Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies
A recent addition to the WISE Initiative, the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) strives to improve the physical, mental and spiritual health and quality of life of women and communities of color in the Greater New Orleans area. IWES does this by using translational research, developing and implementing community-centric programs, training and advocacy. While Louisiana state law does not require sex education, schools are allowed to provide sex education after grade six (except in New Orleans which allows instruction to begin in grade 3 and above). Building from its Office of Adolescent Health funded effort, IWES seeks to leverage its experience working with schools to build their capacity to deliver sexuality education directly to their students. In addition, IWES is piloting a curriculum that incorporates pregnancy and disease prevention efforts and addresses mental health and gender inequality.