WWAV IS GROWING!
Women With A Vision, Inc. is excited to bring on three new staff members this December who will play a vital role in expanding our work and programming in the areas of community outreach, sexual and reproductive health, and legislative policy and advocacy. All three new hires are native New Orleans women with deep connections in the parish, and with long histories of community service, community education, and advocacy work with marginalized communities. Together with the rest of the WWAV team, they will work to fulfill WWAV’s mission, walking in the legacy of the organization’s founding mothers who envisioned what human rights and good healthcare could look like for marginalized women and families in New Orleans.
We are thrilled to introduce you to three of the newest women of Women With A Vision:
Nia Weeks joins WWAV as our new Director of Policy and Advocacy! A native of New Orleans, Nia has spent years fighting for the rights of women, children, and families. Nia received her bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Women’s studies at Indiana State University, where her advocacy training began. After completing her undergraduate education, Nia worked in public relations before beginning law school. She graduated with a law degree from the Loyola School of Law in New Orleans in 2009. Nia then served as a law clerk for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, the Louisiana Public Defender Board, and Essence Music Festival. After passing the Louisiana Bar, Nia served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Angelique Reed in First City Court in Orleans Parish and was the director of a supervised visitation center for victims of domestic violence named Harmony House. She now comes to Women With A Vision as the Director of Policy and Advocacy after serving as a public defender in Orleans Parish for two years. Nia is a member of the Louisiana Bar, the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, New Leadership Council Fellow class of 2014, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She is also the proud mother of four children: Taylor Matthew, age 16; Jordan Marie, age 15; Peyton Mackenzie, age 11; and Cameron Michelle, age 7.
Nakita Shavers is WWAV’s new Reproductive and Sexual Health Program Coordinator! Nakita is a native of New Orleans and has a long history of community advocacy and education. She is the founder and executive director of the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund (DSEF), which provides programs and initiatives to promote youth empowerment, community development, and enhanced educational opportunities in the city of New Orleans. Through DSEF’s programs and her involvement in several grassroots movements and initiatives in the city, Nakita has worked diligently to transform New Orleans’ communities by fighting for justice and equitable opportunities for all citizens. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science Pre-law, a graduate of Walden University with a Master of Public Administration with a Specialization in Non-Profit Management & Leadership, a graduate of Loyola University’s Institute of Politics, and a recent graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In December of 2014, Nakita was chosen as a “Youth Champion” by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, joining a next generation cohort of 22 youth leaders from the United States, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and India to champion the cause of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights nationally and internationally. As a Youth Champion, Nakita created GIRLS NOLA (Girls Initiative for Reproducing Leaders in Society), an arts-integrated sexual and reproductive health program in New Orleans that works to educate and empower young women to lead. Nakita’s work, and the notable works of her organization DSEF, have been featured in the CBS 48 Hours Mystery’s Emmy-nominated episode Storm of Murder, CNN’s documentary One Crime at a Time, Spike Lee’s documentaries When the Levees Broke and If God Is Willing and The Creek Don’t Rise, and most recently on HBO’s Treme Season 2 Episode 5: Slip Away.
Raven Frederick joins WWAV as our new Community Outreach Specialist! Raven is a native of New Orleans with several years experience as a case manager, community health worker, and outreach worker in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Before coming to WWAV, Raven worked as a community health worker promoting women’s health through education and community resources by working to decrease the infant mortality rate among African-Americans in both Jefferson and Orleans Parish. Raven holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. and a Master’s Degree in Health Service Administration from Strayer University. Raven is a Certified Community Health Worker from Tulane University, and a Certified Medicaid Representative from the Department of Health and Hospitals. Raven is passionate about serving her community through hard work and dedication. Whether helping one child, assisting one women, or strengthening one family through women’s health promotion and prevention activities, Raven is committed to the health and wellbeing of New Orleans families. Raven is excited by the work of Women With A Vision, and looks forward to representing WWAV in the community through education, outreach, and health promotion. She will work to build relationships with community members and leaders, bringing women’s health to the forefront of our conversations, and working to bridge gaps between communities and service agencies.
Stay tuned for updates from WWAV on all of the new programming you can expect from WWAV in 2016 as we work to educate and raise awareness about the issues impacting the most marginalized women and families in New Orleans.
And please join us in welcoming Nia, Nakita, and Raven to the WWAV family!!!