Although individuals and organizations can advocate on their own, coalitions are particularly effective for public health advocacy. A coalition can include healthcare organizations, public and private sector agencies, for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, grassroots groups, academics, researchers, faith-based organizations, health departments, and health and social justice organizations. A coalition may have several different types of goals/missions, but overall, each aims to come together to agree on a solution to a specific problem that affects their constituents or members and overall improve aspects that affect health outcomes.
For instance, the San Diego Tobacco Control Coalition mission is to improve and protect the health of San Diegans by promoting smoke/tobacco-free lifestyles and environments. This coalition will pursue support of policies that align with improving tobacco-free lifestyles, environments and lastly those that make the default choice the healthier choice.
This discussion activity will focus on coalitions. Students will be asked to read and identify aspects of the advocacy process that coalitions participate in. Next, students will select a coalition from a prescribed list to research, identify, and describe in order to better understand function and structure.
Step 1: Review Chapter 17 of your textbook: Advocacy , pps. 335-346 and the corresponding chapter PowerPoint. The following sections will clarify key components of what coalitions are and how they address advocacy issues:
Who Can Advocate?
Form a Coalition and Table 17.2
Begin Ground Softening
Determine Who Has the Power to Make the Change Sought
Understand the Opposition and box 17.3
Outline a Set of Possible Solutions
Step 2: Using the textbook, write 1-2 paragraphs describing coalitions in general:
What is a coalition and what members can it include/be made up of?
Why is including a variety of members in a coalition important?
What is ground-softening and why is it needed?
Step 3: Research one of the coalitions identified in the links below:
Contra Costa Tobacco Prevention Coalition Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Imperial County
Nevada Tobacco Control Prevention Coalition National Low Income Housing Coalition
Healthy Out of School Time Coalition Big Cities Health Coalition
St. Mary s County Community Alcohol Coalition Phys Ed 4 All
Southern AIDS Coalition Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence End Violence Against Women UK Coalition
Step 4: Looking at the coalition you selected from the link above summarize key aspects of the coalition you selected (2-3 paragraphs):
What is the mission of the coalition?
What are the goals of the coalition?
List 4-5 members of the coalition
Brief description (1-2 sentences) of the public health problem the coalition is focusing on
Review the coalition web page and tell your colleagues about what entities (organizations, policymakers, government, industry, individuals) could be considered the opposition ? This may/may not be apparent on the web page, if not, be creative an think about what is feasible.
Identify what could be a potential policy solution to the public health problem the coalition identifies and why (1-2 sentences).
Include a screen shot of the coaliticixon web page and a web link
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