Funding Health Advocacy in Turbulent Times: Three Practices to Adopt

Effective health advocacy is not an easy endeavor, but when executed correctly, the results can be game-changing. Health advocates, whether operating through organizations, coalitions, campaigns, or movements, are accustomed to spending long periods of time with no outwardly visible activity or tangible progress, followed by an immediate sense of urgency and action to seize a window of opportunity. In many ways COVID-19 was one of those windows with phrases like health disparities becoming crystal clear to many.

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GIH Bulletin: October 2022

Every year around this time, we participate in a time-honored process of voting for candidates we believe align with our values. As people across the country prepare to vote in state and local elections, those of us working in health philanthropy should take a moment to reflect on what we can do to support policies to advance better health outcomes.

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Reflections on the 2022 GIH Annual Conference and the Road Ahead

It was so wonderful to see everyone in Miami at the 2022 Grantmakers In Health Annual Conference, especially those who joined us for the first time, and to learn more about the work you are doing to achieve better health for all through better philanthropy. The conference occurred at an important moment for our country. As Admiral Rachel Levine, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, said during our strategy session on advancing LGBTQ health equity “even after decades of social progress, the most vulnerable among us continue to suffer.” The conference provided an opportunity for us to reconnect, to reflect on the considerable health challenges facing the United States, and to learn and grow together as we explore and share solutions.

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Will We Hear the Voices of the LGBTQ Community?

Across the United States we are seeing a coordinated campaign to restrict lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights and limit access to affirming, lifesaving health care. According to the Equality Federation, nearly 400 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced across the country in 2021, and over 240 bills have already been filed in 2022. These policies directly impact the health and safety of members of the LGBTQ community. Recent data from The Trevor Project show that 66 percent of LGBTQ youth, including 85 percent of transgender and/or nonbinary youth, report that recent debates around state laws to restrict the rights of transgender people have negatively affected their mental health.

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Advocacy That Builds Power

The California Endowment supported the Center for Evaluation Innovation and Gigi Barsoum to examine what it takes for advocacy to build power through an evaluation of advocacy efforts that were part of the 10-year Building Healthy Communities initiative.

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