Amy Irvin is the executive director of the New Orleans Abortion Fund, and served as the first intake coordinator. She has worked at abortion clinics in New Orleans and Atlanta, and was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year by Planned Parenthood of Kentucky in 2006. She earned her Master of Science in Social Work at the University of Louisville where she conducted research on parental consent laws for minors at the ACLU of Kentucky Reproductive Freedom Project, and graduated from Agnes Scott College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. After undergraduate school she taught English as a Second Language, coordinated World Refugee Day activities, and developed a refugee childcare program at the International Rescue Committee. She also worked as a union organizer for the United Food and Commercial Workers, organizers grocery store workers in Arizona and Indiana. Her passions include modern art and mid-century modern furniture.
Sylvia Cochran, Board Member Emeritus
Sylvia Cochran has been involved in the movement for abortion rights since the earliest days - over 40 years working for independent clinics in Pennsylvania and Louisiana. She has worked in all aspects of the field, from reception to patient care, eventually working her way up to office manager and administrator. She is currently the administrator of Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge and Women's Health Care Center in New Orleans. Her first love is politics and she plans to spend her summer working on the 2016 presidential election. She has testified for abortion access before the Louisiana legislature, bringing her professional experience to the Capitol.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Jackie moved to New Orleans in 2012 to work in healthcare operations with a local non-profit that specializes in women's reproductive health. She has worked with NOAF since 2013 as an intake volunteer and now as a board member. Her favorite NOAF activity is coordinating the annual Sex Ed Bingo event. Jackie is committed to advancing the health of women and families in Louisiana and believes that access to healthcare starts in the voting booth. Jackie received her Human Factors Engineering degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and an MBA from the University of Louisville. She enjoys traveling, a well-made French 75 and has been unsuccessful in having a good relationship with the crawfish.
Jules Richelson is from the desert of Tucson, Arizona, but has studied with a Maori community in New Zealand, worked on a goat farm in California, and now has planted herself squarely in the swamp of New Orleans. A perpetual volunteer, she serves on the board of directors for Metro Centers for Women & Children, the Administrative Lead Team of the NOLA TimeBank, and as a hot-line advocate for STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response). She has volunteered as a NOAF Clinic Escort since April 2016, and is bringing her background in fundraising and development to the NOAF Board to strengthen support for women's health and rights. One of her part-time jobs is Gynecological Teaching Associate at Tulane University School of Medicine, teaching medical students to perform a physically comfortable well-woman exam with an emphasis on communication skills, to provide a supportive environment for the patient. Due to her desire to understand and create a healthy community, Jules designed her own curriculum at Prescott College and received her B.A. in Integrated Studies of Culture, Environment, and Traditional Healing. To unwind from her busy life, Jules is part of Waterbeams: Synchronized Swimmers With Spunk, and fosters animals from the LA-SPCA.
Jessie Nieblas received her Master of Public Health from Tulane University in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Science and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara in Women's Studies. In her 10 years of work on sexual violence prevention and intervention, reproductive health and rights, and health care access, Jessie has designed, implemented, and evaluated programs; conducted outreach and engagement efforts with diverse communities; and raised funds through direct appeals, grants, and events. She has served as co-chair of Take Back the Night at UCSB, volunteered on RAINN's Online Hotline, and currently works at an anti-sexual violence organization.
Mike Stagg is a civic activist, writer, filmmaker, policy analyst and strategist, as well as a radio talk show host. He was a reporter for 20 years, has published newspapers and books, edited books, run for public office, managed campaigns, and produced public policy documentaries that have aired on broadcast television stations across the state, advancing progressive values on state finances and public education. He’s a native of Eunice, Louisiana and currently resides in Lafayette. He’s been a roustabout, roughneck and truck driver in the oilfield. He is working on a new book and documentary that reveal how the oil and gas industry has cheated the citizens of Louisiana out of their fair share of our mineral wealth with the cooperation of state government. He is the principal of D.P.S. Media LLC which is the producer of his weekly radio show and podcast, Where The Alligators Roam.
Starting in the late '80's Maria became active as a reproductive rights advocate when she was a clinic escort and helped defend a Baton Rouge clinic targeted by Christian fundamentalists seeking to stop its operation. A Louisiana native, Maria earned her undergrad degree from LSU and Master’s degree from Goddard College in Vermont in Social Ecology. She cut her teeth on organizing around environmental justice issues but then found the labor movement and has worked as a union organizer for over twenty years. Maria's current work in the union is organizer training and development. Always ready for a road trip she loves to travel, hike and canoe . Her love of swimming in cold water connects her to her father's Minnesotan Swedish side. Her Cuban ancestry on her mother's side fuels her love of cooking moros y cristianos with a side of universal healthcare.
Advise, govern, oversee policy and direction, and assist with the leadership and general promotion of the New Orleans Abortion Fund in order to support the organization’s mission and needs.
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