Continuing my Internship with Lift Louisiana, by Isha Patlola
Through my second term as a Communications intern for Lift Louisiana, I have deepened my understanding of reproductive justice and health, while also expanding my skills in relation to creating and posting content for social media. Coming into the summer term, one of my main goals was to be more independent within my role at Lift, and I believe that I was able to accomplish that this summer. During the spring term, I was still learning the basics and adjusting, but throughout the summer term, I was able to take more control and actually research and develop my own ideas for posts, and be able to see them through. This has allowed me to have a new sense of appreciation for and understanding of reproductive justice work, particularly in New Orleans, as I have had the opportunity to become more exposed to and aware of the apparent issues and consequential advocacy work that is being done.
The main focal points of my work this semester surrounded the legislative session, and more recently, the discrimination in Olympic policies. Researching and making posts about the legislative session was particularly eye-opening and interesting to me. It enabled me to better understand the political climate of Louisiana and New Orleans specifically, which I did not know much about coming into the internship, being from New Jersey. Developing this foundation has equipped me with the skills to better structure and formulate ideas for Lift’s social media, as I now understand the context/situation for why we are posting about particular topics.
This summer also allowed Lift to host an in-person event, which was the first one I had been to. We hosted a screening of the movie Zola which centers around the topic of sex work, followed by a panel discussion. This event was very significant for me, as it was my first time meeting most of the Lift staff in person, and it was the first time in which I could actually physically see the impact that this organization is having. Seeing the sheer number of people that came to the event and the genuine interest that these people seemed to have in supporting us and supporting advocacy for sex workers in general was very validating and uplifting for me. Working mostly remote, and having most of my work be on social media, I sometimes forget that there are actual people behind those Instagram likes and comments. This event made me realize the importance of organizations such as Lift Louisiana, and made me even more excited to continue my work.
I plan to continue my internship with Lift throughout the fall, and continue to deepen my understanding of reproductive justice, while also furthering my responsibilities within my position. I believe this internship has taught me a lot about reproductive justice/health, the New Orleans community, advocacy work in general, and myself. Being in a professional environment like this has made me recognize my interests, skills, and capabilities a lot more. I strongly believe that this experience has and will continue to shape my professional skills and knowledge, and will provide me with a solid foundation for my future endeavors in the reproductive health realm.