s intersecting social identities and the residual effects of racism on health outcomes. Jill’s research is rooted in the principles of social and reproductive justice. She was recently awarded a Dissertation Grant from the Society on Family Planning. (An Intersectional Examination: The Impact of Racism on Family Planning for Black Women)

Alejandra Godina-Guajardo

Alejandra Godina-Guajardo recently graduated from Waukesha County Technical College from the Language Interpreter for Health Services program. Alejandra is also a member of the American Association of University Women, which helps to support and empower other women in the community to achieve their dreams of continuing their education no matter what the circumstances are. She has also helped interpret at the Rock River Free Clinic and Lake Country Free Clinic to help the Latino community and providers have a better line of communication. (Using Translation Services to “Really” Communicate; Usando Servicios de Interpretación para “Realmente Comunicarnos”)

Abigail Gonzalez

Abigail Gonzalez is the Prevention Case Manager at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers. She ensures that barriers are removed for clients that are interested in PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a pill for those that are HIV-negative and want to remain negative. (Presenting session in both Spanish and English: Estigma: El Asesino Silencioso & Stigma: The Silent Killer)

Ren Grabert

Ren Grabert is a writer and sex educator. With an M. Ed. in Human Sexuality Education, they work to provide medical providers and patients with comprehensive, sex-positive health information. (Creating an Inclusive Clinic Experience, From Intake Forms to Decor)

Elle Halo

Elle Halo, a woman of trans experience, is a member of Public Allies MKE Class of 2019 where she is placed at Health Connections Inc, as a Health Navigator. She is a member of SHEBA @ Diverse & Resilient and a SAPG board member. Elle is an experienced personal fashion/retail stylist, a singer writer and activist. Elle has volunteered and worked for The Human Rights Campaign, Boy & Girls clubs, ACLU, UMOS &, ARCW. She fights for equity for herself and all Trans/GNC people, working for LGBT inclusivity, visibility, and sexual health education. She is also a new member of the inaugural cohort of The Black AIDS Institutes Ambassadorship of Biomedical Prevention. (Sex and Faith (SEXuality); Moderator #ThisIsUs: A Multi-Spectrum Trans Panel)

Natalia Hildner

Natalia Hildner is the Multicultural Community Outreach Specialist for the Center Against Sexual Violence in Dane County. Her work as an artist and as an advisor for victims of sexual violence struggles to transcend cultural barriers and to fight against toxic social norms that continue cycles of injustice and abuse for diverse individuals and communities. (Presenting session in both Spanish and English: Las Múltiples Culturas de la Violación: Desde el Colonialismo Hasta el Capitalismo; The Multiple Cultures of Rape: From Colonial-ism to Capitalism)

Neeka Lewis

Neeka Lewis is a Reproductive Health Assistant for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and a student at Strayer University pursuing a Masters’ Degree in Education. Neeka is a North Carolina native who relocated to Milwaukee for two years of AmeriCorps service. (Bridging the Gap: Black Women and Reproductive Health)

Donna Love, RN

Donna Love, RN, has been a public health nurse concentrating on sexual and reproductive health for 15 years. She brings a passion for client autonomy based on knowledge and choice into all of her interactions with patients. Donna’s focus on health and racial equity brings her into all interactions with a questioning and humble spirit. (Racism in Sexual Health: How Implicit Bias Impacts Sexual Health Care and Education)

Ellen Merker, LPC-IT

Ellen Merker, LPC-IT has over 10 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities. She created a curriculum with the Dane County Rape Crisis Center to provide education to young women with developmental disabilities around healthy relationships and sex. She started Heart Consulting in 2017, an organization that provides 1:1 education to people with intellectual disabilities around healthy relationships, as well as advocacy, counseling to survivors and community outreach trainings. (Sex, Dating and Disability: Making Relationships Education Accessible to All)

Len Meyer, MHSA

Len Meyer, MHSA, is the Downstate Community Engagement Manager for Planned Parenthood of Illinois and is an Adjunct Instructor at Lincoln College in Lincoln, IL. Prior to working at Planned Parenthood, they founded the Central Illinois Pride Health Center in Bloomington. Len is committed to the health and equality of the LGBT community of Illinois. Len has both undergraduate and master’s degrees in Health Care Administration Services. (Degendering Sex Education)

Erika Motz

Erika Motz is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with three years of experience at the Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Abortion Center in Madison, WI. She has a degree in Gender & Women’s Studies from UW Madison and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. (Psychological Perspectives in Abortion Care)

Cameron Overton

Cameron Overton is the worship pastor of Zao MKE Church. As a Black, Trans, Queer Christian, Cameron spent all of his life navigating what it means to be a Christian and reconcile his identities with the common misinterpretations of the Bible. Cameron is also a social worker by trade and cares deeply about transforming our world into a more just space for all. (Sex and Faith (SEXuality))

Socorro Perez

Socorro Perez is the HIV outreach-specialist at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers. Her tasks include testing clients and referring them to care if needed. Her goal is to form meaningful relationships with community members and leaders. (Presenting session in both Spanish and English: Estigma: El Asesino Silencioso; Stigma: The Silent Killer)

Larry Ponder

Larry Ponder is an organizer of Grown Ups (a positive male empowerment and support group) and serves as ambassador for Wisconsin’s HIV/AIDS Statewide Action Planning Group (SAPG). He has certifications from Marquette University, UW Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin to provide services for HIV and sexual health education. (Transforming Mindsets Regarding Self-Image)

Nataly Quintero, BA

Nataly Quintero, BA is the Education & Outreach Program Manager at Planned Parenthood of the North Central States. Nataly implements the Safer Sex Intervention program and adult program, Entre Amigas. She is passionate about community outreach and health education being accessible to all communities and all ages. Before joining Planned Parenthood, Nataly spent many years working as a youth worker and assistant teacher in Minneapolis Public Schools. Nataly earned a degree in Studio Art from the University of MN Twin Cities. (Presenting session in both Spanish and English: El Amor A Través del Folklore Latinx; Love Through Latinx Folklore)

Katherine Reinemann

Katherine Reinemann attends the UW-Madison’s School of Nursing and has earned a certificate degree in Gender & Women’s Studies. She is a trained birth doula who is passionate about anti-racist work and promoting social justice in birth work and healthcare. (This Body is Mine)

Kirsten Schultz

Kirsten Schultz is a writer, sex educator and health activist currently located in Madison, WI. They work to open hearts and minds to conversations about sex, chronic illness, pain and disability through their website, Chronic Sex. (Creating an Inclusive Clinic Experience, From Intake Forms to Decor)

Megan Scoville, BS

Megan Scoville, BS, is a Community Engagement Coordinator with Planned Parenthood of Illinois. She has more than eight years of experience teaching sex education to youth. Megan is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago with a degree in Health Services. (Degendering Sex Education)

Lizzie Small

Lizzie Small is a Planned Parenthood sex educator in Alburquerque, NM. She has worked with youth in sexual and domestic violence prevention and advocacy since 2013. She mixes art, humor and impressive amounts of pop culture into all her work. (Law and Order? How Framing Sexual Violence within Legality Misses the Mark for Survivors and Perpetrators; #MeToo and Fostering Activism)

Zakiya Sorenson, RN

Zakiya Sorenson, RN, works on sexual and reproductive health and immunization teams. She is a compassionate and real presence with her clients and brings a wealth of clinical and lived experience to her work. She is passionate about advancing racial and social justice for all. (Racism in Sexual Health: How Implicit Bias Impacts Sexual Health Care and Education)