C O N V E R S A T I O N S   IN   C O M M U N I T Y

Two years ago, a doula and nurse drove 15,000 miles across the US to offer over 60 free reproductive health classes in three months in order to address a systems-wide gap in accessibility to knowledge about our own bodies. We named the project The Fifth Vital Sign, because the menstrual cycle is an essential health indicator, a vital sign, like blood pressure or heart rate.  Our mission is to share tools for the health of the body and the body-at-large, the community. In November 2016, following the election, we announced a call to action to invite people to resist and respond through sharing our curriculum in their respective locations. We trained over 50 facilitators and had many conversations and exchanges; we learned a lot. We carried those lessons into the creation of Conversations in Community, a months-long program to support you all in creating your own curricula and projects. We're so excited to announce the second cohort of Conversations in Community! The Fifth Vital Sign is way bigger than the two of us, Emily and Kelsey. Join us this summer as a 5VS Community Facilitator!

Education-in-Action, Together

What does the program involve? Conversations in Community is a four-month facilitator training, with three months of weekly online modules, and one month of intensive one-on-one mentoring to support you to create a reproductive health curriculum specific to the needs of your community. This program is designed to support both informational learning and collective- and self-reflection around different aspects of reproductive health. We will explore anatomy, fertility awareness, chest health, contraception, informed choice, radical consent, hormonal health, birth, gender, sexuality, and the impacts of white supremacy on reproductive health. Reflection will play a large role in our learning process. If we don’t have the opportunity to engage with this information on a personal level, if we leave it abstract, just as words and pictures on a slide, without placing it in our own lives, then we are cutting out the heart of this work. We encourage heart-, head-, and hands-on learning, on a human-to-human level, to make social and political change. Integrative learning is vital.

When will it begin? The program will start June 15, 2018 and continue for four months. Discounted, early bird sign-ups will be available from May 15th - June 1st. You can continue to sign up until June 15th. 

What are the requirements to be eligible for the program? There is only one prerequisite: a full-hearted desire to be here. No one will be turned away. The modules will be online and we will converse with each other over the phone and via email, so access to a computer, the internet, and telephone are necessary. This program could be an additional piece for those working in public health, social work, activism, education, nursing, birthwork, or it could be a personal journey in exploring these topics in order to live in them.

What is the time commitment? The weekly online modules will last approximately 45 minutes - 1.5 hours, followed by reflection exercises. Twice per month, we will have phone or video conversations for 1 hour. In total, approximately 6-7 hours per month will be dedicated to the program. There will be plenty of opportunity for more independent study and exploration if desired.

Will this be accessible in multiple languages? Currently, our materials are only in English. Please reach out with specific requests. 

How much is the program? Conversations in Community costs $400. You have the options to pay in full when you sign-up, or to pay monthly ($100/month) over four months. If you sign-up early, from May 15 - June 1, the cost is $375 in full. 

Scholarship information Full or partial scholarships are available. We will prioritize people of color, LGBTQIA-identifying people, people with disabilities, and undocumented immigrants. Please contact us at thefifthvitalsign@gmail.com to set up a call. Also, if you work somewhere that could benefit from having a facilitator on-staff, please let us know, and we will be happy to reach out to your employer regarding sponsorship.

To read our reflections on why we're doing this, click here.

If you have any questions, please email us at thefifthvitalsign@gmail.com. We are so excited to collaborate with you!