Step Up Your Activism

“We’re going to have to win on health care again and again until everyone in our nation has access to health care and access is no longer under threat.”
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, MomsRising

If you have 5 minutes:

  • Fill out an online petition: https://www.change.org/
  • Write a constructive post on social media. According to Pew Research, 14% of Americans have changed their mind about an issue because of a social media post.
  • Share your volunteering experiences on social media. You can encourage people to volunteer by sharing a picture of yourself having fun while volunteering.

If you have half an hour:

If you have the afternoon:

  • Write a letter to the editor of your hometown paper. Senators and members of Congress receive daily press clips and do pay attention to these.
  • Canvass. Look up a campaign’s phone number on their website, call them up and offer to canvass for them. It’s the most effective way to spend your time for a campaign, as it both helps campaigns generate lists of supporters who they then ensure make it to the polls, and it is a great opportunity to have a candidate who they may not yet know introduced to someone by an in-person interaction.
  • Phone bank. Look up a campaign’s phone number on their website, call them up and offer to phone bank for them.It’s not as effective as canvassing but still a good way to convince people to support your candidate, as well as identify supporters for Get Out The Vote!
  • Start your own petition: https://www.change.org/
  • Birddog. This is a tactic used to get politicians to commit to positions by asking them about them publicly and making sure their response is recorded. Check out this how-to guide to birddogging: https://front.moveon.org/how-to-birddog/.

If you have even longer:

  • Get involved with one of the great advocacy organizations listed below!
  • Commit your career. Think about what kind of impactful career might well suit your talents. Find impactful jobs here: https://www.idealist.org/en/

Get Involved With Activist Groups!

This list contains some groups that anyone interested in becoming more involved in activism can reach out to.

  • Black Women’s Health Imperative, https://bwhi.org/: Dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our nation’s 21 million Black women and girls –physically, emotionally and financially.
  • Census Counts, https://censuscounts.org/: The census count determines resources like Head Start, free lunch programs at schools, and funding for Community Health Centers, as well as political representation. Community-based organizations conduct advocacy and outreach campaigns to improve census counting.
  • Code Pink, https://www.codepink.org/: CODEPINK is all about taking action where it truly matters. We channel community grassroots democracy to where the power players are making (awful) decisions and make them listen.
  • Community Catalyst, https://www.communitycatalyst.org/: Community Catalyst’s mission is to organize and sustain a powerful consumer voice to ensure that all individuals and communities can influence the local, state and national decisions that affect their health.
  • Families USA, https://familiesusa.org/: Families USA, a leading national, non-partisan voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to achieving high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all. Public policy analysis that is rooted in Hill and administration experience, movement-building advocacy, and collaboration with partners are deep-rooted hallmarks of their work.
  • Indivisible, https://indivisible.org/groups: Indivisible is a grassroots organization with chapters around the country whose activities are mostly geared towards winning federal, state and local elections for progressive candidates and causes.
  • The League of Women Voters of the United States, https://www.lwv.org/other-issues/health-care-reform: LWV encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
  • MomsRising, https://www.momsrising.org/: MomsRising is a network of people just like you, united by the goal of building a more family-friendly America.
  • National Association of University Women, https://nauw1910.org/: The mission of the National Association of University Women is to serve women, youth, and the disadvantaged in our communities and in developing countries by addressing educational issues, and strategically partnering with allied organizations.
  • Planned Parenthood Association, https://www.istandwithpp.org/take-action?_ga=2.162700089.421566113.1571085189-132683787.1571085189: In addition to providing care, Planned Parenthood is also involved in advocacy for women’s health issues, and you can volunteer, donate or use their tools to make positive change.
  • Supermajority, https://supermajority.com/about-us/: Supermajority is a new home for women’s activism, training and mobilizing a multiracial, intergenerational community who will fight for gender equity together.
  • YWCA, https://www.ywca.org/: YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

For Healthcare Professionals

Providers have great influence on the healthcare conversation, and are uniquely positioned to make a difference. Here are some clinician groups that are fighting for increased coverage:

  • American Medical Association, https://www.ama-assn.org/: The AMA’s mission includes advocacy for access to care, decreased administrative burden, public health, and payment reform.
  • American Medical Student Association, https://www.amsa.org/: Organizes action committees and grassroots campaigns to advocate for social change.
  • American Medical Women’s Association, https://www.amwa-doc.org/: AMWA works to bring under-addressed issues to the national agenda. AMWA is an active participant in setting national health care policy and influencing legislation on women’s health issues.
  • American Nurses Association, https://www.nursingworld.org/ana/: This group advocates for universal coverage and increased focus on preventive and primary care.
  • American Pediatric Association, https://www.aap.org: The Academy advocates for the health of all children, and works with government, communities and other national organizations to shape many child health and safety issues
  • National Association of Social Workers, https://www.socialworkers.org/: NASW does advocacy work in the areas of the Affordable Care Act, child welfare, Medicare reimbursement, the Older Americans Act, Social Worker safety, student loan forgiveness, and the Social Work Reinvestment Act

Curious about how you can step up your activism? Take our quiz!