Health Justice CT to Host a Public Forum on Conversations Toward Social Change: The Role of New Media in Creating Social Change

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Public Forum to be held November 10th, 2011 at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT

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The Mark Twain House is a great backdrop to have a dialogue on new media engagement and discuss how organizations and individuals can effectively use new technologies to impact public opinion on important social issues, such as inequalities in healthcare.

Health Justice CT -- an innovative movement designed to use social media as the foundation for raising awareness on the issue of racial and ethnic disparities in Connecticut -- will host its first community public forum on Conversations Toward Social Change held on Thursday, November 10, 2011 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm EST at the Mark Twain House, located at 351 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, CT. The purpose of the community forum is to share best practices on how public discourse through social media can mobilize and connect communities for social change.

This has been the year for social media around the globe – from Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street – Twitter, Facebook, and online blogging has helped to enable social movements that have reshaped the advocacy and activism landscape.

“As a journalist, writer, and public speaker, Mark Twain is one of America’s most famous humorists and is recognized for his social commentary. For this reason The Mark Twain House is a great backdrop to have a dialogue on social media engagement and a discussion about how organizations and individuals can effectively use new communications technologies to encourage public discourse and action on important social issues, such as inequalities in healthcare.” stated Heang Tan, Health Justice CT project manager.

By utilizing social media as a communications and conversation channel, communities can be galvanized around important social issues. The Health Justice CT public forum will share best practices for using social media for social change, particularly how to drive social change around public health issues.

Forum panelists include: Elizabeth Carger from Olson Zaltman Associates, Brandon Frame from The Black Man Can, Aldon Hynes from Community Health Center, Inc., SNCR Senior Fellow Dr. Craig Lefebvre from Social Shift, with Raja Staggers-Hakim from the Connecticut Commission on Health Equity serving as the program’s facilitator.

“We are so pleased to host this high caliber of experts for this discussion. Each panelist will bring a different perspective and insights to the conversation, and we hope to have a vibrant dialogue with community members,” said Tan. “Central to our work is the belief that communities themselves hold the power to address and find solutions for important social issues.”

The event is free and open to the public, and will feature communications experts and community leaders from local and national organizations. Appetizers will be served. Space is limited, so pre-registration is requested; please register online at:

Follow the conversation virtually on Twitter via the hashtag #HJCTforum. Visit and enter #HJCTforum in the search box to follow the discussion. Questions and comments can be submitted live to Health Justice CT (@healthjusticect) using a Twitter account.

WHAT: Conversations Toward Social Change: Inspiring Stories from the Public Health Sector and Beyond
WHO: Health Justice CT (
WHEN: Thursday, November 10th, 2011
WHERE: The Mark Twain House
351 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105

About Health Justice CT:
Health Justice CT is an initiative designed to use social media channels as the foundation for creating a movement of Connecticut residents dedicated to working together to raise awareness about the issue of racial and ethnic disparities, find innovative solutions, and ultimately achieve health justice for everyone in Connecticut. The project is funded by the Connecticut Health Foundation ( and is managed by the foundation’s grantee, the Society for New Communications Research ( To join the conversation, find HJCT on Facebook ( and Twitter (


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Heang Kim Tan
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