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Care Café Hosts Reproductive Justice Community Forum

Members of the forum gather for a group picture Representative Carmen De La Rosa with forum participants and organizers.

Long Live Our Butterfly (LLOB), a domestic violence prevention organization, in conjunction with Steps to End Family Violence (STEPS) and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work Care Café, hosted a Reproductive Justice Community Forum and Brunch on Sunday, July 12, 2022. This special event was held at the Juan Pablo Duarte Community Center in Washington Heights.

Our keynote speaker, Lauren Hartman, LMSW, an advocate and doula, facilitated a riveting presentation on reproductive justice. Special topics covered included, but were not limited to, signs, symptoms, types and dynamics of domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV), DV in pregnancy, safety planning and strategies to effectively engage professional and peer support. Additionally, a hearty discussion addressed the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn of Roe v. Wade and its impact on the access to services directly related to health access and one’s individual right to choose reproductive health options.

Attendees represented a variety of personal and professional backgrounds which supported the richness of the discussions. With the urgency of the topic, and the safety of the environment created by the group facilitators, attendees voluntarily shared openly about their own lived experiences with the aforementioned topics. With the goal of instilling hope and normalizing feelings of fear and anxiety when faced with these complex conditions, the participants’ personal stories prompted a dialogue which encouraged advocating for change.

Supporting the emotional well-being of attendees, Sara Silverstein, breathwork specialist, guided us through a variety of grounding and meditation exercises throughout the presentation. These guided reflection activities promoted emotional connectivity, peacefulness and centering throughout the day. Care Café was also available to offer emotional support for attendees as needed.

We were privileged to be joined by District 10 City Council Member Carmen De La Rosa and her associate Kiana Diaz, who have been instrumental in supporting the expansion of social services and education to the residents of Washington Heights. Council Member De La Rosa offered a presentation on New York State’s response to the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade and efforts to support reproductive rights of New Yorkers and those who seek asylum here. This critical information provided clarity around the efforts of our legislative officials to reduce the risks associated with health inequities and to increase the safety of people overall. These recommendations offered essential knowledge for community members to consider the many ways to get involved in advocacy efforts, research and direct care support for people in need.

We were also joined by a special community partner and ally in community health, CEO of Drip Sweat Fitness Center, Janice Rodriguez, who has been instrumental in the support of community education and advancement in the Washington Heights area.

Kilsy Hidalgo, president of Long Live Our Butterfly (LLOB), Ana Holguin and their family continue to advance efforts to prevent domestic violence in Washington Heights. Care Café is so privileged to work with this brave community organization.

To learn about the initiatives of District 10, log on to:

To learn more about Long Live Our Butterfly, please contact:

To learn more about Breathwork, contact Sara Silverstein at:

To learn more about Steps to End Family Violence (STEPS):

To connect with Care Café, email us at or call us at 646 592 6827.

We look forward to seeing you at a Care Café event.

To All, Be Well!