In this class we have looked at numerous data and statistics related to health disparities, and have evaluated the different types of social justice and health disparities issues. We have also looked at ways in which we can be advocates for change. Now it is time to apply these new advocacy skills on an issue of your choice!
TASK 1- DECISIONS, DECISIONS
DECIDE YOUR TOPIC
You will need to pick a topic related to anything that we have gone over in the course.
Here are some ideas to help guide your decision:
- Explore trending events/topics in the news
- What are news reporters currently focusing on? Oftentimes politicians are also focusing on these issues.
- Examples of news sources: CalMatters, NPR, CNN, Fox, BBC, MSNBC, and etc.
- Research proposed/recently passed bills
DECIDE WHO YOU WILL WRITE TO
Next, you will need to decide who to write your letter to. It is recommended that you:
- Write to the legislator that represents your district and/or
- Write to a legislator who works on the topic you’re writing about.
CalMatters has a new tool that allows you to find your legislator, as well as identify legislators who work on key topics. You can access this information on their page, Glass House: California Legislator Tracker (Links to an external site.).
Please see the Directory of Public Officials (Links to an external site.) for their contact information.
TASK 2- ROUGH DRAFT
Next you will create a rough draft of your letter. Your letter can express one of the following:
- You are angry about something, and want others to know it
- You think that an issue is so important that you have to speak out
- Part of your group’s strategy is to persuade others to take a specific action
Or you want to:
- Suggest an idea to others
- Influence public opinion
- Educate the general public on a specific matter
- Influence policy-makers or elected officials directly or indirectly
- Publicize the work of your group and attract volunteers or program participants
Please refer to the guidelines found in “How to Write Letters to Elected Officials”, which can be found on the next page. General guidelines can also be found in the powerpoint presentation preceding this assignment.
Once you have completed and submitted your draft to the Project Rough Draft assignment page, you will complete 2 anonymous peer responses. You will provide the following feedback to your assigned peers:
- How closely they followed the format provided in the “How to Write Letters to Elected Officials” guidelines.
- Strengths of their letter
- Areas that need to be improved in their letter
- Spelling/grammatical errors
TASK 3- FINAL DRAFT
You can work on your final draft once you…
- Submit your rough draft.
- Complete your peer responses.
- Review the comments left by your peers and DP regarding your letter.
TASK 4- REFLECTION
Finally, you will write a brief (50-150 words), open-ended reflection of the project. Here are some ideas for what you can talk about:
- Something new that you learned about the topic that you wrote about
- Overall impression of the letter writing process (Was it easy, difficult, manageable?)
- Something else that you would like to mention
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