By Hope O'Brien (Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010)
It’s official: the Global Health Week of Action is here! The GHWA is a chance to move from education to advocacy on your campus.
The Chapters we’ve talked to so far are doing a range of activities – from direct advocacy with their Representatives, to speaker’s panels, a health fair, fundraisers, film screenings, and a blood drive! World Health Day is April 7, so April 4-10 is the official week of action – but your school might choose a different week in April to accommodate your campus calendars.
This year we’re encouraging chapters to focus their GHWA on the global health workforce crisis and the 2010 Global HEALTH Act (HR 4933). Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduced the bill in the House! For the Global HEALTH Act to be successful, the more co-sponsors, the better.
How can you tell your Representatives that you want them to co-sponsor?
- Take 10 minutes to read the bill (pdf) or 3 minutes to read our summary.
- Promote peer pressure! Encourage prominent health professionals – like your Deans and faculty – to add their names to the sign-on. Present this sample letter to your Dean or an interested faculty member, along with the fact sheet about the bill. To present this letter to your Dean, either approach them directly, or email them this text. Let us know when your Dean grants permission to use her or his name.
- Circulate the petition, then mail it to me at Hope O’Brien, Physicians for Human Rights, 2 Arrow St., Ste. 301, Cambridge MA 02138. Consider hosting a table in a high-traffic area to gather signatures – either on the petition, or (even easier) bring a laptop where people can sign the petition directly online. Attract people with info sheets, candy, music, signs… or an eye-catching costume!
- If you’re interested in a district meeting to persuade your Representative to co-sponsor the bill, read our blog post about how set one up.
These letters, petitions, phone calls and district meetings send a clear message to your Representative: We want you to support the Global HEALTH Act. You can also forward some friends the link to the petition, post it on FB, and tweet it!
PHR has put together a GHWA Toolkit that includes an Issue and Action Guide, ideas for great events, suggestions on how to fundraise and publicize, and resources to share with your community. If you’d like to brainstorm together or discuss what resources PHR has for you, just email or call me! This GHWA is a chance to energize your Chapter, build interest in health and human rights education (HHRE) – and make a real difference at the same time.