Wake / teck2empower USA

The WAKE organization (WAKE stands for Women Accessing Knowledge Empowerment) makes grants available to non-profits whose missions involve social justice. Nevada County Citizens for Choice (C4C) President Elaine Sierra successfully applied for one such WAKE/Tech2Empower grant. In her application, Elaine asked for assistance in using digital media to raise awareness of the Clinic’s new location in Grass Valley. The project paired corporate mentors who volunteered their time to work with a team representing C4C. These corporate mentors developed actionable solutions and offered expert advice. The team representing C4C included: Abigail Rangel, of Women’s Health Specialists; Erin McGhee, Citizens for Choice Board Secretary and Sierra College student, Emma Sheffo, CalPoly student; and Jocelyn McKinley, Bear River High School junior. Three corporate advisors were assigned to the team, two of whom came from Cendzyne, and one from Google.

The Tech2Empower project ran for six weeks, using Zoom for all meetings, starting with a kick-off meeting February 24 and a wrap-up meeting April 8 for all participating non-profits. During the four meetings in between, the team of seven women met weekly through Zoom to focus on the challenge of increasing the community’s awareness of C4C and its services. Advisors over time developed actionable ways to address those challenges.

The resulting suggestions coming out of these meetings gave the C4C team some specific tasks to present to the Board on how to improve its digital media outreach to the community. For example, the websites for C4C and Women’s Health Specialists were deemed to need more obvious connection to each other. Appointments are made with Women’s Health Specialists (in Chico) for clients who need them in Grass Valley. Separate Facebook accounts for both C4C and Women’s Health Specialists also need to indicate their connection to each other. In addition, C4C Instagram account postings were advised to contain more hashtags to enable more hits from Google searches, with the goal of increasing followers and spreading awareness through this media.

Other miscellaneous areas of potential effectiveness included descriptions of the Clinic’s telehealth services, as many clients likely are not aware that they can receive virtual pre-appointment advice and information that can help them determine a plan of action for their reproductive health. Encouragement was given toward having a booth at different kinds of public gatherings to once again be known as a healthcare clinic—because reproductive health is healthcare.

All in all, participants gained insights and motivation to strategize a campaign to let the public know that Citizens for Choice is an option for the many services sought in the reproductive health area. Undoubtedly, we face a time where C4C needs to be on the radar of those women whose reproductive rights are likely be denied, based on state residence. Grass Valley, California, may well become a destination to regain those rights.

By Cece Royal