Joyful Community

Finding Joyful Community, Rejecting Bias

There’s a cone of silence. When policymakers and experts sit down to discuss obesity, everything’s abstract. It’s theoretical. People who are actually living with obesity are either absent or silent about it. But OAC’s Your Weight Matters Convention, starting today in New Orleans, is an important exception. YWM 2017 is a place where people living with obesity come together and find a joyful community. We reject bias and stigma. We find inspiration and learn from some of the smartest people devoting their careers to research and care for obesity.

Discovering the Power of Our Voices

Advocacy happens on many levels. It happens every day with family, friends, and people we meet. Each of us can advocate with the people who represent us in local, state and federal government. And, at a national level, OAC and other activists work with national policymakers to bring change.

So the YWM Convention provides advocacy training on two levels – personal and national. At a personal level, the Engage! program helps people discover the power of their own voices. It equips people to tell their personal stories. It provides tools for rejecting ignorant fat shaming and bias.

At a national level, attendees can learn how to engage with policymakers on obesity – access to care, discrimination, and research for better treatment options.

Outstanding Opportunities to Learn

Starting on Friday, YWM 2017 will bring education and inspiration from some of the best scientists and healthcare professionals devoted to obesity. Christopher Gardiner will bring some of the latest science on personalized nutrition. Tim Church will bring new insights on exercise, hunger, and weight management. Jason Ong will explain what science is telling us about the relationship between sleep, health, and obesity.

Joyful Community

Above all, people come to YWM for a joyful, supportive community. OAC member Nanette Adams expresses it well:

These people keep me passionate about my health, my life, and the fight for others who struggle with this disease. That’s why I’m here!

Three days with hundreds of people who understand the struggle, who support each other to overcome obesity, presents a rare opportunity. We’ll see you soon!

Click here for the detailed agenda. Follow #YWM2017 on Twitter for the latest. On Facebook, you can find YWM2017 here.

Joyful Community, photograph © Walter Medlin / twitter

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August 10, 2017

2 Responses to “Finding Joyful Community, Rejecting Bias”

  1. August 10, 2017 at 6:50 pm, John B Dixon, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute said:

    How can we clone this initiative? We need this smart action globally.
    The cone of silence is a cone of dysfunction.

  2. August 11, 2017 at 4:41 am, Ted said:

    John, we would love to help you do it. Find some leaders in your community. Find some benefactors. Charge ahead and learn from every mistake. Canada is already doing a fine job, as are others in Europe.

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