Back On The Grid… Blogging From Alaska

Gustavo Torrez, Program Manager
The Network for LGBT Health Equity 
Heading to Alaska 

I am officially back on the grid, but still on the road. As many of you know I was in New Orleans creating videos for our YouTube channel helping to document all of the amazing work going on across the country. In total, we have about 9 new videos up, We will be adding abstracts documenting these amazing projects soon, highlighting both lessons learned, as well as best and promising practices for tobacco control. In addition, we will have a couple more videos posted this week, one in Spanish from our friend Juan Carlos Vega from Puerto Rico so make sure you check back to catch them all.

Leaving New Orleans, I took a little break and enjoyed some vacation time where I was off the grid completely, but I am back and left Miami this morning and just arrived to my hotel in Alaska. As an invited keynote speaker I have a couple different roles at the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance statewide tobacco control conference that I am very excited about.

First, on Wednesday, I will be working with the youth attendees. As some of you may know I started in the tobacco control movement when I was 12 years old, so I love working with young people in the movement. The session titled  “I AM…” will looking at issues facing young people today, and how uniting together in the tobacco control movement not only helps to improve their communities, but can have an impact on their lives.

Day two is jammed packed, and I will be pretty busy most of the day. I will be opening the day with a joint keynote address with Dan Carrigan, program manager with Americans for Non-Smokers Rights. The session titled Deepening Your Bench will open the discussion on the importance of building diverse, and inclusive coalitions and partnerships to advance local, regional, and statewide movements.

In the afternoon, as the luncheon keynote speaker I will address the Networks social media strategies, and ways to effectively incorporate social media into your programs and campaigns. I will showcase a great video Social Media Revolution (A must see), and show participants some of the back end operations to alleviate the perceived stress of utilizing these platforms.

Closing out the day I will be facilitating back to back workshops focused on coalition building. We will look at effective coalition building strategies and start identifying partners and collaborators to bring to the table as Alaska gets ready to work on a statewide smoke free campaign.

I am pleased to be an invited Keynote speaker, and to be joined by some other amazing presenters, such as Bruce Adkins, from West Virginia and Janet Porter, from Break-Free Alliance. I will post another blog later this week on the happenings from Nome, so stay tuned…

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