The Spirit of 1848 A Network Linking Politics, Passion, & Public Health 
an officially recognized caucus within the American Public Health Association

APHA Activities
Courses, Researchers
& Syllabi
Resources, Networks
& Links
Sigerist Circle
Why 1848?

2023 Call for Abstracts
2022 APHA Program
Selected Past Events
Reportbacks & Attendance

(for pdf version of the Call for Abstracts click here.)

American Public Health Association
2023 Annual Meeting & Expo
Atlanta, GA
November 12-15, 2023

The official theme is for APHA 2023 is: “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges”.

We in the Spirit of 1848 take the next step and call for: "Contesting Structural Assaults on Public Health While Building Anew: Radical Alternatives for Health Justice".

Motivating our theme is our longstanding approach to grounding present-day struggles for health justice in the histories of our field and in the principles of solidarity and bolstering critical analysis and action for fostering inspiring, equitable, sustainable, joyful, and dignified futures for all.

2023 Spirit of 1848 sessions – by day, name, and (likely) time, and whether an OPEN CALL for abstracts or SOLICITED ONLY  

Monday, Nov 13, 2022

Activist session

8:30 to 10:00 am


  Social history of public health 10:30 am to 12 noon SOLICITED ONLY


Politics of public health data

2:30 to 4:00 pm


Tuesday, Nov 14, 2023

Integrative session

10:30 am to 12 noon



Student poster session

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm



Progressive pedagogy

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm



Labor/business meeting

6:30 to 8:00 pm


Below we provide: (1) the specific instructions for each session, and (2) the APHA instructions about preparing abstracts, with regard to word limits, membership & registration requirements, and information required to enable the session in which a presentation is included to qualify for continuing education credits.

Instructions for what we are seeking for each session (listed in chronological order) are as follows:

1) SOCIAL HISTORY OF PUBLIC HEALTH SESSION (Mon, Nov 13, 2023, 10:30am -- 12 noon) -- invited speakers:

Title: “Health Workers Resist! Radical Historical Moments of Struggle and Reimagining for People’s Health and Health Care
How do past experiences of radical health worker resistance inform current struggles around (re-)building socially just healthcare? This panel explores varied forms of mobilization and aspirational calls around health/care justice among activist nurses, community health workers, and other medical and public health professionals in North America and around the world.

2) POLITICS OF PUBLIC HEALTH DATA SESSION (Mon, Nov 13, 2023, 2:30 - 4:00pm) -- invited speakers:

Title: "Who’s strengthening and who’s attacking data for health equity?"
This will be an invited session focused on the structural assaults on public health data, including privatization, censorship, and disinvestment – and also mobilizing to counter or buffer against these assaults and spark action for better data for health justice.

3) ACTIVIST SESSION (Mon, Nov 13, 2023, 4:30 -- 6:00 pm) -- open call for abstracts:

Title: “Organizing to contest structural assaults and build for health justice
NOTE: presentations for this session will be drawn primarily from abstracts submitted in response to the OPEN CALL for abstracts supplemented by solicited abstracts as warranted.

The Activist Session welcomes abstracts that describe activism around the overall Spirit of 1848 theme of “Contesting structural assaults on public health while building anew: radical alternatives for health justice”. Possible examples include organizing to counter racism in the public health sector; mutual aid and labor struggles to build power for community health justice; new forms of collective agency to redistribute power and combat inequalities at the community, state, and national levels; radical alternatives to disaster preparedness & recovery; climate justice activism; and efforts to reinstate abortion rights and advance reproductive justice. Given that the conference will take place in Atlanta, GA, we especially welcome abstracts from activists engaged in locally-based organizing, and will ensure this call is seen by relevant progressive groups in the area.

4) INTEGRATIVE SESSION (Tues, Nov 14, 2023, 10:30am -- 12 noon -- invited speakers:

Title: "The long fight for health justice: movements, data, and transformational pedagogy"
In accord with our Spirit of 1848 theme for APHA 2023 -- Contesting structural assaults on public health while building anew: radical alternatives for health justice – the invited speakers for our Spirit of 1848 integrative session will tackle these issues in relation to the core foci of the Spirit of 1848 Caucus: social history of public health, politics of public health data, progressive pedagogy, and activism for health justice. Topics to be addressed include: (1) histories of fighting for data and power for workers’ health and environmental justice; (2) building radical institutions to expose injustice and generate data for health justice; and (3) transformational pedagogy about the roots of health inequities.

