Three students from the CSUN Master of Public Health program had the opportunity to meet health educators and activists from around the country at the Society for Public Health Education Advocacy Summit. Sivana Lavine, Sunny-Kim Barden and Tammie Ton flew to Washington DC in October to take part in the national conference.
“Our agenda this year was gun violence prevention and the role of health education and public health to remediate the various facets of gun violence,” said MPH Lecturer Jeff Goodman. “I could not have been more proud of our students. They deserve recognition.”
“Mobilizing the Next Generation of Health Advocates” covered topics such as the types of gun violence, media perspectives when covering gun violence, the role of health educators in the framing of news stories, community collaboration and grassroots initiatives, and addressing gun violence from a public health perspective.
The conference provided strategies for taking advocacy to elected officials, building coalitions and networking to achieve goals. Panels and speakers focused on steps health educators can take to organize and reach out to effect change in government policy. The CSUN students and Goodman presented on “Effective Hill Visits” for approaching legislators and their staff.
Nearly 4,000 health education professionals in the United States and 25 countries belong to the Society for Public Health Education, the nonprofit association that sponsored the conference. SOPHE promotes healthy behaviors and communities. Its focus includes injury prevention, chronic diseases, tobacco and smoking cessation, school health and National Health Education Week. It also advocates for global public health and eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.