2022 Medicare for All Strategy Conference has ended

Hundreds of activists from around the country convened for an online week of inspiration and strategy to win Medicare for All! The 2022 M4A conference featured more than 20 plenary panels, 40 live workshops, and 80 speakers.


Barbara Harrison

Ithaca, New York
I hold an MA in Community Change and Civic leadership and film and video. I have come to understand through the study of underserved populations during my MA in Community Change and Civic Leadership focused on Environmental Justice and my work fighting for equitable healthcare for all people in New York State, the necessity and challenge of working with underserved populations, especially people living in rural and marginalized communities. I believe that if we are to move forward, we need to include all underserved stakeholders in the conversation and give them the tools to empower their voices.  My observations and research have clarified the direction that I must head in. From my perspective it is pointless to continue lobbying politicians who have no reason to risk their seats without bringing their constituency onboard to lobby. Even though this has meant stepping out of the mainstream organizations that continue down the same path in their efforts to try and pass the New York Health Act, even if it means leaving people who have been marginalized by the system out of the conversation and then imposing the result. Fulfilling my vision of bringing underserved communities into the conversation, my goal is to take a path less travelled. I feel that to make change, I need to get into the trenches and work hand in hand with communities. (There has been no interest by the movement to reach across ethnic, class and cultural boundaries. They rather speak policy to each other).
What I have done:
Educating community members about single payer by creating handouts, flyers, tabling and petitioningPresenting/discussions of films about experiences with health system; radio interviews on WRFI Community Radio for Ithaca regarding the topic of single payer health careLobbying legislators in Washington, DC and Albany, NY with coalition members for federal and state legislation in support of single payer health coverage
Grant Writer wrote and received grant money from Sustainable Tompkins for film “Speaking Out for Healthcare for Everyone”Videotaped and edited individuals’ stories regarding experiences with the health system and the necessity for single payer for Film “Speaking Out for Healthcare Everyone”Produced Michael Milligan’s play “Mercy Killers” in Ithaca – including locating theatre space and costs, publicity, flyers and program design, setting up interviews and master classesWorked on Howie Hawkins, Zephyr Teachout and Martha Robertson campaigns – phone banking, tabling and lit dropHearings on New York Health Act– Syracuse and Albany, NYPre called and emailed individuals and organizations to discuss testifying at Syracuse hearing to lay
groundwork for Syracuse organizer. Videotaped in Syracuse and Albany individuals’ responses to, "Why did you come to the hearing?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RQKSpGuISk
Data entryWorked on a self assigned project to facilitate discussion about single payer health care in rural communities, giving SPNY an opportunity to engage with these individuals to change the balance of power in the NYS SenateFund raising through phone banking for NARAL and Jewish Federation of Greater WashingtonDisaster Preparedness Coordinator American Red Cross. Delivered presentations regarding disaster preparedness, researched grants, set up yearlong food driveActed as a liaison with religious communities to plan and develop activities for the Earth Day theme of climate change solutions. Wrote sustainable building curriculum for public education programs and wrote event planning manual· Master’s Degree Community Change and Civic Leadership, focusing on environmental justice and Urban Agriculture/Community Gardens. My capstone project employed the visual medium of collage to facilitate a workshop on environmental justice.
Conducted research and interviews for Urban Environment Report which assessed the environmental state of America’s largest cities
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