On Saturday, January 23, twenty-five inspiring You’re the Cure volunteers from the Houston area gathered for the Houston Advocate Summit!
Some volunteers were new to You’re the Cure, while others had a long history of volunteering with the State Advocacy Committee or Grassroots Action Team. All came together to discover how they were “Part of the Puzzle,” learning from volunteer leaders and staff about AHA’s Texas policy priorities, especially smoke-free and obesity prevention, before touring You’re the Cure and learning about online and offline actions and how to climb the advocate ranks. Veteran volunteers shared lessons about engaging with lawmakers, and everyone practiced answering tricky questions about grocery access by sticking to their “why.” In fact, the volunteers’ stories were central to the whole event, and this tone was set by the first activity of the day, a “Life is Why” icebreaker during which advocates decorated puzzle pieces with their “whys” and shared their stories. Together their pieces created one heart!
State Advocacy Committee member Dr. Sheryl Green and Grassroots Action Team members Carolyn Jackson, Courtney White, and TaShon Thomas were joined by Sandy Adams, Shaun Babineaux, Craig Bauer, LaShonda Cameron, Cassandra Harris, Jaleh Keshtkari, Naghmeh Azghandi, Lorena Levy, Deborah Meek, Anna Musslewhite, Yissela Ortega, Bianca Ortega, Brittni Paez, Judy Patel, Kadisha Rapp, Linda Romer, Susan Smith, Cheryl Solomon, Ashley Spiller, Leslie Stratta, and Emily Tapp. This event would not have been possible without the leadership of Kaitlyn Murphy, Texas Senior Government Relations Director, Alix Angelelli, ANCHOR Regional Campaign Manager, and Apiyo Obala, Communications Director.
The You're the Cure community is all about giving you, our advocates, the tools you need to raise your voice to fight heart disease and stroke in your communities. The Houston Advocate Summit was a great opportunity for us to do so, and to get to know you better too! Stay tuned for more of these Summits in Texas, and RSVP for the Austin Advocate Summit coming up on January 30!