Young people have taken up the mantle on a variety of issues this year, which we’ve seen from the youth of the Sunrise Movement pushing for more action to address climate change to the survivors of Parkland speaking out for stronger gun control laws. This is all happening on the national scale, but there is also a group of outstanding young people doing great policy work on the local level right here in Massachusetts.
The 84 Movement is a statewide, youth-led tobacco cessation program through which youth engage in policy change efforts that protect communities from the influence of the tobacco industry. They do this through raising community and peer awareness of the tactics Big Tobacco employs to promote their products to young people and through enacting local policy change. Over the last ten years, the 84 youth have pushed for legislation that prohibit the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, raising the minimum price of single cigars, restricting where flavored tobacco products can be sold, and capping the number of tobacco retail licenses.
But perhaps most visibly is that every year all of the chapters across the state of Massachusetts gather together in Boston for Kick Butts Day where they go to Beacon Hill and have a conversation with their state senator or representative. Last year more than 100 young people educated their local policymakers on the fantastic work the 84 is doing and why it matters. And even more recently, a statewide leader was invited to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to speak at the Surgeon General’s press conference on e-cigarettes.
As adults and program leaders, how can we best support young people to get involved in public health efforts? How can we make sure that youth – youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth – are at the table? Because of the strong work the 84 team is doing to uplift youth voice, we are bringing them in to train you all on Prioritizing Youth Voice in Public Health Efforts on January 16:
Prioritizing Youth Voice in Public Health Efforts
Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
Topics: Youth engagement, integrating youth voice in public health conversations, implementing a youth development approach into coalition work.
Empowering youth to engage and take an active role in public health can play a critical role in improving the health of a community through local policy change. This training will encourage participants to examine ways they can lift youth voices in public health processes while encouraging greater civic participation and representation through case studies and hands-on activities. Participants will gain the skills needed to engage youth in every step of the process when it comes to community organizing and engagement from gathering resources to understanding the climate of the community and educating officials about policy change. Involving youth voices in these processes is often the best way to encourage policymakers to make change. Participants will leave the training with strategies on how to intentionally engage youth in every step of the process for community change.
Learn more and register here!