5) PROGRESSIVE PEDAGOGY SESSION (Tues, Nov 14, 2023, 2:30 - 4:00pm) -- open call for abstracts:

Title: "Teaching for health justice and against attacks on public health"
We seek abstracts for presentations discussing pedagogy, exploring how we contest and fight the structural assaults on public health while also envisioning and planning what new structures and social formations can take us into a more just future. The focus can be on teachings about public health capacity, radical initiatives within and outside educational institutions, or the social injustices that give rise to public health inequities as well as progressive efforts to strengthen the public health workforce. We invite presentations that focus on how pedagogy can be carried out from community activists, public health practitioners, and academic teachers.

6) STUDENT POSTER SESSION: SOCIAL JUSTICE & PUBLIC HEALTH (Tues, Nov 14, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00pm) -- open call for abstracts:

For the APHA Annual Meeting 2023, the Spirit of 1848 Social Justice & Public Health Student Poster Session is issuing an OPEN CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for posters that highlight the intersections between social justice and public health from a historical, theoretical, epidemiological, ethnographic, and/or methodological perspective.

This session will have an OPEN CALL for submissions by students (undergraduate or graduate) that are focused on work linking issues of social justice and public health. This can include, but is not limited to, work concerned with the Spirit of 1848’s focus for APHA 2023 on “Contesting structural assaults on public health while building anew: radical alternatives for health justice.”

Per our Spirit of 1848 policy, we encourage submissions that bring a critical Indigenous lens, drawing on Indigenous theories, knowledge, and methods, to the specific topic that is the focus of this session, i.e., student posters on links between social justice & public health.

The submitted work can address one or more of many interlocking types of justice (e.g., racial, Indigenous, political and/or economic, gender and/or sexuality-related, environmental, restorative, etc.) We are interested in submissions not only from students in schools of public health and other health professions (e.g., nursing, medicine) but also from students in schools & programs focused on law, political science, public policy, social work, government, economics, sociology, urban planning, etc. For examples of abstracts selected in prior years, see our annual reportbacks.

Instructions for abstract submission can be found at the APHA abstract submission website.

Abstracts will be evaluated on the following criteria:
(1) Relevant to the Sprit of 1848’s broader mission and theme (Spirit of 1848’s theme for APHA 2023 is “Contesting structural assaults on public health while building anew: radical alternatives for health justice”);
(2) The rigor of the research methods and theoretical foundation;
(3) Originality; and
(4) Scholarly or practical importance

NOTE: to address the on-going problem of student uncertainty about funding, which has led to students with accepted posters withdrawing their submissions, we will continue with the successful approach we implemented in 2016, whereby we will: (1) accept the top 10 abstracts (the limit for any poster session); (2) set up a waitlist of all runner-up potentially acceptable posters (ranked in order of preference); and (3) reject abstracts that either are not focused on issues of social justice and public health or are not of acceptable quality. If any accepted poster is withdrawn, we will replace it with a poster from the waitlist (in rank order).

For any questions about this session, please contact Spirit of 1848 Student Poster Coordinating Committee member Charlene Kuo.

APHA Reminders re: Abstract Requirements & Continuing Education Credits:

NOTE: it is important that our Spirit of 1848 sessions be approved for CE credits, so that public health & clinical professionals can get CE credits in sessions focused on the links between social justice & public health! – so please be sure to read these instructions carefully!!!


• Abstracts should be no more than 250 words
• All presenters must be Individual members of APHA in order to present.
• All presenters must register for the meeting.
• Abstracts cannot be presented or published in any journal prior to the APHA Annual Meeting.

APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.

For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter, panelist, discussant, and/or faculty must provide:

An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names (and this includes the names of any books you have published!);

At least one MEASURABLE outcome (DO NOT USE "To understand” or “To learn” as objectives, they are not measurable).

o Examples of Acceptable Measurable Action Words:
Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.

A signed Conflict of Interest (Disclosure) form with a relevant qualification Statement. See an example of an acceptable Qualification Statement on the online Disclosure form.

o Examples of Acceptable Biographical Qualification Statement:
“I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users.”

“I am qualified because I have conducted research in the area of maternal and child health for the past 20 years and have given multiple presentations on this subject.”

Please note that "I am the Principle Investigator of this study" is NOT an acceptable qualification statement. Nor it is acceptable to state: “I am qualified because I am a professor at XYZ University.”

Contact Mighty Fine if you have any questions concerning continuing education. Please contact the program planner for all other questions.

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