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| Topics | story | CHD Awareness
CHD Awareness

Raising awareness is important because not only are most people unaware of CHD, the more awareness we raise, the more likely it is that people will give money to CHD research, which could improve the lives of our children and adults living with CHD. In addition, you never know when raising awareness could save a life. Here is some helpful information about how you can raise awareness in your community:

General Tips for Creating Awareness

CHD Awareness Week Activities

The following is a list of activities and ideas that Mended Hearts groups have done for CHD Awareness Week that any group could do (and can be done all throughout the year):

– One of the best ways to spread awareness is to get stories about CHD kids and adults in the media (as suggested above). This helps others learn about CHD. Also, some families dealing with CHD will be able to find your group and get the support they need.

– Posting information about CHD in social media, such as Facebook, Web sites, blogs, email signatures, and online newsletters can be very helpful in spreading awareness. Be sure that the information you are posting is accurate. The best sources of information are the Centers for Disease Control ( Rejina Pyo Brown Olivia Crocodile Embossed Leather Box Bag Sale Extremely lfaFhh
) and the American Heart Association ( www.heart.org/chd ).

– Each year, many groups ask their governor, mayor or local official to sign a proclamation, which is an official statement about a particular matter, declaring that February 7-14 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Often the best way to contact your government official is through the official website. On that site, there is often an address to mail requests to and/or an email address. The Congenital Heart Information Network ( www.tchin.org ) has samples of proclamations and letters asking for proclamations for you to customize. Groups are usually provided with a copy of the proclamation after it is signed. In some instances, groups may be able to get a photo op (request FAR in advance) with the government official signing the proclamation. If this is the case, be sure to invite as many people from your state or town as possible to the event and send media advisories.

There are many events that groups can participate in by having a booth or a table. At these events, you want to have information and materials available about CHD and your organization. Some CHD groups make their own displays using pictures and stories of the children and adults in their group. You will want to include Fact Sheets at your booth, along with other materials that will help people learn about CHD and your organization. Some events groups participate in are: Health Fairs Carnivals/Fairs Heart Walks Sporting Events Heart Camps Other local events.

– Group members, and even some of the older CHD children and young adults, should speak about CHD and wherever possible, i.e., to Rotary or Kiwanis groups, local service organizations, schools, police and firefighters, local businesses, and at other events where there will be speakers. Be sure to customize your speech for the audience and occasion. Also remember that people want to hear stories (not too much detail) more than facts. They might forget facts, but they will remember stories. Practice telling your story in a compelling way, without rambling. Learn what your time constraints are ahead of time, and be sure to stay within them. Also, always bring materials with contact information and CHD information with you. Speaking can also help with fundraising for your group.

– Many groups have the opportunity to put displays, murals, bulletin boards or logos out around their local community. Some examples of locations for these items are:

– People who wear CHD merchandise are often stopped by others and asked about CHD and their organization. This is the perfect opportunity to briefly educate them about CHD. Also, if you give away items with the CHD organization logo on it, people may contact your organization to learn more about CHD and what you do.

– Some groups have members go into the schools to talk about hearts and heart defects in an age-appropriate way. For younger children, members may want to take in crafts or pictures to color. Be sure to get approval for any activities with the school principal or administrator.

– The American Heart Association plans many Jump Rope for Hearts activities throughout the nation. Sometimes, the purpose of this event is to raise money and awareness for childhood obesity. There are, however, some Jump Rope for Hearts events that raise money for CHD research and raise awareness about CHD’s. You will want to explore this if there is an event in your area and determine what is best for your group in terms of time and resources.

– There are many people groups can work with to raise more awareness about CHD and to let them know about their organization. It is a good idea to give them brochures, Fact Sheet, and other information. Some examples of people groups can work with awareness on are:

Groups can have parties or CHD Awareness events to help raise awareness. Groups, if possible, should celebrate CHD Awareness Week in some way. Some examples are Valentine’s parties, bowling parties, parties at a Children’s Museum, parties at an Inflation Nation or other inflatable playgrounds (find out age limits though to be sure not to exclude older CHD kids), and parties at local restaurants. Be sure to have an opportunity for people to meet each other (introduction time) at your event. You may be able to get much of your event and the food for your event donated. Chick-fil-a is often wonderful at helping non-profit groups. If you can get media coverage for your event, that will increase awareness.

Everyone likes to get a Valentine card or item. CHD families and friends can make and distribute Valentines. Children in the hospital, especially, LOVE to receive them.

This is a fundraiser, but also creates awareness if you put a CHD fact or statistic on the hearts. Local businesses and restaurants will often sell the hearts. You can create your own template.

Awareness Activities Year Round

This often not only helps families, but creates awareness. Be sure to check with the hospital to verify what items would be acceptable.

– If you have an opportunity to have a float in a parade, this can be a good way to spread awareness. Be sure to have website or contact information somewhere on your float. If your group has funds, you could throw awareness items with your organization’s logo on it so people will be able to contact you.

– If you get a chance to lobby locally or nationally, you are making government officials aware of issues that people with congenital heart defects and their families face. Mended Hearts co-hosts CHD Lobby Days to support the Congenital Heart Futures Act to improve data surveillance and to increase research funding to the National Institutes of Health. Most years, anyone can come lobby.

Your group could create a targeted mailing to those they wish to educate about CHD. Be sure to check spelling and accuracy of all information. Include a Fact Sheet and other important information, if possible.

CHD family members can volunteer for other organizations, like the Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish, March of Dimes, etc. to help create awareness about CHD.

– Get CHD Awareness materials and information out everywhere possible.

– Talk about CHD to anyone who will listen. This can be at the grocery store, in line for a movie, or anywhere. This conversation can often be started by wearing CHD clothing and accessories.

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> Vol 3, No 1 (2015) > Phillips
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Decolonizing Coping
Special Thematic Section on "Decolonizing Psychological Science"
[ a ] Department of Psychology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada. [ b ] Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA. [ c ] Department of Psychology and Africana Studies Program, Texas AM University, College Station, TX, USA.


How should one respond to racial oppression? Conventional prescriptions of mainstream social psychological science emphasize the idea of coping with oppression—whether via emotional management strategies that emphasize denial or disengagement; problem-focused strategies that emphasize compensation, self-efficacy, or skills training; or collective strategies that emphasize emotional support—in ways that promote adaptation to, rather than transformation of, oppressive social structures. Following a brief review of the literature on coping with racism and oppression, we present an alternative model rooted in perspectives of liberation psychology (Martín-Baró, 1994). This decolonial approach emphasizes critical consciousness (rather than cultivated ignorance) of racial oppression, a focus on de-ideologization (rather than legitimation) of status quo realities, and illumination of models of identification conducive to collective action. Whereas the standard approach to coping with oppression may ultimately both reinforce and reproduce systems of domination, we propose a decolonial approach to racism perception as a more effective strategy for enduring prosperity and well-being.

Keywords: liberation psychology, discrimination, oppression, coping, critical consciousness

Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 2015, Vol. 3(1), doi:10.5964/jspp.v3i1.310

Received: 2014-01-08. Accepted: 2015-03-23. Published (VoR): 2015-08-21.

Handling Editor: Tuğçe Kurtiş, Department of Psychology and Women's Studies, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA, USA

*Corresponding author at: Department of Psychology, University of Prince Edward Island, Memorial 207 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. E-mail: nlphillips@upei.ca

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0 ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

A popular song as we write this paper is “Happy” by African American songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams. The song and video, which peaked at number one in over 20 countries and has inspired thousands of fan remakes across the globe, affirms the power of having a positive attitude and outlook in life. In a recent interview, Williams attributed part of his success to his “new” way of thinking about race, and particularly about being Black.

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