fbpx

New Orleans Non-Profit Spotlight: Women With A Vision

women with a vision logoWomen With A Vision (WWAV) is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of marginalized women, their families, and their communities. This organization works toward these goals by addressing social conditions that hinder their health and well-being through advocacy, health education, supportive services, and community-based research. 

History

WWAV was founded in 1989 by a grassroots collective of African-American women responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in communities of color. In New Orleans, heterosexual Black women were the fastest-growing population of newly-diagnosed cases in the city and state. As a result, the women began educating others on HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and resources for practicing high-risk behaviors. Since then, WWAVC has become a premier women’s health organization. 

Core Work

The core work of this organization includes the following: 

  • Women’s Health Education, Promotion, and Advocacy
  • Harm Reduction, Overdose Prevention, and Drug Policy Reform
  • HIV/AIDS and STI Prevention and Education
  • Gender-Based Violence Prevention
  • Sex Worker Advocacy
  • LGBTQ Advocacy
  • Civic Engagement 

Programs

The core programs of WWAV include Ending the Epidemic (EtE), Sex Work Decriminalization, Reproductive Justice, Integrated Voter Engagement (GOTV), and Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Reform. 

Ending the Epidemic (EtE)

The EtE team at WWAV works with stakeholders, including community members, health providers, public health agencies, and community-based organizations, to develop recommendations and goals to reflect the needs of individuals living with HIV in affected communities. This group released a five-year plan, Get Loud Louisiana, to End the HIV Epidemic in Louisiana on World AIDS Day in 2020 and is now working to implement the plans. 

If you are interested in getting involved, you can join the EtE Louisiana listserv or apply for membership here

Sex Work Decriminalization

WWAV is also working with the city government to ensure that Mayor Cantrell’s statement that New Orleans will “work to secure and uphold the human rights of all individuals.” This program aims to reduce harm to individuals alleged to engage in sex work through supportive services and case management. In addition, decriminalizing sex work will decrease disenfranchisement, poverty, risk of violence, and vulnerability to sex trafficking. 

In March 2020, LA HB 67 was sponsored by Representative Mandie Landry. Unfortunately, it was paused due to COVID-19 but reintroduced in the Spring of 2021. It aims to repeal prostitution-related offenses. To learn more about the bill, click here

Reproductive Justice

WWAV utilizes the Reproductive Justice (RJ) framework, which is the right to have or not to have children and parent children in safe and healthy environments. Under this framework, WWAV offers community training, events, and workshops to broaden the focus of reproductive rights to include economic, structural, historical, and contemporary power constraints. Click here to learn more. 

Integrated Voter Engagement (GOTV)

Integrated Voter Engagement is a program that WWAV launched in 2016 to increase voter education, turnout, and civic participation for marginalized women and their families across Louisiana. This program focuses on the mobilization of unregistered or infrequent Black women voters and highlights the crucial issues impacting the community to create a space for Black women to envision and mobilize change. To learn more, click here

Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Reform

In addition to fighting drug policy, WWAV works on harm reduction for community members. They offer harm reduction kits in the office daily and perform outreach bi-weekly. Drop-in hours for harm reduction services are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at their office in Central City, located at 2028 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. 

The kits include Syringe and Works access, Naloxone/Narcan, hygiene kits, wound care, condoms, and more. Click here to learn more. 

Get Involved

Women With A Vision is always looking for volunteers and interns year-round. Opportunities vary but may include community outreach, assisting staff with projects, research, attending community meetings, assisting in online and print communications, event planning, social services assistance, data analysis, office management, fundraising, and more. The positions are generally unpaid, but if you are a student, the WWAV can work with you to receive credit for your time. For more information, click here

The organization is also sometimes in need of full-time employees. Be sure to check out their employment page for any openings. 

Donate

Women With A Vision accepts donations made through PayPal or via the Network for Good site. 

Shop

WWAV also has an online store with products such as t-shirts and tote bags. Click here to browse their products. 

Contact

If you need to contact the organization, call or text them at 504.302.8822. You can also fill out this form to contact them via email. 

WWAV also has a blog and is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Menu