Students for Public Health and Social Webinar 

More details coming soon! :)

How are civil rights, advocacy, and equity a concern? 

To build up a functional democracy, civil rights are fundamental. To live robustly within a function democracy, supported by efficacious civil rights, the elimination of health disparities needs to be realized. How can public health agents be catalysts for an equitable, honorable social environment that promotes health and social justice?

Civil rights are designed to be assurances of equal social opportunity and legal protection regardless of ethnicity, religion, or other traits. Examples of civil rights include the right to public education, a fair trial, government services, and voting ability. Civil rights are safeguarded by proactive government action, frequently in the form of legislation, as opposed to civil liberties, which are freedoms guaranteed by imposing restrictions on the government. In several democracies, the civil rights of the LGBTQIA+ population have recently prioritized in political discussions (Hamlin, 2023).

Social determinants of health, in respect to civil rights, are designed to guide decision making, name explicit factors that can facilitate or hinder a person’s health risk and link explicit factors to structurally bias behaviors which have influenced policy, systems, and environments.

“Equity means the absence of unfair and preventable disparities between groups of people classified socio-demographically, economically, or by other aspects such as age, sex, ethnicity, or disability … Health equity is attained when everyone can live up to their full potential in terms of health and well-being (World Health Organization, 2010).”

Health equity is one kind of civil right. Yet health equity is not politically recognized as such by all nations or cultures. Unfortunately, many social and environmental obstacles hinder health equity. Thus, we need health advocacy. Health advocacy can fill the gaps so people can access affordable, effective, high-quality healthcare (Carleton, 2021).

Learning Objectives:

1. By the end of the webinar, participants will be able discuss how the Civil Rights Movement relates to the Social

Determinates of Health.

2. By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to translate the content into public health advocacy related to healthcare for all.

For reference:

SOPHE, including its chapters, is a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is pending for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 1 total Category I Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH). 

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Vision and leadership for health promotion.

The Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education (GLC-SOPHE) is a volunteer, non-profit professional organization dedicated to promoting healthy behaviors and healthy communities. Our members include workers in health departments, community-based and nonprofit organizations, health plans, schools of public health and other public health programs, tribal health agencies, and many more.

Our chapter was created in 1970 and we continue to provide opportunities for health education professionals to participate in continuing education events, obtain CHES credits, learn about public health advocacy initiatives in the state of Michigan, and network with health education colleagues. 

As part of our strategies, we are dedicated to providing GLC-SOPHE members and Michigan residents with accurate, relatable and reliable health education information. 

Letter from the Immediate Past President Julia VanderMolen, Ph.D, CHES

Hello GLC SOPHE Members and Future Members,

It is my great honor to begin a term as President-Elect of the Great Lakes Chapter of the Society of Public Health Education (GLC SOPHE). My career in public health education and in education includes 25 years of experience in science and health. I currently teach in the Department of Public Health with Grand Valley State University in the Health Promotion emphasis and the undergraduate Public Health Concepts course.  I am excited to connect and collaborate with the board and members to bring to light the importance of health promotion to the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region.  


To keep the GLC SOPHE strong requires greater efficiency and effectiveness throughout the organization. It also requires the time and talent of our members such as yourself. I hope you will reach out and help us guide GLC SOPHE to an organization where health educators network, collaborate, and educate one another. As President-Elected of GLC SOPHE, I have three ideas for us to consider. 


I have an open email policy. I welcome you to reach out with ideas and concerns. Welcome to GLC SOPHE! We hope you will be as passionate about making a change as I am. 


Yours in Education and Health,


Julia K VanderMolen


Julia VanderMolen, Ph.D, MS, CHES, IFNCP Candidate

President-Elect GLC SOPHE

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