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Call to Action —

January 23, 2012

UPDATE: I have posted a sample letter which may be leveraged to create your own letter to the organizations listed below. And if you have a letter that you have written and want to share with the community, feel free to send to atchka at hotmail. Thank you!

In the past, we spent a significant portion of time flooding Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts attempting to shame them into submission.

The result? CHOA is digging in its heels with CHOA’s Chairman of the Board, Doug Hertz, writing a defiant Op-Ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Friday.This week, we stop attempting to shame the shameless. Instead, we are asking everyone who is outraged that these billboards continue to shame fat children to join us in requesting that professional organizations issue statements condemning Strong4Life’s ad campaign.We’ve already had some success with the following organizations and celebrities issuing statements condemning Strong4Life:

We intend to make that list grow.

But we need your help. We need you to write a letter expressing your disapproval of Strong4Life’s advertising campaign, then send it to some, or all, of the following organizations that have a vested interest in the conclusion of “Phase 1” of this disgusting campaign.

If you’d like to save time, make your comments and request general so that you can cut and paste to multiple organizations, or personalize your message depending upon the recipient.

Many thanks to Duckie Graham, who contributed the majority of this information,  and Pattie Thomas for her suggestion of the ASA. If you have suggestions for other organizations or celebrities, please add them in the comments below.

Professional Organizations

First and foremost, we are trying to land two big fish: Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and First Lady Michelle Obama. Please send an email to her Communications Officer, Mary Beth Bigley, requesting that the Surgeon General speak out.

Mary Beth Bigley
marybeth.bigley@hhs.gov

Please send a message to First Lady Michelle Obama on Twitter

The following are in order of relevance:

Georgia Department of Human Services
Clyde L. Reese, III, Esq.
Commissioner
clreese@dhr.state.ga.us

Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists
This one is slightly tricky in that no email exists. You have to fill in an email form by visiting this page and clicking the link circled in red.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Patricia M. Babjak
CEO
pbabjak@eatright.org

Eating Disorders Information Network in Georgia
Lisbeth Rhine
Executive Director
lisbeth@myedin.org

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Dr. Francis Collins
Director
francis.collins@nih.gov

National Institute of Mental Health
Dr. Thomas Insel
Director
tinsel@mail.nih.gov

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Dr. Alan Guttmacher
Director
guttmach@mail.nih.gov

National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities
Dr. John Ruffin
Director
ruffinj@od.nih.gov

Pan American Health Organization (the American subsidiary of the World Health Organization)
Dr. Mirta Roses Periago
Director
director@paho.org

American Sociological Association
Professor Eric Wright
President and Medical Sociology Chair
wright@ssc.wisc.edu

Professor Paul Amato
Sociology of Family Chair
pxa6@psu.edu

Professor Lisa-Jean Moore
Sociology of the Body & Embodiment Chair
lisajean.moore@purchase.edu

American Psychological Association
Professor Suzanne Bennett Johnson
President
sjohnson@apa.org

Public Interest Directorate of the APA
publicinterest@apa.org

American Art Therapy Association
Public Policy/Advocacy
publicpolicy@arttherapy.org

American Association of Suicidology
Dr. Alan Berman
Director
berman@suicidology.org

NOW Young Feminist Task Force

NAACP Contact Form

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
US Secretary of Health and Human Services is Kathleen Sebelius
Kathleen.Sebelius@hhs.gov

Eating Disorders Coalition
Dr. Lisa Lilenfeld
President
manager@eatingdisorderscoalition.org

FEAST (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders)
Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh
Executive Director
Laura@feast-ed.org

International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
Bonnie Harken.
Managing Director
iaedpmembers@earthlink.net

National Association for Males with Eating Disorders (NAMED)
Christopher Clark
Founder/Executive Director
chris@namedinc.org

KidsTerrain, Inc.
Maggie Moran
President
mmoran@kidsterrain.com

Rena Hannaford
CEO
rhannaford@kidsterrain.com

NEW 1/20

Board Members Georgia Nurses Association
Deborah Hackman
Chief Executive Officer
ceo@georgianurses.org

Celebrities

The following are the Twitter accounts for celebrities who I believe would be interested in supporting us. If you have a Twitter account, please help us get them involved:

Can you think of more celebrities whose attention we should get? Please add their Twitter account into the comments section and we will add them.

