Providing diverse communities with clear and accessible health information is one my greatest passions. Since joining the team at CommunicateHealth, I’ve realized even more the extent of my interest for empowering people to make healthy choices through effective health communication. And that’s why I decided I wanted to continue this work — even after the workday at CH ends.
Equipped with my “plain language toolbox” that I’ve picked up at CH, I step out of the office and onto the stage to perform with the Not Ready for Bedtime Players, an award-winning peer sexuality education troupe at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Twice a week, the cast of 10 performs for 400 freshmen to teach them about relationships, sexuality, sexual health, violence prevention, bystander intervention, and LGBTQ topics — topics that are often under-represented in typical health education programs, despite their importance and relevance for youth.
I love making information about gender, sexuality, and health easier to understand using the arts. As an undergrad, I studied Public Health and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies, so it’s really fun to integrate the humanities and public health into health education. When students come up to me after the show to say, “Thank you, that was awesome” or “Wow, I feel like my identity was represented in your show,” the looks on their faces remind me just how much this work really matters — and why I’ve always believed in it.
All of the topics we discuss in the Not Ready for Bedtime Players are targeted towards college students and their health — we work hard to really meet college students where they’re at. Our skits are clear, relatable, some are funny, and they all are actionable. Students walk away equipped with knowledge about campus resources and steps they can take to be an active bystander and advocate. We even share some of our best tips for success in college.
These are the same principles we integrate into our work here at CH. We want our audiences to walk away feeling empowered and well informed — and have access to information they can understand and use. I love having the opportunity to let these 2 aspects of my work inform each other — CH team member by day, sexuality educator thespian by night!