The Sea Change Program brings sharp research to the culture change revolution. We conduct social science research and partner with organizations to help them figure out what works and doesn't work to create culture change, and we use that knowledge to co-create effective programs and campaigns to reduce stigma. The Sea Change Program is passionate about bringing people together to make culture shift happen.
Our staff draws on more than 25 years of experience in reproductive health care, research, and advocacy, and is skilled in program design and evaluation, abortion stigma research, and meeting facilitation. We bring these skills into our partnerships to co-develop creative, measurable and targeted strategies that support the diversity of reproductive experiences.
Each of us—and you! —bring a unique set of experiences, ideas, expertise, and vision to our team.
Kate Cockrill is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Sea Change Program. Kate is a leading researcher conceptualizing and measuring reproductive stigma in the US and around the world. She has led over ten qualitative and quantitative research studies focused on generating stigma theory, developing scales and surveys for baseline research and conducting and evaluating experiments for reducing stigma. Her groundbreaking research has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, Elle, Cosmo, Salon, Slate and ReWire. Kate has trained leaders all over the world and in the United States on how to conceptualize, measure and intervene on reproductive stigma.
Kate is a bridge-builder who aims to develop effective links between academic researchers, community-based advocates and cultural entrepreneurs. Kate loves learning about new community-based efforts to solve cultural problems and staying on top of the latest theory and evidence about stigma and culture change. Kate works to help partners hypothesize, develop creative strategies, experiment and share best practices so that we can all make shift happen.
As the Operations Manager at Sea Change, Elisette Weiss harnesses administrative excellence, logistic wisdom, and a social justice perspective that provides the foundation for both day-to-day operations and achieving long-term goals.
Elisette carries with her eleven years of experience in changing the culture around sexual and reproductive health. Her work is driven by a fierce passion for promoting marginalized stories that defy conventional tropes of health, love, and family. Her work is an intersection of her research interests in sexual and reproductive health, stigma, and community-led interventions.
Her previous work includes supporting numerous research and sexual justice programs, including positions at UCSF’s Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Kaiser Permanente’s OB/GYN Health Education department, and the Mathare Youth Sports Association, a youth-led HIV stigma project in Nairobi, Kenya. During her undergraduate years at Brandeis University, Elisette directed Student Sexuality Information Service, an award-winning sexual health organization.
Madeline Blodgett is a facilitative leader, researcher, and collaboration designer leveraging empathy, evidence, and human-centered design to create culture change. Madeline directs Sea Change’s research and evaluation projects and leads trainings, collaborations, and convenings that translate research into aligned action.
With more than 10 years of experience leading change at the intersections of social justice and reproductive equity, Madeline’s work is driven by a passion for justice and a deep curiosity about how to create radical, effective, movements for change. Long before joining Sea Change, Madeline organized in the LGBTQ and economic justice movements; more recently, Madeline designed and implemented culture change and training initiatives at a national abortion provider training program, researched community attitudes towards abortion in Angola, and provided abortion care. Madeline represents North America on the steering committee of the International Network to Oppose Abortion Discrimination and Stigma (inroads).
As Sea Change’s Program Associate, Grace Klein leads internal and external communications, manages the flow of a diversity of projects, assists in research, and supports the organization’s general operations. Grace has a B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College, five years of experience in reproductive healthcare and culture, and a fierce passion for sexual and reproductive freedom and dignity that she brings to every aspect of her work.
Before joining the Sea Change Program in 2015, Grace worked at Preterm, an independent abortion clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. At Preterm, Grace counseled patients, assisted in abortion procedures, and provided sexual health education. Through this work, Grace gained a profound respect for the power of story-sharing: how empowering it is to be heard and seen, and how devastating it can be to be rejected or ignored. She considers it an honor to have borne witness to over 1,000 patients’ stories and journeys, and she carries this experience in her dedication to combating stigma, silence, and shame.
Kirsten Thompson, MPH
Kirsten Thompson, MPH, is a program director at the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Her passion for reproductive health and social justice started when she discovered her mother’s copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves at age 11. She loves building bridges, whether translating scientific research into better women’s health care or writing about sexual health in plain English for Bedsider. She’s also on the board of the Tule Academy, a start up East Bay high school focused on environmental learning and entrepreneurial skills.
