Saturday, March 05, 2005

Student summit: "Carry It On"

When this blog was getting started I posted a call to action, "The Train is Leaving the Station: All Aboard." Here is part of it:
One of Revere's (not so modest) objectives is to jump-start the process of reconstructing and re-invigorating the progressive public health movement in this country and by speaking in a distinctive voice, to advance the conversation . . .

[ . . . ]

Since the social movements of the 1960s, in which Revere took part, a whole generation has matured, and yet another appeared. Within the ranks of public health are many young, savvy idealists. Revere believes they are ready to take the lead in a new public health movement. Climb aboard.
That was in early December, 2004. Well, the Train is starting to move and there are people aboard. Here is an Announcement I received via email:
Defining the Future of Public Health
Saturday, April 9, 2005

Boston University School of Public Health and the Health Not War student caucus are hosting a full-day summit on the future of public health. While all are welcome, we are particularly interested in reaching out to students of public health (broadly defined) who are thinking about their future, and the future of global public health.

The day will include two plenary sessions with speakers, workshops, and an evening social event. Workshop topics will include the history and legacy of public health activism, global health implications of U.S. policy, the ethics of advocacy by public health scientists, and the consequences of the increasing bioterrorism focus of public health.

There is no registration fee, although we are still seeking contributions and co-sponsorships from other student groups, campus organizations and schools.

Please spread the word, visit our website, and register!

If you have questions, suggestions, would like to participate in the planning, or are interested in co-sponsorship, e-mail
I inquired about this event and this is what I found out. These public health students are exactly the kind of new activists I was hoping would materialize in my post of months back. Moreover, they are not alone, but are in contact with their many colleagues in the region. They have already received, through their website, dozens of advance registrations from around the New England region in just a few weeks. I guess the time has come. The Train really is leaving the station.

Expecting people via car, train, bus, subway, whatever, their sleeping bags and sandwiches for the journey in hand, they will broker "lodging" on the couches, floors and spare beds of the locals. Some contributions are in hand but more are hoped for. Sixties redux. Be still, my atherosclerotic heart!

As of my inquiry, the program was something like this. Early plenary keynote; two concurrent workshops in the morning (tentatively on the History of Public Health Activism opposite Global Public Health Issues and US Policy) and two others in the afternoon (tentatively, Public Health Advocacy opposite Implications of the "Biodefense" Agenda for US Public Health), separated by Lunch and at some point, either before or after the afternoon workshops, time set aside for Caucuses on specific issues (anti-War, reproductive health, GBLT, etc., depending upon the initiative/intresesets of participants). Final wrap-up plenary speaker, dinner and a "social event" (aka, party).

Not sure if other things will happen or not (My fantasy: drafting of a "Boston statement" for a new progressive public health movement). The Reveres will be there (under their real names).

I visited the Summit website and was pleased to find links to the progressive public health blogs Confined Space, Impact Analysis, Health Care Renewal and, of course, Effect Measure (of course!).

These folks have their act together. Saturday, April 9. Hope to see some of you there. Be another link in the chain.