Guest Blogger, Reporting from the National Conference on Tobacco or Health
This morning, I had the privilege of attending Reaching Priority Communities and Supporting Policies, a panel consisting of the six sister networks of CDC disparity populations – Break Free Alliance, National African-American Tobacco Prevention Network, Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership, National Native Network, National Latino Tobacco Control Network, and our very own Network for LGBT Health Equity. It was so great to see so many connections being made throughout these organizations, but at the same time it was so overwhelming! So many amazing points were made that there is absolutely no way I would be able to summarize all of it without writing a megillah.
That being said, I think it’s important to give you all some takeaways shared by each of the organizations.
Break Free Alliance – It’s about leveling the playing field. We don’t want exemptions in any policy.
National African-American Tobacco Prevention Network – One data set does not fit all.
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership— Leadership is not just the 3 D’s: Doctors, Deans, and Directors.
National Native Network— The burden of commercial tobacco is incredibly relevant to our communities, and needs to be discussed from this commercialized position.
National Latino Tobacco Control Network— Speak, speak, and loudly!
Network for LGBT Health Equity— Every segment of our community is different and changing, so we have to constantly be having these conversations.
Again, I think that a lot of this is information that those of us in the trenches already know. As one member of the audience put it, “We’re not just preaching to the choir; we’re preaching to the preachers.” But, it’s still nice to be in rooms where these conversations are still relevant, still immediate. I think that our next challenge is to really stay energized and excited about the work that we do, all while working together and continuing our coalition building.