I was among the 12,000 people attending the 138th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. This year’s theme was “Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative.” I had the chance to learn about new research, practices and lessons learned about sexual violence prevention, among many other topics.
To open the conference I was inspired listening to Cornel West. Speaking rapid-fire with references to everything from Socrates to W.E.B. DeBois to Bootsy Collins, he highlighted the crucial role of social justice to build a vibrant democracy. Check out his passionate address below.
As I wrote in a previous blog, social justice is a key element of creating change. Social justice drives our work to end sexual and domestic violence. We need to use the tools of science, research, evaluation and programming; but the fundamental goal is to create social change.
Among my highlights of the conferences were Hanrie Han speaking about community organizing, Susan Sorenson on gender disparities in injury and violence, Lori Post on “implicit collusion” (regarding media coverage of domestic violence deaths), and Mariana Chilton on the violence behind hunger.
I also shared information about PreventConnect in a poster session. Check out my poster PreventConnect: An Online Community of Practice to Advance Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence.