By: Shayla Partridge
On the second weekend in October, representatives from many of Harvard’s undergraduate global health and health activism groups – namely the Global Health and AIDS Coalition and Partners in Health Engage – joined with the rest of the Massachusetts community for a ‘Right to Health’ Bootcamp hosted at Lexington High School. The event was organized by a coalition of health advocacy leaders, including affiliates from the Harvard Medicine Indivisible chapter, MassCare, Take Back Health, Public Citizen, Massachusetts Nurses Association, and many more organizations.
The second half of the day consisted of strategy planning and legislative target mapping for individual regions, and practicing lobby visits – how to prepare for a legislative visit, how to field questions and make your points persuasive to different positions on the issue, and how to follow up and keep this issue on your representative’s agenda.
The day ended with a Call to Action from Representative Mike Connolly who gave an inside perspective on what representatives look for when forming opinions on major policy issues, like whether or not to advocate for single-payer.
After an inspiring day, the Harvard students in attendance met with some of the Bootcamp’s organizers and are planning to host a very similar event on campus sometime later this semester to activate the student network here and join with interested students at other Boston-area universities to build power to fight this fight now, and moving forward. Onwards!