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Advocacy Work Group

Advocacy Definition

The principle that all persons are entitled to ‘basic human needs’, regardless of ‘superficial differences such as economic disparity, class, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or health.’ This includes ‘the eradication of poverty and illiteracy, the establishment of sound environmental policy, and equality of opportunity for healthy personal and social development.

Current projects include: 

  • Identifying and preparing action oriented statements as a toolkit for state and local policy decision makers.  These statements provide descriptions of conduct or actions for which a given organization will commit to toward the elimination of health inequities.
    “We need to educate and empower the communities to make a difference- to demand better policies that impact health and wellbeing.”
  • Preparing state and community action guides for specific issues affecting health inequities.  These guides will provide the reader with a brief overview of the problem, examples of policy decisions for corrective action, an outline for implementing these actions, and a list of additional resources.  The current topics are:  food deserts, education, and neighborhood segregation issues.
  • Developing a plan to help states jump-start or boost health equity programs.  This project will be implemented in a series of stages.  The first stage is the collection of existing information about the current health equity activity level of states.  The second stage will be identifying those states that may be considered as model states, and the following stage will be the development of tools and resources to help states develop more robust health equities campaigns or programs.




Damita Zweiback
Michigan Department of Community Health
Division of Chronic Disease & Injury Control
Phone: 517-335-8007