Nicole Clark Consulting

Raise Your Voice for Women and Girls of Color

  • 15th August
  • 15

The Self Care Corner: The Self Care Wheel

In order to raise your voice for others, you have to take care of yourself first. If you like this and other posts, subscribe to the Raise Your Voice weekly newsletter to receive resources, advice, and tips to help you raise your voice for women and girls of color.

This is The Self Care Wheel, created by Olga Press Project: Healing for Social Change and adapted from the “Self Care Assessment Worksheet” in Transforming the Pain: A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization. It’s a great graphic of how various aspects of our lives work in tandem to create wellness and balance. When one part of the wheel is not functioning, it affects the other parts. For example, when we decide to skip lunch, plow through to meet our deadlines, and decide to stay late at the office to finish some assignments, we may decide to grab an unhealthy snack to eat quickly, become more stressed, and lose out on spending quality time with others.

Take a look at the wheel and the recommendations given for optimal professional, physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and personal wellness.

Download The Self Care Wheel


RAISE YOUR VOICE: What you think about this week’s resource? Share your insights in the comments section below. 


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The Self Care Corner: 7 Step Prescription for Self Love

The Self Care Corner: Mindful Eating

The Self Care Corner: Identify Your “Breathe” Supports

  • 13th August
  • 13

Ask Nicole: How Can I Build My Evaluation Skills?


Do you have a question that other Raise Your Voice community members can benefit from? Contact me and I’ll answer it!

Several weeks ago, I received the following email from a fellow program evaluator:

Hi Nicole,

I read your blog post, “Program Evaluation for Women and Girls of Color: How I Developed My Passion for Evaluation Practice,” and I was immediately drawn to it. I am an up and coming program evaluator who is fairly new to the field and still on a learning curve. I am struggling to figure out my place in the field, whether I belong here, and whether there are growth opportunities for me as an evaluator of color with a social equity, direct service, and light research background. A previous boss once told me that she didn’t believe I loved research, and didn’t see me as being an evaluator. While I agree that research isn’t my forte, there continues to be something that draws me to evaluation. I consider myself to be pragmatic and can get lost in big picture thinking, something researchers are good at. But, I believe in program accountability, neutrality in the presentation of information, and integrity. These are all elements that I believe evaluation brings to the table. I do wish to grow in my career, but at times I feel like giving up because I don’t yet know a lot about many things related to evaluation. Anyway, I’m happy to have come across your blog post because it provided some comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who has questioned her place in program evaluation. Your words are empowering!It would be great to speak with you further about your career trajectory in evaluation.What professional development opportunities would you recommend? How may I build up my evaluation skills? Looking forward to your response.

This was a really thoughtful question, and it’s great to hear from a fellow program evaluator of color!

Program evaluation is a rapidly changing field, and as you see, it’s exciting and daunting at the same time. Like you, I consider myself an up and coming evaluator, and I totally understand the feeling of not know all that one needs to know in order to get ahead in this field. I’ve come to find that, in my experience, you’ll always be on a learning curve because of emerging best practices, the latest research, and current trends. That’s what makes evaluation so exciting.

When I decided to develop a career in program evaluation, I began reading up on anything and everything related to program evaluation. And then I started to get overwhelmed. There’s so much to evaluation that it’s almost impossible to know everything. So, a recommendation I have for is to figure out what you want to develop your niche in, and build your skills in that, if possible. For example, I’m into participatory evaluation, empowerment evaluation, and evaluation theories that can be applied within racial, feminist, gender, and youth lenses. Elements such as logic models, quantitative and qualitative data collection, and the like are the basis for all evaluation theories, and I when I need to figure out how to run an analysis, or if I need additional help in looking for key themes in a qualitative data set, I’ll ask my colleagues. In other words, everything is (in the words of entrepreneur Marie Forleo, “figure-outable”).