I will update this list constantly, and keep it stuck to the top of the page. This will be our Action Page until the Strong4Life ads end.

*Alton Brown’s support comes with the caveat that he wants to, instead, shame fat adults and the parents of fat kids. While I disagree with that stance, largely because of the reasons cited in today’s post on the social determinants of health, I am also willing to set aside these kinds of differences to achieve our primary goal of ending the Strong4Life ad campaign directed at children.

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3 Comments
  1. Jackie permalink

    I don’t know about your support of Alton Brown. He seems to not understand children aren’t made fat, they are born with the genetics towards having a fat body. Aside from my rather prejudiced thought, that you can’t expect someone who has been skinny to understand how it feels to be fat. Alton Brown appears to want acceptance for fat children, because he feels they are victims for not being made to be thin.

    So are we doing good supporting somene who indirectly wants to shame fat children? Someone who says, it’s not their fault they’re fat, their parents are just bad? Maybe weshould use this opportunity to educate Alton about the reality behind weight and genetics. That parent blaming is just one step away from child blaming. That thousands of fat people eat healthy, and their bodies due to their genetics will not let them lose weight due to the set point average.

    The most important thing to convey, is that Alton’s thin priveliged high horse talking about fat people, is not much different than other priveleged people feeling they have a right to perpetuate lies about the less privileged. If he wants fat kids not to feel miserable for not having thin bodies, blaming theor parents will nowt acheive that goal. Blaming fat adults will not acheive that goal. The only thing that will work, is realizing for thousands of people, reqiring them to be t hin. Would require an amount of self-starvation.

    That Alton Brown and his Muppet-esque Kermit the Frog physique are an anomaly. He by many standards has a abnormal body, he’s telling fat people they must acheive a state that is unnatural by most means. We have someone here who from my knowledge, unless he was fat as a kid, knows nothing of the constant prejudice fat people experience on a daily basis.

    I think involving Alton in this campaign, only will acheive giving a well known fat prejudiced person a reason to pat themselves on their back. There is a lot of danger in his thinking that painting fat children as victims, is doing good. His thinking is what has gotten fat children kidnapped from their families by a government, who thinks that all fat children are a direct result of their diet and lifestyle. Children instead of going to be fearing they won’t wake tomorrow, will instead go to bed fearing they might be pulled from their home against their will, being told they’ll never see mommy and daddy again until their thin. I don’t see how making fat children wish they were dead, is better than kids fearing they’ll die.

    I think we’re better off leaving someone who has a history of prejudice against fat people out of this campaign. We need supporters, not half-assed “Well I guess it’s okay if the kids are let off, but we should still shame and terrify fat parents and adult supporters.”

    I also want to confess, despite all f this, I still find the show Good Eats entertaining. Just, yeah I’m probably a hypocrite right?

    • Hi Jackie,
      I included a note at the end of the psst acknowledging Alton Brown’s fat hatred, but I am planning a longer post tomorrow on this very subject.

      Thank you for expressing your concern.

      Peace,
      Shannon

  2. Steph S permalink

    I was just thinking about some other celebrities that could be supporters: Paula Deen – with her recent media experiences, this could be a great opportunity for her to speak out; RuPaul – I’m a HUGE fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and they have made sure that there are always plus-size entertainers represented – not to mention RuPaul’s famous line, “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else?”; Tyra Banks – Tyra has always seemed to be compassionate to the struggles that plus size people face in everyday life; Ina Garten – another Food Network star – why not?; Queen Latifah – she’s always been a standout personality and has seemed proud of her body image; Rosie O’Donnell – same thing; Ellen – she also seems like a compassionate person – let’s face it, she didn’t want to return to Idol because she didn’t want to crush anyone’s dream. Just some thoughts – I hope some of these could lead to some big supporters!!!

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