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2024 Health Equity Advocacy Training (HEAT) Program Overview

Health Equity Advocacy Training (HEAT) Program application deadline is now closed.

The HEAT Program will organize, train, and empower Black Californians and civic-minded individuals to utilize their collective community capital to persuade legislative decision-makers to implement policies that address health disparities in California. The HEAT Program aims to build a strong coalition of advocacy partners across the state to champion state and local change to advance health equity for Black Californians at the individual, community, and system levels.

The HEAT Program will include subject matter experts in the legislative process along with prominent health advocates who will discuss and teach the structure of the state government, the legislative process, how to engage in advocacy and build alliances and coalitions to effect policy change at the state level, and how to communicate to policymakers. Participants will have the opportunity to put learning into action through a guided step-by-process to identify key issue(s) that impact the health and well-being of their community, conduct research to identify possible policy solutions, and learn how to communicate persuasively with policymakers to advocate for change.

Program Goal
To cultivate a culture of power-building and a statewide network of activists within the Black community to effect policy change at the state and local levels.

Program Objectives

  • Improve the participants’ knowledge and understanding of the advocacy and policy process.
  • Develop the skills and capabilities of organizers, advocates, and Black Californians to participate in the policy and legislative process.
  • Inspire organizers, advocates, and Black Californians to reshape health policy and legislation in California aimed at eliminating health inequities.

Program Outcome
Upon completion of the HEAT Program, participants will:

  • Understand the California legislative process and how a bill becomes a law
  • Grasp the advocacy process and how to galvanize community engagement around key issues
  • Obtain skills to communicate effectively with policymakers and legislators to drive change
  • Be able to amplify their voice and advocate for change around issues affecting the health and well-being of Black Californians within their respective community

Target Audience

  • CBHN network members
  • Community advocates
  • Community organizers

The HEAT Program will:

  • Teach participants the basic concepts of the legislative process, advocacy, and how to amplify community voices, and communicate with policymakers/legislators.
  • Practice through experiential learning and discuss real-life case examples and studies that illustrate the process of taking an issue to action through policy/legislation.
  • Apply what has been learned by putting it into action.

Timeline and Key Dates

  • Application Announced – October 23, 2023
  • Application Deadline – extended to January 8, 2024
  • Notification of Decision – January 10, 2024
  • Orientation – HEAT Program Orientation Session, February 7, 2024, 11am-12:30pm
  • Session 1 – The California Legislative Process, February 14, 2024, 11am – 1:15pm
  • Session 2 – Advocacy and Amplifying Our Voice, February 21, 2024, 11am – 1:15pm
  • Session 3 – Communicating with Legislators, February 28, 2024 – 11am – 1:15pm
  • Session 4 – Health Equity Policy and Translating Policy Into Acton, March 6, 2024, 11am – 1:15pm
  • Session 5 – Navigating Local Politics for Statewide Change, March 13, 2024, 11am – 1:15pm
  • Black Health Equity Advocacy Week (BHEAW) in Sacramento – May 6 – 10, 2024, all day

Contact Information
For questions or additional information, please contact us at or 916-333-0613.

Meet the 2024 HEAT Program Facilitators

_HEAT Cohort 2 Speakers 2024
call covered california 866-761-4165