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  • 11th August
  • 11

Sound Off: Researchers Recommend Sex Ed Classes Starts as Early as Age 10

(Image Credit: Shuttershock)

Each week, I bring you a current news article, along with my commentary, to raise your voice about. Share your thoughts on topic in the comments section below. Agreeing to disagree is always great, but please be sure to keep it respectful. Nicole Clark Consulting reserves the right to remove disrespectful, off-topic, and threatening comments.

A new study reported by Georgetown University Institute for Reproductive Health recommends that children should start receiving comprehensive sex education as early as age 10. 

The study, called "Investing in Very Young Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health", gives this recommendation from a global health perspective, highlighting the need for a more global view of harm reduction and prevention that not only benefits health professionals and researchers conducting research that will lead to better health guidelines, but can encourage more effective policies and more community involvement.

Think Progress reports that one of the fears in mandating a national standard for sex education as been in large part due to the support around “abstinence-only until marriage” programs. Coupled with the belief that teaching young people about sex and sexuality outside of the confides of marriage is wrong, there is the fear that teaching children about sex will encourage them to become sexually active sooner. 

In discussion about this latest research and the fears mentioned above, Victoria Jennings, director of Georgetown’s Institute for Reproductive Health told the Chicago Tribune: “[Teaching children about sex] has to be done in the context of helping them develop healthy self-esteem and the ability to negotiate their way in the world and develop expectations for themselves and their lives that will cause them to make decisions that will lead to positive outcomes.”

Nicole’s take: Have you heard of the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act? This bill, co-authored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and the late Senator Frank Launtenberg (D-NJ), was re-introduced in the 2013 congressional legislature. This bill, if passed, will set the vision for comprehensive sex education in the United States. Originally named the “Responsible Education About Life Act”, this bill has been introduced to Congress since 2001. While it receives support from other Congress leaders, families, and organizations that support comprehensive sex education,  it never gets enough votes to pass both the House of Representatives or the Senate. 

The REAL Act is important because, despite the latest findings from Georgetown and countless other research that proceeds it, the United States government only gives federal funding to abstinence-based sex education programs. The REAL Act can ensure that federal funding is allocated to comprehensive sexual health education programs that provide young people with the skills and information they need to make informed, responsible, and healthy decisions. Studies such as the one presented by Georgetown have the potential to revitalize the advocacy around the REAL Act, and can bring it one step closer to becoming a reality.

Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control, most American teens don’t receive formal sexual health instruction until after they’ve already become sexually active, in part due to the United States not having set national standards for comprehensive sex ed in public schools. (There are some states (18 to be exact along with Washington, DC) that require some form of sex health course in public schools.)

While the United States prides itself on being one of the most advanced countries in the world, we still continue to miss the mark when it comes to making sure that young people have the knowledge and tools needed to make healthy lie decisions. Need more proof? Here are 5 countries that get it right.

RAISE YOUR VOICE: Do you think young people as early as 10 years old should receive sex education in schools? 


If you like this and other posts, subscribe to the Raise Your Voice weekly newsletter to receive resources, advice, and tips to help you raise your voice for women and girls of color.


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Try This Activity: Including Pleasure in Youth Sex Education

  • 8th August
  • 08

The Self Care Corner: A Seven Step Prescription for Self Love

In order to raise your voice for others, you have to take care of yourself first. That’s where self care comes in. If you like this tip, be sure to sign up for the Raise Your Voice newsletter to receive your copy of The Revolution Starts with Me! self care zine for more tips and self care resources.

I recently came across an article from Deborah Khoshaba, Psy. D., a contributor for Psychology Today. Called “A Seven-Step Prescription for Self Love” Dr. Khoshaba shares seven ways to incorporate self love into your life.

Dr. Khoshaba’s says, “Self love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.”  

Here are Dr. Khoshaba’s seven steps for self love:

*Become mindful

*Act on what you need rather on what you want

*Practice good self care

*Set boundaries

*Protect yourself

*Forgive yourself

*Live intentionally

Read more about Dr. Khoshaba’s seven steps for self love on Psychology Today.


