Join us in New York for the National Women’s Speakout for Action on Health Reform and Strategy Conference
By Cindy Pearson
Not too long ago, I found myself in a meeting room in the basement of the Senate. I was there, along with the NWHN’s winter interns, to take part in an event calling on Congress to pass health care reform that meets women’s needs. The speakers were all good, but one in particular really captured my imagination. He began by asking us to look around at the audience, which was standing-room only. As we did so, taking in the sight of a room filled mostly with women — many of them women of color — the speaker told us, “This is what public health looks like – women”.
He spoke passionately about how women’s activism energized and shaped the field of public health and how the women’s health movement that began in the 1970s had changed how women’s health is perceived and addressed. He finished with a call to the audience members to make lifting women’s voices central to the effort to create health care for all.
“How fitting”, I thought to myself. The strategy we’re using and, in fact the very words we use to describe our work, are being spoken by others in an effort to inspire action. I felt very proud that morning, and hopeful, too. When I got a chance to speak from the floor, I made sure to mention Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need. Readers of this newsletter know that Raising Women’s Voices is NWHN’s collaboration with MergerWatch and the Avery Institute, and is our main strategy to affect the movement for health care reform and ensure that the needs of women and our families are met in any change that comes.
We’re especially excited to announce the upcoming Raising Women’s Voices national event – the National Women’s Speakout for Action on Health Reform and Strategy Conference. The event will be held at the InterChurch Center in New York City on April 1—2, 2009. The National Women’s Speakout, on April 1, will be moderated by NBC News Medical Editor, Nancy L Synderman, M.D. We will feature stories of women who have struggled to get the health care they and their families need, and make the connection between these personal experiences and policy solutions. In the afternoon leading up to the Speakout, workshops will explain how personal stories from the grassroots can help shape health policy. Participants will learn how to sponsor their own community speakouts.
The Strategy Conference will be held on April 2nd and will move from women’s stories about the health system to strategy about how to achieve real reforms that address the problems women have identified. National health policy experts will give an update on the progress of health reform in Washington and help participants identify key opportunities for collective action in the months ahead. We will end the day with an agenda for action.
For more information and to register for the conference, go to www.raisingwomensvoices.net. Scholarships are available.