My AHA moment

November 21, 2016 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

Many of the CEMCH Scholars attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in Denver, October 29 – November 2. We will be posting their reflections and highlights this month.

By Shanice Roache, BSPH

Having never been to a conference I was not sure what to expect. I entered this huge convention center where people walked with confidence from session to session; everyone seemed to know what they wanted to do.

Throughout APHA, I got small aha! moments; one of the most memorable moments was during day two – Monday. The special guest speaker during the opening general session was Cecile Richards; however my small aha! moment came during Dr. Camara Jones’ speech. She spoke about launching a campaign against racism. She broke racism down into simple terms that anyone could understand. She gave the antidote of the open and closed sign as well as the red and pink flowers. After her speech I was inspired, but how exactly could I apply what I learned if I had no idea what I wanted to do?

Entering day three I felt defeated. I went through the conference and… nothing – I had yet to find my major aha! moment. Black Women’s Health Matters was a session where I found my aha! moment. Dr. Valerie L. Rochester gave an impressive presentation on reproductive justice of Black women. I was so captivated by her presentation that I was unable to take notes. She spoke about the fact that reproductive justice was a term that African-Americans came up with. She stated that we cannot empower women, but can give them the information and have enough faith that they can empower themselves. Reproductive justice is a new term to me and I will continue to do research in order to better understand it and to find out what I can do to make this dream, of helping others empower themselves, a reality.

Shanice Roache is a first year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2018. She received a bachelor degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her interests include global health, perinatal health, health inequities that impact Black women, sexual and reproductive health in Black women, teen mothers and paternal involvement in pregnancy outcomes. She also loves reading and cooking.

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Women’s rights, reproductive rights, and anti-racism work on center stage Little professional in a sea of excellence

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