RAISE YOUR VOICE: What you think about this week’s resource? Share your insights in the comments section below. Do you have a self care resource or exercise you want to share? Contact me to have it featured in an upcoming Self Care Corner post.


Related Posts

The Self Care Corner: Mindful Eating

The Self Care Corner: Take the Self Care Assessment

The Self Care Corner: Create Your Self Care Policies & Procedures Manual 

  • 6th August
  • 06

Am I On The Right Track?: Evaluating Nicole Clark Consulting


I started this blog in 2011 as a way for me to share my thoughts and feelings on feminism, women and girls of color, and various aspects of reproductive justice. What I expected was an increase of clarity on my position. What I got instead was the ability to position myself as a thought leader, connect with like-minded individuals and with people who want to know more about my position, the challenge of staying up-to-date on the constant happenings within the reproductive justice movement, and to make a difference in my own way.

Last year, I reflected on how my activism has been the foundation for my roles as a social worker and as a program evaluator, and this has been my main focus for Nicole Clark Consulting. This year, I chose to delve more deeply into finding creative ways to help individuals, communities, and organizations create or improve their communities, programs and services in order to make a lasting impact. 

In the spirit of evaluating my own services, I want to share with you what I feel has gone reasonably well with Nicole Clark Consulting, areas that I’ve been struggling with, and where I see myself headed into 2015:

The 9-to-5 struggle: Along with running Nicole Clark Consulting, I’ve been employed as full-time job social worker for a New York City-based HIV organization since 2010. This has been the biggest struggle since I made the transition from being a casual blogger to developing my business. Anyone who is building a business while working full- or even part-time for an employer can attest to this: It’s hard! Hard due to managing your time between your obligations to your employer while putting in even more hours for your own business, hard because there are times where you’d rather be working on your business while at work, and more. At any given time, my weekly schedule consists on waking up, going to the gym, going directly to my job, leaving at 5pm, going home, and working on my business. Or sometimes I get up early, work on my business before getting ready for work and save the gym for after 5pm. I used to get to work a half hour early or even stay later, but I found that this takes away time from working on my business and for taking time out for self care. I also use part of my weekend and some vacation time to work on my business. Whether it’s drafting my blog post for next week, editing my consulting contract template, or responding to business emails, there’s always something that needs to get done. As difficult as this has been, I’m still amazed at how much I get done for my business and for my employer. And through it all, not only am I grateful that my full-time employment provides me with additional income, I’m also grateful that I’ve found a schedule that works for me for now until it’s time to step into my business full-time. I used to be concerned that sharing that I have a full-time job would make me appear as a fraud entrepreneur. Now I realize more how many people are living this experience, and we will all get to where we need to be in time. (And if you’re having problems with finding time for your business in the midst of working a full-time job, check out these tips from entrepreneur Rosetta Thurman.)

Clarity gained: Last year, I mentioned that part of my focus has been on creating a balance between engaging with my activist side and connecting it with my social work and  evaluation skills. I feel I have been very successful in becoming clearer in who my services are intended for in terms of program design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as who I provide workshops and speaking opportunities for. I’ve made the necessary edits on my blog so that people coming to my blog know who my services are intended for. Because of this, I’ve been getting more leads and inquiries from individuals who are interested in me speaking to their audience (which are in alignment with what I want to speak on), as well as me assisting with their evaluation needs. I’ve also been getting more people pitching guest blog posts or promotional services that don’t align with the vision of my business, and I’ve been successful in turning them away. My biggest concern was that I would lose my audience who may not be interested in learning about social work stuff or evaluation practice, which is something I’ve been struggling with throughout this year. I’ve tried to balance out blog post ideas to discuss things that engage program evaluators, social workers, and activists. What I’ve learned is that as I gain more clarity, I’m going to lose people along the way. While I understand this, it’s still pretty hard to face.

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