Rana E. Barar, MPH
Rana E. Barar, MPH, is Project Director at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a part of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. At ANSIRH, Rana oversees operations for several large studies, including the Turnaway Study, a longitudinal, prospective study on the effects of unintended pregnancy and abortion on women’s lives. Prior to joining ANSIRH, Rana managed the Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education Project and served as Interim Director at Answer, a leading national organization dedicated to providing and promoting comprehensive sexuality education based at Rutgers University. In that capacity, Rana oversaw publication of Answer’s teen publications – Sex, Etc. magazine and Sexetc.org. Rana began her public health career working in several health and human rights projects at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and received her MPH from Columbia in population and family health in 2006. She has a BA in Political Science and French from Drew University in Madison, NJ, which has been enhanced by her substantial experience in Europe, Russia and Africa.
Amber Akemi Piatt, MPH
Amber Akemi Piatt has nearly ten years of professional experience in philanthropy, higher education, and non-profit organizations focused on gender-based violence prevention, youth empowerment, and racial equity. She currently works at PolicyLink with the Convergence Partnership, a national funder collaborative committed to promoting health and equity in communities across the country. She also sits on the Alameda County Human Relations Commission, which seeks to preserve human rights for all people who live or work in Alameda County. She received her Master in Public Health from UC Berkeley and her Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA in psychology and Spanish.
Ana Sandoval is the director of communications for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, their statewide public policy office. She served as communications director for three campaigns to defeat dangerous parental notification initiatives and as earned media director on the team that defeated the Mississippi Personhood Initiative in 2011. Prior to joining PPAC, Ana was the communications administrator for the California State Employees Association, worked as an organizer and contract negotiator in the labor movement and as both a newspaper reporter and editor. She has two kids, one husband, one dog and one cat.
Elizabeth Winchester is the Director of Development for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte for the Coast and Central Valley Regions. Her academic background was in molecular biology and primate behavior under Jane Goodall at Stanford University. This was followed by more than two decades in Silicon Valley start-ups pioneering integrated circuit design tools. Postings took Winchester to various locales including Boston and Johannesburg, but she always found her way back to northern California. After studying art at the San Francisco Art Institute Winchester moved to New York to pursue art-making for a decade. Fine art printmaking has become her avocation as a member of Open Ground Studios in Seaside and she is represented by LOOK Art Gallery in Mahopac, NY. Never a musician herself, she found a love for classical music at an early age through Leonard Bernstein’s Concerts for Young People on PBS. An avid audience member, Winchester is a board member of Chamber Music Monterey Bay.
Felisa Preskill, MPH
Felisa Preskill has over 10 years of experience working to advance access to abortion and enhance teaching in abortion and sexual and reproductive health. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Innovating Education in Reproductive Health, a program of UCSF's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health where she has worked to create and disseminate new digital tools to address the omission of abortion from many health science curricula and to apply the most up-to-date educational theory to teaching in this arena. She has designed, implemented, and published both quantitative and qualitative studies on abortion training and abortion practice after residency. She also serves on the board of Mission Kids Co-op Preschool. She received her Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree from Brown University.
Leanna Blankenship has spent her career building the back end foundation for many projects and non-profit organizations to help them take the next step into their future. Nothing frustrates her more than when something important and progressive cannot happen simply because the money and the infrastructure isn’t there to move it forward.
Teresa Kopp, MPH
Teresa Kopp was born and raised in the Bay Area, and she cannot remember a time when she was not passionate about women’s reproductive health issues. While in Peace Corps, Teresa co-created an HIV/AIDS prevention and education camp for young people in Ukraine. Upon her return, Teresa began fundraising with ReSurge International, where she organized a large, annual gala. She then went on to work in individual gift fundraising at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Since then, she has been working in the philanthropic sector, most recently for the Population and Reproductive Health team at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Above all, she enjoys a well-rounded life that includes time for her family, her friends, and the work that she is passionate about.