The Community Action Model engages Bay Area youth, ages 16–22, who are interested in improving community health and making a positive change in San Francisco communities. Through the program, youth identify the inequities caused by Big Tobacco – major commercial tobacco corporations – in their communities. We look, for example, at the high density of liquor stores and advertisements promoting unhealthy behavior in low-income neighborhoods — and attempt to expose the deep value and beauty of our communities, which are often overlooked, exploited, and erased by those in power. These predatory and harmful companies are a far cry from ceremonial tobacco use, rooted in cultural traditions (check out our slide deck below to learn more!).
Since 2002, CAM has served 50 youth, in partnership with Tobacco Free Project, LGBTQ Minus Tobacco and Bay Area Community Resources. As they develop the language and framing to share their experiences and confront damaging policies, systems, and environments, youth develop the tools to become powerful advocates for themselves and their communities. Youth will be able to apply their skills of analysis via health and social justice issues, and their identity, professional, and academic development, to other projects in their personal and professional lives. Following the yli model for youth development, the youth plan and conduct their own research, and work directly with local decision-makers to offer policy recommendations that improve conditions for the city’s youth.
For the past 2 CAM cycles, youth leaders researched minimum pricing strategies such as price promotions — marketing ploys that the tobacco industry uses to circumvent minimum price laws and entice people to purchase their products. The campaigns have been built on 7+ years of work and significant milestones, shared in the CAM and TURF blog posts. For more information, visit our website!
Interested in joining?
The program is open to all transitional age (16-22) youth in San Francisco. Recruitment has closed and programming is in session until March 2025. Our next application cycle should open in the fall of 2025. Please reach out to Natasha Zastko (she/her) [email protected] with any questions.