Dr. Early: Be the Change

Jody Early’s Co-edited Text Amplifies the Importance of Health Advocacy in Pubic Health Education

Advocacy has become a key part of public health degree programs across the country. Many programs have added policy and advocacy courses into curricula in response to new emphases in accreditation requirements, yet few public health textbooks comprehensively cover the advocacy skills that health professionals need to effect change. This was the impetus that led SNHS professor, Dr. Jody Early, with co-editors, Drs. Keely Rees and Cicily Hampton to publish their new text,

Be the Change: Putting Health Advocacy, Policy, and Community Organization into Practice in Public Health Education.

Be the Change, published by Oxford University Press in October 2022, is an affordable, reader-friendly resource on public health advocacy for both undergraduate and graduate students within the health and social sciences.

The book features contributions from over 20 advocates, practitioners, and experts in the field (including a chapter co-authored by SNHS professor, Dr. Selina Mohammed). It highlights important advocacy work, case studies, stories, and wisdom from respected US health professionals, community organizers, and advocates in attempt to strengthen health-advocacy knowledge and skills for those working in public health and healthcare.

“This text was a labor of love, but also an act of solidarity during some of the darkest days of the pandemic and in our nation,” Early said. “What was going on around us strengthened our commitment to create this resource and to share wisdom from those who have been leading change for decades.”

Respected public health leaders and advocates, such as Angela Glover Blackwell and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, offered their support and praise for the text.

“This book is essential and timely,” wrote Glover-Blackwell, a Civil Rights activist and Founder in Residence at Policy Link. “It contains collective wisdom about what’s involved with creating change through effective advocacy and how to go the distance.”

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician, scholar, and activist who helped bring national attention to Flint’s toxic water crisis, added, “Be the Change is a timely and practical play-book that offers students the how-to skills for change-making. It is an essential read for all students who want to make the world a better place.”