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Safer Healthcare: Changing Your Institution

How do we get institutional support for policies that ensure clinic and hospital spaces are the safe spaces they need to be to best serve our patients?

Asking for new policies and support of existing policies assumes that advocates are using the structures of the institutional system to implement change. 

Organizing Questions:

1) Who are your allies and stakeholders?  Is anyone else doing similar work and can you join forces?  Are you organizing with attention to inclusion and anti-racist practices?

2) Who holds power at your institution and what do they have control over (i.e. make sure you are asking the right people for the right things)?

3) What is the expected response of the power holders to your asks?

4) What is the best way to convince the power holders?  What if that is unsuccessful? (i.e. your first step may be a meeting, and if that doesn't work, consider a petition, and then consider escalating to a protest or direct action, etc) 

5) What does success look like? How will you and organizational leaders know that you have achieved success (i.e., how will the group be held accountable?)

Things to Think About:

1) Anticipate the concerns of power holders & address them in your presentation before the concern arises (funding, time, & political feasibility) 

2) Make your asks feel like logical inevitabilities consistent with the organization's priorities


3) This toolkit was designed in part for advocates to use as they push for institutional policies, in case they receive responses such as - "Look, the institution doesn't need to do anything, it's all right here."

4) It is possible that you also have a clinical leadership team that is supportive but has not yet thought that they need to operationalize a plan in case of an ICE visit. In that case, it will likely be helpful to bring the policies and flow diagrams linked below to meetings with leadership.

Developing A Successful Strategy 

There are lots of excellent guides to organizing and facilitating change.  


Below, you will find are a few key slides from Organizing 101, a guide put together by Patricia Arroyos for the University of California Student Association and the United States Student Association.

The next box has some links to a few organizing guides that are available on the internet.

UCSA & USSA Organizing 101 Presentation & Excerpts

Organizing 101 Full Presentation

Full presentation put together by University of California Student Association & the United States Student Association.  Good overview of strategies for organizing and useful tools to use when planning campaign.

Theory of Change

Developing a theory of change can help your organization move from the existing conditions to the goal state.  A theory of change can help shape a campaign - who to target and what strategies and tactics to use - and keep the campaign rooted in its fundamental values.  There are many models available.  This is just one example.

Developing Strategy

Strategies help us get from point A to point B.  Fleshing out key strategy details ensures that an organizations resources and time get used most effectively and are focused on the goal of the strategy.  This is an example of strategic planning and includes some of the key questions that need to be answered when designing a strategy.

Power Mapping

Power Mapping is a visual tool that can help analyze power relationships around an issue or an agenda.  It is a framework for problem solving through relationship building.

Resources for Organizing

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