PHM-USA connects with US health activists at this year's Left Forum

13 Jun 2014

PHM-USA was present at the Left Forum held in New York City at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) from May 31-June 2. The Left Forum is the largest gathering of the U.S. Left and examines a variety of topics such as health, labor unions, racism, sexism and the environment, through a progressive lens. With up to 6,000 people attending this year, the theme of the conference was Reform and/or Revolution: Imagining a World with Transformative Justice. Speakers at the conference included political activist Angela Davis, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, Seattle, Washington’s newly-elected socialist city council member Kshama Sawant, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, and economist Richard Wolff.

The Social Medicine Journal ( organized two panels with the title Health in the Left in 2014: Reform and/or Revolution. Matt Anderson of the Social Medicine Journal and PHM-USA chaired one of these panels and Leigh Haynes, also of PHM-USA, was a participant. The panel featured health activists from across the US who reflected on their current activism, which ranged from work in reproductive health to organizing within a health worker trade union and joint work in Latin America. Panelists discussed the role of their advocacy within the broader context of social change. Leigh specifically highlighted her work with PHM’s global programs and with PHM-USA, looking at the conditions that have posed challenges to movement building and those that have led to successes around the world.

Attendees to the session were eager to hear about PHM, its global work and, especially, national and international collaborations. The potential for a group like PHM was salient, and the interest shown was a clear indication of the opportunity for movement-building in the US.

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