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Why Public Health Matters to Private Lives with Emily Howell and Todd Newman

“COVID-19 is not just a medical issue. It is also a social justice, economic, and political issue. That makes it hard to figure out how best to share information about it, especially since messages come from a range of communicators—including elected officials, journalists, scientists, physicians, and community leaders—and are delivered to diverse audiences.”

Such is the foundational position in a recent piece published in Fast Company. Our guests this week, authors Todd Newman and Emily Howell (together with Dominique Broussard), present their insights into the messengers and their messages that constellate to keep us unhealthy.

This is a conversation about trust, and it brings with it some extraordinarily difficult questions. Does the public understand the role of public health? Has our model of health broken its promise of healthy communities across racial and economic boundaries? Has the media lived up to its obligation to truth in a public health crisis? 

Objectively, the answer has to be a resounding no to these and so many more. Which opens to the door to our conversation this week in which we examine the opportunities before us to build trust, to cement community, to broaden the reach of our most critical messages, and to do so clearly. As Natalie so aptly says, “to engage in the production of the public’s health is actually a patriotic act.” So how do we make it clear that public health truly matters to private lives? 

Our deep thanks to Todd and Emily for joining us this week. Please visit the link below to read the original article. Thank you for listening, and for sharing with your communities, too. 

Links & Notes

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Mission Forward
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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