Become an Activist
This page is continually updated, so please check back for more soon!
“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.” Dolores Huerta
Want to become an activist but not sure where to start? Interested in learning key points to speak on an issue more persuasively? Here you will find resources to help you amplify your health professional voice, understand the data, contact your government representatives, write op-eds, and more . . .
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Try our Readings & Resources, Volunteer/Engage, and our Events pages.
To join our Environmental Health or Nuclear Abolition Committee please email email@example.com.
HOW TO START
Think about your current work and activities, writing, teaching, speaking, etc. and then think about how you can build activism into what you already do. For example, you could write op-eds, or add environmental health curriculum to your lectures, or give a talk to your department, at a conference, or for a health professional society. The article below gives some excellent tips about how to start advocating to save the planet.
CLIMATE CRISIS and HEALTH IMPACTS
- National Academy of Medicine: Confronting Urgent Threats to Human Health and Society: COVID and Climate Change, talk
- Guardian: article on more scientifically accurate terminology to use when discussing the climate crisis
- UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public, a three course series on the climate crisis, health, and environmental justice. Organized by SF Bay PSR board and committee members.
Part 1: The Health Emergency of Climate Change
Part 2: The Health Emergency of Our Changing Climate: Evolving Public Health Strategies in the 21st Century
Part 3: Environmental Justice and Human Health: Creating Systemic Solutions
- The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming, a hopeful book by Eric Holthaus
- The New Yorker: Bill McKibben’s newsletter on the environment and climate crisis
- My Green Doctor: A Toolkit for Medical Student Quality Improvement Projects on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change
CLIMATE HEALTH TOOL KITS
Health Harms of Gas Appliances and Benefits of Electrification:
- Please visit our Electrification Project page here.
Climate Mental Health Resilience:
- Climate Psychiatry Alliance: Climate Psychiatry 101 Overview, by SF Bay PSR Committee Member Dr. Robin Cooper and medical student Rei Takver
- Climate Psychiatry Alliance: How to Survive Extreme Heat Toolkit
Pediatrics Environmental Health:
- PSR, American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units: Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit
- Dermatologic Clinics: Addressing Climate-Related Health Impacts During the Patient Encounter: A Practical Guide for Pediatric Dermatologists
By former SF Bay PSR Board Member Dr. Sarah Coates and others
- Elias & Williams: The Inside-Out of Skin Blog Collection of Articles on Climate Change and Skin
By SF Bay PSR Board Member Dr. Mary Williams, and Committee Member Dr. Peter Elias
COMMUNITY-BASED ENGAGEMENT AND ADVOCACY
EPA: Promising Practices to Improving Community Performance and Sustainability: This publication shares promising practices and tips for communities seeking to reduce environmental health risks.
Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing
The Spectrum of Community Engagement
NUCLEAR WEAPONS ABOLITION
- SF Bay PSR Board Member Dr. Tom Newman’s lecture: Nuclear Weapons Essentials
- American Public Health Association (APHA) adopts policy, “Towards a Nuclear Weapons Free World”
- The Asia-Pacific Journal: Will the Nuclear Powers Ever Be Willing to Forgo Their Nuclear Weapons
- #stillhere movement
- #stillhere: Learn more about the hibukusha, the survivors of the nuclear attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other survivors including veterans, mine workers, and people living near test sites
- ICAN: Reports on Nuclear Weapons Abolition
- ICAN: 2-minute movie on the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty
- Back from the Brink
- American Public Health Association (APHA): The Role of Public Health Practitioners, Academics, and Advocates in Relation to Armed Conflict and War
- Arms Control Association: U.S. Nuclear Modernization Fact Sheet
- United Nations: Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- United Nations: Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
- Union of Concerned Scientists: I Wish I didn’t know that: Real-life close calls, screw ups, and nuclear near misses.
