Sexuality and Gender Inclusive Health Promotion: An Applied Panel for Health Professionals


Aubri Rote presents Sexuality and Gender Inclusive Health Promotion:

Aubri Rote, PhD, MS, CSCS

Associate Professor, Department of Health & Wellness, University of North Carolina Asheville

Jen Sanchez-Flack, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Wellness, University of North Carolina Asheville

Shawn N. Mendez, PhD, MS

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina Asheville

Jordan Perry, MPH, CHES, CWWS

Healthy Campus Liaison, Department of Health and Wellness, University of North Carolina Asheville

CHES 1.0 | ICHWC 1.0 |CDR 1.0

Sexuality and gender continue to influence the evolution of health promotion, education, and care. Demand for sexuality and gender inclusive care, spaces, and materials rises as younger generations increasingly identify as sexual and gender minorities. This session introduces best practices for working with sexual and gender minority clients, students, and patients. It is intended for health professionals interested in building capacity to provide inclusive health promotion, and is designed to be an introduction and an overview, rather than a comprehensive exploration of the topic. In this session we will: discuss the importance of language, understanding sexuality and gender binaries, and incorporating body positive health practices and education; practice editing health promotion materials for inclusivity; and provide concrete examples of what to do (and what not to do) to create sexuality and gender inclusive spaces and materials. Participants will leave with strategies for promoting sexual and gender diversity in organizational settings, and creating safer spaces for members of LGBTQIA+ communities.

Presenter Bio(s):

Aubri Rote, PhD is an associate professor in the Health and Wellness Department at the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNCA).  She received her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and doctorate in Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Dr. Rote teaches courses on exercise science, pathophysiology of chronic disease, body image, and weight bias.
Dr. Rote’s primary focus is teaching and learning, and she regularly conducts empirical examinations of novel pedagogical strategies. Further allowing Dr. Rote to assist faculty in their pursuits of delivering the best educational experience possible, Dr. Rote currently serves as a Fellow for the UNCA’s Center for Teaching and Learning and is a member of the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee of Faculty Senate at UNCA.
As a scholar, Dr. Rote has a strong interest in finding effective interventions to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary time. She also has a passion for examining ways to reduce weight bias and better understand the relationship between body composition and chronic disease. In addition to her own scholarly engagement, Dr. Rote mentors several students each semester in undergraduate research projects spanning a wide array of topics related to exercise science and body composition.

Jen Sanchez-Flack, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Wellness at the University of North Carolina Asheville and an Adjunct Professor in the Public Health Leadership Department at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. She received her BA in Sociology from DePaul University, her MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan, and her PhD in Public Health from the joint-doctoral program at San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego.
As a public health teacher-scholar, Dr. Sanchez-Flack has focused on developing and achieving equity in both the classroom and the health promotion practice and research field. Her prior and current research has focused on reducing health disparities both globally and domestically through health behavior intervention research. More specifically, Dr. Sanchez-Flack most current work aims to understand the retail food environment and the food purchasing behaviors of Latinx and African American populations in the US for the development of tailored nutrition interventions. She has also previously conducted research on the sexual risk taking behaviors of populations at disproportionate risk for sexually transmitted infections in Chicago, IL, Flint, MI, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Santiago, Chile. Dr. Sanchez-Flack’s varied experiences has informed her use of critical consciousness in health promotion practice and research.

Dr. Shawn N. Mendez, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She considers herself a teacher-scholar-activist, and the study of sexuality, gender, and race/ethnicity is the thread that runs through all of her professional experiences, from research and teaching to service.
Dr. Mendez’s goal as an instructor is to model safe self-expression and multidisciplinary scholarship by encouraging students to engage with course content from an intersectional perspective. She envisions all of her courses with a queer feminist lens to bridge family studies, sociology, human development, critical race theory, and gender studies. Her dedication to teaching is complemented and enhanced by her research program, which provides students with materials for further critical thinking into and beyond regular course content. Her most recent research project used case study methodologies to examine the ways that teenagers learn about race, gender, and sexuality in mixed race families and families of color with lesbian, gay, and queer (LGQ) parents.
In addition to formal classroom learning, Dr. Mendez mentors and advises undergraduate students in their research and internships in the Asheville community. She also serves on the planning committee for two national LGBTQ conferences, the biannual Queer Studies Conference and UNC Asheville, and the annual LGBTQ Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of many professional organizations including the American Sociological Association, the National Council on Family Relations, and the Association for Asian Studies. Dr. Mendez’s article, Hegemonic Heteronormativity: Toward a New Era of Queer Family Theory, was recently published in the 10th Anniversary.

Jordan Perry serves as the inaugural Healthy Campus Liaison at the University of North Carolina Asheville, and is responsible for creating a culture of health within the campus community. She focuses primarily on environments, policies, and data collection/analysis, and prioritizes mental health promotion for students, work/life balance for faculty and staff, physical activity and fitness and nutrition and food justice for all campus community members. In addition, Perry teaches Introduction to Health Promotion as an Adjunct Lecturer. She works to equip her students with the capacity to think critically about health information, to identify health disparities, and to advocate for health equity.
Perry has a master of public health degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, and is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Workplace Wellness Specialist. She has worked in health promotion in higher education for eight years and been in the field of public health for twelve years.
In addition, Perry has completed numerous professional trainings related to sexual health, bystander intervention, violence prevention, peer education, restorative justice, smoking cessation, harm reduction, and social justice. She is interested in the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and health, and is an active volunteer with the local queer and trans youth advocacy organization.