Engaging youth in policy change through a youth development approach -- Fee: $250
Saturday, November 2, 2013: 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
3 contact hours
Statement of Purpose and Institute Overview:
This session provides tools and strategies for public health practitioners to engage youth in public health policy change efforts through a youth development approach. Healthy People 2020’s Adolescent Health Guide identified youth development as a means to achieving greater health and well-being among adolescents by focusing on youth assets rather than deficits. This approach upholds the value that young people have the capacity and the right to act as full-fledged stakeholders in their community.
The public health field is paying increasing attention to the impact that the environment has upon the health and behaviors of individuals. This focus on environmental change through policy produces improved health outcomes by making the healthy choice the easy choice. Also, effective environmental changes provide opportunities for people to obtain their full health potential by reducing health disparities and promoting health equity.
Youth in Massachusetts have led public health policy change efforts. During this Learning Institute, Health Resources in Action (HRiA), a Boston-based public health non-profit organization, will train participants in the following: youth development and community organizing principles, developing a policy change campaign with youth, community mobilization techniques and building youth-adult partnerships. HRiA will also convene a panel of youth representatives from the following community-based organizations:
- Worcester’s HOPE Coalition and Girl’s Inc. of Lynn limited the influence of the tobacco industry in their city. HOPE prohibited the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and revised their city’s temporary signage ordinance. Girl’s Inc. is currently working on capping the number of tobacco permits in Lynn.
- Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP) rallied support to apply pressure on Boston’s City Council to pass an ordinance that limits diesel fuel emissions to improve air quality and help prevent asthma. Also, through a coalition effort called, “Youth Way on the MBTA,” REEP helped reduce across-the-board public transportation fare increases from 100% to 23% and helped preserve most of the 100 bus lines threatened with cuts.
- Youth Jobs Campaign organized Massachusetts youth to successfully obtain $9 million in state funding for youth jobs, addressing violence and economic development in low-income communities.
HRiA will facilitate a co-consulting session where participants can identify opportunities to engage youth in policy change efforts.
Youth play a powerful role as change agents in their community; by engaging youth using a youth development approach, they not only build skills and gain confidence, but also make tangible positive differences in the health of their community.
Session Objectives: Define youth development and its relationship to public health.
Describe the steps to organizing a local policy change campaign.
Identify opportunities to engage youth in environmental and policy change efforts in the local context of participants.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: APHA-Learning Institute (APHA-LI)
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)
Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)