Opening Plenary: Establishing a Broad Health Literacy Collectivity

This opening talk sets the stage for one of the conference themes – that of deeper collaboration amongst us. First though, it is important to note that our efforts focused on health literacy offer opportunities to contribute to social justice. Our emphasis on dignified exchanges and reduced barriers to information, action, care, and services sounds an optimistic note during these difficult times. This collaborative conference offers an opportunity to shape strong and broad partnerships and perhaps a health literacy collectivity that eliminates some of the traditional divides amongst us -- whether it be based on our identify as researchers, practitioners, or policy makers or based on our work focus on activism, disaster mitigation, health care, environmental health, occupational health and safety, or public health. We look at some of the downfalls of segregated areas of work, move to examples of productive achievements from collaborative efforts, and note opportunities to help shape new research, further enhance practice, and support new public policies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Conference participants will identify at least one action they can take to enhance the ability of policy makers and practitioners to shape research questions from their experiences and observations.
  • Conference participants will identify at least one change that can further support efforts to turn research findings into practice and policy initiatives.
  • Conference participants will identify at least one outreach strategy to bridge the divides amongst those focused on a variety of non-medical health literacy concerns.
  • With a collectivity in mind, conference participants will submit at least 2 ideas for new conference themes and structures.