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

Last year, 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 has always been to use education as preventative care through body literacy and informed choices. In November, 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. Now, we would like to extend the invitation to converse in more depth with our newest offering: 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!

Evidence-Based Education-in-Action, Together

What does the program involve? Conversations in Community is a nine-month facilitator training, with six months of bi-monthly online modules, and three months 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, breast & chest health, contraception, informed choice, radical consent, and hormonal health, birth, whiteness, privilege, gender, and sexuality. 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 August 1, 2017 and continue for nine months. Discounted, early bird sign-ups will be available until July 1st. You can continue to sign up until July 30, 2017. **Sign-ups are closed for the first cohort. Look out for more sign-up options in the future. Thank you!**

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? Twice a month, the online modules will last approximately 1.5 hours each with a follow-up exercise and conversation for 1.5 hours. In total, 5 hours per month will be dedicated to the program. All of the course requirements can be completed within those hours, and there will be plenty of opportunity for more independent study and exploration if desired.

Will this be accessible in multiple languages? Yes, although currently only in English our materials are being translated. Please reach out with specific requests. 

How much is the program? Conversations in Community costs $700. You have the options to pay in full when you sign-up, or to pay monthly ($78/month) over nine months.

Scholarship information Full or partial scholarships are available from corporate sponsors. We will prioritize people of color, LGBTQIA-identifying people, people with disabilites, 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!