- Guardian: World nuclear arms spending hit $73bn last year – half of it by US
- The Nation: We Must Resist the ‘China Threat Syndrome’
- Moruroa Files: Investigation into French Nuclear Tests in the Pacific
- UCSF Library Archives: Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates Collection on toxics at the San Francisco navy shipyard and nearby community
Nuclear is not a Climate Solution
- Forbes: Does Nuclear Power Slow or Speed Climate Change?
- Environmental and Energy Study Institute: Toward an Evidence-Base Nuclear Energy Policy
- Stanford Researcher/Professor Mark Jacobsen: The 7 reasons why nuclear energy is not the answer to solve climate change
- Stanford: Evaluation of Nuclear Power as a Proposed Solution to Global Warming, Air Pollution, and Energy Security
- IPPNW Germany: Why Nuclear Energy is Not an Answer to Global Warming
- Peace Development Fund: Recorded webinar: Climate Emergency and Nuclear War: What are the Connections?
JUSTICE: RACIAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL
- Heathline: Conscious Language Guide
- UCSF: The Repair Project: a three-year initiative designed to address Anti-Black Racism in science and medicine.
- UCLA: Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health
- NEJM: Hidden in Plain Sight — Reconsidering the Use of Race Correction in Clinical Algorithms
- NEJM: How Structural Racism Works—Racist Policies as Root Cause of U.S. Racial Health Inequities
- Environmental Health Perspectives: Environmental Racism Collection: Exposure and Health Inequities in Black Americans
- Huffington Post: The Beloved Community: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Prescription for a Healthy Society, by SF Bay PSR Board Member Jeff Ritterman
- NEJM: Beyond a Moment — Reckoning with Our History and Embracing Antiracism in Medicine
- Institute for Healing and Justice: Toward the Abolition of Biological Race in Medicine
- Othering & Belonging Institute, UC Berkeley: The Sick Side of Town: How Place Shapes Disparities in Health, A Policy Brief
- Guardian: Environmental Justice Means Racial Justice
- New York Times: Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism
- National Black Environmental Justice Network
- Racial Equity Tools
- Dr. Robin DiAngelo Discusses White Fragility
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
- Sojourners: For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies
- Guardian: Black Americans dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people
- SF Gate: SF’s COVID-19 case data by ZIP code reveals hardest-hit neighborhoods
- The New Yorker: Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests
- Obama.org: Community policing Tool Kit
- New York Times: An Antiracist Reading List, Ibram X. Kendi on books to help America transcend its racist heritage
- Time: Several Antiracist Books Are Selling Out. Here’s What Else Black Booksellers and Publishers Say You Should Read
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Black Lives Matter
- TED Talk: Alicia Garcia, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter
- Color of Change
- The African America Policy Institute: The Truth Be Told Campaign to expose state efforts to silence equity discussions, trainings, and other efforts to address systemic racism
- Total Cost of Wars and How We Could Better Spend Those Funds
- Green New Deal: Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University and his team find low-cost, stable grid solutions in 24 world regions encompassing the 143 countries.
Divestment and Investment
- Sample Divestment/Investment Policy proposal (Word doc) that can be adapted for your institution/association/society.
- Yale Climate Connections: Investors flee Big Oil as portfolios get drilled
- Rain Forest Action Network: Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020
- Running Out of Time: Why U.S. Health and Life Insurance Companies Should Divest from Fossil Fuels, a report by Physicians for Social Responsibility and Insure our Future
- 60 health and environmental groups call on health insurers to divest billions from fossil fuels
- Trump Administration Targets Banks Divesting from Fossil Fuels in New Anti-Climate Rule
- Fossil Free California: CalPERS Continues to Invest in Coal
- American Medical Association commits to divesting from toxic fossil-fuel investments
- Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco
- Environmental Working Group
- Regulatory Rollback Tracker, Environmental & Energy Law Program
- Friends of the Earth: Organic Food for All Study, eating organic reduces pesticides in your body by about 60%
- Friends of the Earth: Talking Points: Organic Diet Study on Glyphosate
- Guardian: You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%