OWL program takes flight

The sexuality education program moves beyond our congregations.


When Cynthia Fine led a four-week “Responsible and Healthy Sexuality” workshop at Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women in Medical Lake, Washington, in 2009, eight to ten women signed up for the voluntary class, embarking together on a rich discussion. “There was one woman,” Fine recalls, “who got a little teary and said, ‘I’m 35 and I don’t even know how to put a tampon in my body.’”

Teacher and students at work
Don Schawang (in blazer) teaches owl to students in his senior year ethics class at Bishop Seabury Academy

Fine, a Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane member who works at Planned Parenthood, addressed that workshop attendee’s issue, and many more. Our Whole Lives (OWL), the human sexuality class many UUs know as a religious education offering for middle and high school students, anchored Fine’s work at Pine Lodge. “It was a patchwork of OWL, and frankly, I really let the interests of the women guide the flow of the curriculum,” she says. She defined success by how well she answered inmates’ questions. “The most notable thing for me was that the idea of self-determination and respect was welcome—and I think that a lot of these women had not experienced self-determination and respect for their sexual selves.”  READ MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *