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Public Health Advocacy: Grassroots Organizing for Policy Change

Summer Institute
Health Policy and Management
Academic Year
2023 - 2024
Instruction Method
Synchronous Online
Start Date
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
End Date
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Class Time(s)
Students will be required to listen to 16 hours of pre-recorded lectures prior to the start of class. Students will meet in-person on June 20 & 21 from 1:00p - 4:00p and June 22 from 1:00p - 3:00pm
Tu, W, Th, 1:00 - 4:00pm
Auditors Allowed
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
One Year Only
Next Offered
Only offered in 2023
This course provides practical, in-depth skills and knowledge in a key advocacy approach: the principles and methods of community organizing and campaigning for policy and structural change. Learn how to mobilize the right people at the right time, with the right demands, to change public policies to promote health. Complements other courses in the school that delve into how the state legislative process works and how to use the mass media to win a campaign in the court of public opinion.
Provides a practical introduction to grassroots organizing for policy change. Uses foundational literature and case studies to review the history of advocacy and organizing for public health. Introduces campaign planning and management, discusses the role of research and coalition-building, and explores different types of organizing. Prepares students to participate in and critically assess public health campaigns to change the policies and structures that set the contexts in which people make their decisions about health. Introduces students to two key areas of knowledge in public health practice: 1) the principles and methods of community organizing and 2) campaigning for policy and structural change. Includes a series of short assignments and group activities that will culminate in a final product: the creation of a campaign plan for changing public policy regarding a specific public health problem.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Justify the use of broad-based movements to shift power from corporations to communities in order to achieve policy change at any level of government, within institutions, or in corporate boardrooms.
  2. Describe the purpose and methods of campaign planning and execution.
  3. Propose strategies to build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health policy
  4. Develop a power-building campaign and communications plan that applies the “mom test” and tailors strategies to different sectors and stakeholders to address real-world public health advocacy goals.
  5. Apply the Inform-Ask-Involve-Thank organization-building cycle to campaign plans to turn volunteers into activists and activists into leaders by moving advocates up the ladder of engagement.
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 10% Participation
  • 35% In-class Exercises
  • 10% Peer-feedback
  • 10% Quizzes
  • 35% Presentation(s)
Special Comments

This course will be offered in the HPM Summer Institute. Students will be given required readings and 4 hours of pre-recorded lectures to complete prior to the course. No assignment will be accepted after August 4, 2023.