#MEAction’s ACTIVIST CAMP! – the Highlights!

It’s a wrap! Last weekend concluded the final session #MEAction’s first ever ACTIVIST CAMP!, a teach-in series for activists in the United States. We are so proud of this program and what it has accomplished. Congrats to our new grads! 

#MEAction ACTIVIST CAMP! aimed to deepen our campers’ engagement with activism – teaching our collective history and applying theories to practice in #MEAction’s work and beyond. 

This course was no small feat to organize and teach, and we are grateful to Terri L. Wilder for taking on this vital work. 

In addition to Terri L. Wilder, MSW, who you know from #MEAction New York and practically all of #MEAction’s work in the US, we were fortunate enough to have an incredible group of speakers join the series. Waheedah Shabazz-El, Jennifer Flynn Walker, Jawanza James Williams, JD Davids, and Ben HsuBorger contributed to ACTIVIST CAMP! and are each truly remarkable people and teachers. We are also grateful to Wilhelmina Jenkins and Kalvin Leveille who helped co-facilitate our first camp session focusing on community building and camp goal setting. 

 We invite you to learn more about the activist camp speakers  and their work below:

Waheedah Shabazz-El is an African American Muslim woman and retired postal worker who was  diagnosed with AIDS in 2003. She serves as a board member for Law Project of PA, Steering Committee  Member for U=U, and advisory board member for Sero-Project. She is employed by Philadelphia FIGHT  as its Goodwill Ambassador. Waheedah is a long-time member of ACT-UP Philadelphia and a founding  member of Positive Women’s Network – USA. Currently, Waheedah is the Interim Program Director for  The Reunion Project where she is leading an HIV Long-Term Survivor Alliance. Waheedah’s areas of  expertise include Community Organizing, HIV criminalization, Trans Justice, Faith and HIV,  Empowering women and girls living with HIV, Aging with HIV and Electoral Organizing. 

Jennifer Flynn Walker directs Center for Popular Democracy’s (CPD) Mobilization and Advocacy program, working  closely with the Innovations program. Jennifer is responsible for federal healthcare, tax policy and  advocacy. At the same time she is developing new ways to mobilize our affiliates in federal campaigns,  while experimenting with innovative methods for building new and broader constituencies who can join  our campaigns, including building CPD’s Opioid Network.  

Jennifer joins CPD after serving for 10 years as a co-founder and Executive Director of CPD affiliate,  VOCAL-NY. She was the director of Health GAP, a global AIDS advocacy organization. 

Jawanza James Williams (pronouns, He, Him, They, Them) is a Black, radical Queer, Prison Abolitionist,  Socialist, Community Organizer. He is a native of Beaumont, Texas. After he received a BA in English  from Schreiner University in 2012, he moved to New York City, where he now works with the political  organization Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-NY) as Director of Organizing.  Williams is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a founding member of its  Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus. 

JD Davids (@TheChronicQueer, he/him) is a white/ashkenazi jewish queer and trans writer, journalist  and strategist living with ME/CFS and other chronic conditions. He’s creating The Cranky Queer Guide to  Chronic Illness and is a member of the What Would an HIV Doula Do collective, serves on the board of  #MEAction, and is a grateful accomplice to intersectional networks of BIPOC, female/femme and  queer/trans people living with HIV. He is a member of the COVID-19 Working Group of NY and helped  support the first patient-led study of long-haul COVID, available at https://patientresearchcovid19.com

Ben HsuBorger

Ben HsuBorger is the Global Community and Campaigns Director at #MEAction. Over the past 10 years  Ben has worked in nonprofit, academic and government organizations on projects spanning:  microfinance, study-abroad, public health, fair housing and community development. He is a former  Fulbright scholar eager to help teams innovate through better integration of people, processes and  information. 

Over the three-part series, participants engaged with disability justice and anti-oppression models of activism and learned how to apply these lessons to #MEAction’s work. With a disability justice and anti-oppression framework, this series explored the historical context of social justice movements and contemporary organizing, lessons on creating effective campaigns and actions, and helped hone our campers’ activist skills. 

The curriculum covered a wide breadth of material – from foundational texts like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, to contemporary works like Crip Camp (2020), and strategic tools  like Power Mapping. Each session provided opportunities for participants to learn, reflect, and organize within  a collective liberation and disability justice framework. 

This ACTIVIST CAMP! cohort represented the range of the #MEAction community — there were #MEAction state leaders, professors, lawyers, people with ME who have been newly diagnosed or have been living with ME for a long time, and people whose loved ones have ME. They participated  from all over the country: New York, California, Texas, Colorado, just to name a few.  

We can’t wait for the next #MEAction ACTIVIST CAMP! If you missed your chance to participate this round, stay tuned for the next series!


Latest News

blue rectangle image with the NIH logo in the top left hand corner. the words: NIH MECFS Research Roadmap Update Public comments open until March 8th appear in the middle of the image. the meaction logo is in the bottom right hand corner.

NIH ME/CFS Research Roadmap Update–Public Comment Period Now Open

The NIH ME/CFS Research Roadmap public comment period is open now with a deadline of March 8th.  #MEAction is a member of the ME/CFS Research Roadmap Working Group and for the past several months we have been advocating on behalf of this community within this group. Our Executive Director, Laurie Jones, served on the nervous

Read More »
a rectangle image with multiple small hearts in the corners. The words, Valentine's Day Interview with Jamison Hill and Book Promotion. The cover of the book is next to the words. The #MEAction logo at the bottom.

Valentine’s Day Interview with Jamison Hill & Book Promotion

We are excited to bring you a special Valentine’s Day promotion of Jamison Hill’s most recent book, Something’s Wrong with Micah.  #MEAction had the pleasure of having a Twitter chat with Jamison when his memoir When Force Meets Fate came out. We now get to bring this Q&A about his newest book to you. Jamison

Read More »
on a red sparkly rectangle image. The words "#MEAction's Volunteer Program Revamped!" are written in an arcade/game font. Sign-Up Today! The #MEAction logo in the bottom right corner

#MEAction’s Volunteer Program Revamped

Exciting news: #MEAction revamped our volunteer program for the new year! We are honored to have wonderful volunteers including people with ME, Long Covid, and other associated conditions as well as our caregivers, allies, and wider communities. Volunteering with #MEAction can and does make all the difference. We invite you to join our program! Our

Read More »
Scroll to Top