Increasing access to all reproductive

health options

All Access EKY is an initiative coordinated by Appalshop, the Kentucky Health Justice Network, and Power to Decide that works within ten Southeastern Kentucky counties to build support for policies, programs and services that ensure young people have access to the full range of contraceptive methods. 

All Access EKY grows out of an earlier effort, the East Kentucky Reproductive Health Project, and combines storytelling, media making, youth empowerment, and community organizing to increase availability and access to all birth control options in Appalachian Kentucky. 

Together, partners believe that we can impact rates of unintended pregnancies in Southeastern Kentucky through a multistep process of engagement. Our process includes:

  • Providing young women with access to critical information surrounding their reproductive health, their rights and resources for support.

  • Creating an active and engaged steering committee of healthcare workers, policy advocates and leaders from our ten county service area who will help to guide the project, engage directly with youth producers and assist in the dissemination of project materials.

  • Training and employing youth interns to produce multi-media focusing on issues related to awareness, acceptance and access to reproductive healthcare in their home communities.

  • Partnering with media outlets to amplify local stories to a regional and national audience.

Our Education & storytelling model 

At the core of this project is the belief in first voice storytelling as a powerful tool for community change. Appalshop's nationally renowned youth media program, the Appalachian Media Institute (AMI), has developed a methodology of place-based media education that is rooted in a strong foundation of ethics, hands-on engagement and learning, and peer-to-peer exchange. 

The All Access EKY initiative is engaging AMI in a series of  media labs with young women aged 14-22. All Access EKY Fellows have the opportunity to participate in this paid internship program to learn the basics of digital media making (radio production, podcasting, filming, editing, photography) and to transform their experiences, and the experiences of their peers and community members, into meaningful documentary media about sexual education and reproductive healthcare in Southeastern Kentucky. Youth producers are selected through an open application process and are able to join the project with any level of prior experience. 

Willa Johnson directs the All Access EKY media training program in consultation with Appalshop Senior Producer Mimi Pickering.


Who Do We Serve?

All Access EKY serves young women in the following Southeastern Kentucky counties: Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry, Pike, and Wolfe.

All Access EKY youth producers must live within this 10 county zone and be between the ages of 14-22.


Development & coordination of an engaged steering committee:

A key component of the All Access EKY engagement model is convening a committee comprised of individuals from various sectors – health care, education, social services, policymakers, consumers, and others – that represent the Appalachian Kentucky community. The role of this Steering Committee is to guide the community assessment, identify key priority areas, develop an action plan, monitor implementation of the action plan, and evaluate project initiatives. The committee is convened and coordinated by Stacie Sexton, Project Director at the Kentucky Health Justice Network. 

Committee Members Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Attend at least six in-person meetings over one year

  • Participate in conference calls or webinars in between in-person meetings to help advance the work

  • Serve as a champion of the project

  • Work with the project team to ensure that there is broad and diverse representation on the committee and that the committee is able to articulate the needs of the community

  • Connect the Project Team to key stakeholders within the community

  • Share information about the project with others in the community

  • Commit to a year-long participation

If you would like to join our Steering Committee as a community stake holder, please feel free to contact us. We are always looking to have new and passionate voices of those who wish to help increase access to birth control in the region.

Better Birth Control training provided by Power to Decide

All All Access EKY Fellows and Steering Committee members, as well as project staff, partners and community members, are invited and encouraged to participate in free Better Birth Control trainings facilitated by Power to Decide. These trainings provide educational insights into reproductive healthcare and contraceptive options and shareable resources.