For 20 years, CCmás has been a sexual and reproductive health resource for Wisconsin's Latino community
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, or PPWI, is known for providing reproductive health care throughout the state, but the organization does much more than that. Aside from their clinical work, Planned Parenthood provides education on sexual health and safety, which requires a lot of cultural understanding.
CCmás is a program run through Planned Parenthood, which is focused on giving Wisconsin’s Latino community the tools to advocate for reproductive justice, their right to control their sexuality and reproduction. The program is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a free event at the Mitchell Park Pavillion Saturday, September 30.
For Maria Barker, vice president of the education department for PPWI, the role that CCmás serves in Milwaukee is a vital one.
She says, "We found that the Latino population in Wisconsin, especially [the] Spanish speaking population, really needed some time to sit back and think about how we grew up in this Latino culture. And how the conversations about sexuality were so taboo in our communities and how that has impacted our ability to have open conversations about sexuality."
The program provides the typical assistance that Planned Parenthood offers like education and access to birth control, information on sexual health, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. It also provides home sessions to talk about cultural values and cultural norms in an intimate, low-pressure setting. CCmás was born out of a need PPWI discovered as they were doing this work in the community.
"We quickly recognized that the Latino community didn't know much about advocacy [and] civic engagement. So, that's when our curriculum expanded to be more of a reproductive justice curriculum," explains Barker. "So we still talked about reproductive health and we added that component self advocacy and civic engagement, so that people could learn how to navigate through that world as well."