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

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American Public Health Association
2024 Annual Meeting & Expo
Minneapolis, MN
October 27-30, 2024

Believe it or not: critical trust building, trust busting & creating trustworthy public health science and practice

Abstracts due March 29, 2024

The official theme for APHA 2024 is: “Rebuilding Trust in Public Health and Science”.
We in the Spirit of 1848 take the next step and call for:
Believe it or not: critical trust building, trust busting & creating trustworthy public health science and practice

-- a task core to the mission of the Spirit of 1848 Caucus, for which we will be honoring our 30th anniversary, since we launched the Spirit of 1848 in 1994!

We also recognize the meeting will be taking place in Minneapolis, MN, where George Floyd was horrifically murdered by the police on May 25, 2020,
and also 1 week before the US presidential & other elections (Nov 5, 2024)

2024 Spirit of 1848 sessions – by day, name, and (likely) time, and whether an OPEN CALL for abstracts or INVITED ONLY  

Monday, Nov 13, 2022

Activist session

8:30 to 10:00 am


  Social history of public health 10:30 am to 12 noon INVITED 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) ACTIVIST SESSION (Mon, Oct 28, 2024 8:30am -- 10 am) -- Open call and invited speakers:

Title: “
Organizing to counter attacks on public health and earn community trust in science

CALL: Attacks on public health, science, and educational systems are escalating. Despite this, public health activists are not only countering these attacks, but also fostering equitable, sustainable, joyful, and dignified futures for all through solidaristic and trust building organizing. The Activist Session will include presentations that describe activism around the overall Spirit of 1848 theme of “Believe it or not: critical trust building, trust busting & creating trustworthy public health science and practice” through an open call and invited abstracts. Possible examples include grassroots approaches for building community trust in science; organizing to counter racism in policing; attacks (& counterattacks) on public health activists themselves; and ways to combat the silencing that is happening in social justice-oriented higher education, among others.

2) SOCIAL HISTORY OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Mon, Oct 28, 2024 10:30 am - 12:00pm) -- Invited speakers only:

Title: "
Trust Building and Trust Busting in Public Health: Critical Historical Perspectives

CALL: The Social History of Public Health Committee of the Spirit of 1848 Caucus will INVITE abstracts from speakers who can present historical and ongoing examples of how public health institutions and actors in multiple contexts have worked with communities to co-construct trust in public health science for the people’s health. We are particularly interested in examples of public health engagement with social movements and other forms of resistance to the ways in which fascism, free market fundamentalism, and right-wing and populist misinformation machines have sought to distort science and public health institutions for self-serving and destructive political and economic goals. Invited presenters will provide local and global case studies of struggles to counter these assaults in solidarity with communities’ and the peoples’ health.

3) POLITICS OF PUBLIC HEALTH DATA (Mon, Oct 28, 2024 2:30 -- 4:00 pm) -- Open call and invited speakers:

Title: “Critical science vs. science denialism: building trustworthy public data 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.

CALL: This session and its speakers (via both an open call & invited) will focus on conceptual and empirical investigations into the historical and contemporary struggles to develop trustworthy public health data for health justice, calling for critical science while challenging science denialism. Presentations could include a focus on the relationship between public health data and: (1) historical and contemporary resistance to fascism, (2) resistance to eugenics and racism, (3) science denialism (e.g., climate change, vaccine), the current complex alchemies brewing under the banner of "don't trust authorities," from ultra-left to fascist, mixed with counterculture/wellness and libertarian/anti-regulation zealots and (4) data sources, gaps, and ownership, including contrasting publicly collected data, community-sourced data, and private data.

4) INTEGRATIVE SESSION (Tues, Oct 29, 2024 10:30am -- 12 noon -- invited speakers:

Title: "Science, causal inference & the people’s health: implications for trustworthy public health research, practice, and activism for health justice "

This session and its invited speakers will focus on critical science, causal inference & the people’s health. Topics to be considered will include: who and what can make science either trustworthy or not trustworthy, under what conditions, and in relation to what approaches to investigating and inferring causation; what the relationships are between scientific integrity and the production of both scientific knowledge and ignorance, including in relation to scientific racism; and who benefits from and who is harmed by attacks on public health science and regulations and policies based on trustworthy science. The format will be a featured speaker, followed by 3 discussants reflecting on these issues in relation to the 3 foci of the Spirit of 1848 Caucus – the social history of public health, the politics of public health data, and progressive pedagogy – and implications for public health research, teaching, practice, and activism for the people’s health & health justice.

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

For the APHA Annual Meeting 2024, 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 2024 on “Believe it or not: critical trust building, trust busting & creating trustworthy public health science and practice.”

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 “Believe it or not: critical trust building, trust busting & creating trustworthy public health science and practice”);

(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.

6) PROGRESSIVE PEDAGOGY SESSION (Tues, Oct 29, 2024, 2:30 - 4:00pm) -- Open call for abstracts:

Title: "Teaching to counter miseducation and build critical pedagogy"

CALL: We seek abstracts for presentations exploring trustworthiness and trust as it relates to public health pedagogy. The focus of the presentation may include processes in teaching to counter miseducation and build critical education, strategies to build community trust in research and science, radical initiatives within and outside educational institutions, progressive efforts to strengthen trust within the public health workforce, and issues of academic freedom & free speech. We invite presentations focusing on how pedagogy can be carried out by community activists, public health practitioners, and academic instructors (K-post graduate).

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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