#PowerPlay: Reflecting on the Role of Power and Privilege in Global Health (and Beyond)

In honor of Women Deliver, we’re calling on the GHC community to share stories about power — your relationship to it, its impacts on your community, and the role you play in shifting dynamics to foster a more equitable world.

Global Health Corps
Apr 23 · 4 min read

In a 2014 TED Talk about civic power, Eric Liu asked listeners some important question: Do you want power to benefit everyone or only you?

Talking about power and privilege can feel…uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. But as Eric put it: Every day, we move through systems of power that other people made. So it’s important to understand power, where it comes from, how it impacts us, and why it matters.

We’ll be exploring what power looks like in all its messiness and beauty while honoring the wide array of faith traditions, ability levels, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, education levels, and political persuasions represented in our global GHC community.

Power can be complicated and personal. We want to know why.

In the Global Health Corps (GHC) universe, we recognize how forces outside of our control influence our life paths. Because of this, we can often grapple with feelings ranging from pride to shame, anger to guilt, fear to boldness, defenselessness to defensiveness, and beyond.

As Eric stated, “power + character = a great citizen, and you have the power to be one.” So as social justice leaders committed to transforming broken systems, we are on a lifelong journey of transformation and shifting power dynamics to build a more equitable world.

In the lead up to Women Deliver’s “Power. Progress. Change.” conference in early June, we’re launching the #PowerPlay campaign. Spanning the individual, structural, and movement levels, we’ll be exploring what power looks like in all its messiness and beauty while honoring the wide array of faith traditions, ability levels, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, education levels, and political persuasions represented in our global GHC community.

Share your #PowerPlay story on AMPLIFY.

All month long, we invite you to publish your thoughts on power and privilege on AMPLIFY. We’ll work with you to finalize and brand your content as part of our #PowerPlay campaign, tied to Women Deliver’s 2019 conference. Check out some inspiration to get started:

  • What does power mean to you? In what situations do you feel more or less powerful as a young leader?
  • Can you think of a time you realized you had more/less power and privilege than you thought? What happened and how did you react and navigate that?
  • What does power have to do with global health/health equity, historically or right now?
  • When — personally or professionally — have you seen power dynamics shift for the better?
  • How do power imbalances dehumanize even those who seemingly benefit from them?

Are words just not enough? Submit photos to the #PowerPlay photo contest. 📷

It can be difficult (impossible?) to articulate what power means using words alone, so we’re turning to the *power* of images to further illuminate the concept.

Fill out this short form and submit 1–3 photos that depict the concept of power in some way. We’ll share them on GHC’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and credit you in the month of May. The top three winning photos — those with the most cumulative likes across platforms at the end of the month — will be printed and displayed in GHC’s offices with photo credit.

We believe growth happens when we get uncomfortable. Join us in embracing the power of vulnerability, self-reflection, and community. What’s your #PowerPlay?

Global Health Corps (GHC) is a leadership development organization building the next generation of health equity leaders around the world. All GHC fellows, partners, and supporters are united in a common belief: health is a human right. There is a role for everyone in the movement for health equity. To learn more, visit our website and connect with us on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook.

AMPLIFY

New voices and ideas from Global Health Corps, a community of nearly 1000 diverse young leaders worldwide united by the belief that health is a human right. We tell our own stories, honestly and thoughtfully, because this is where our activism begins.

Global Health Corps

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We’re building the next generation of leaders working for health equity worldwide. We are raising our voices here → medium.com/amplify. www.ghcorps.org

AMPLIFY

AMPLIFY

New voices and ideas from Global Health Corps, a community of nearly 1000 diverse young leaders worldwide united by the belief that health is a human right. We tell our own stories, honestly and thoughtfully, because this is where our activism begins.