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Community Activism

Joyce Rivera

Key Concepts Underlying Community Activism

The key concepts of social justice, community, conscience, critical reflection, praxis, and empowerment are part of community activism (Mason, Gardner, Hopkins & O’Grady, 2016).

When we refer to social justice we are talking about a philosophical, political and public health concept that is linked to respecting human rights and social equity (cited in Mason et al., 2016). An example of social justice is that low-income African-American women have access to the best health care, have resources at hand to access contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancies. That they has access that many times they does not have, to sex education programs to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. When we speak of social justice we speak of equality. Health inequalities are current and can be avoided. Activism is one of the ways that social justice is put into practice.

The community is an active concept, involving the participation of individuals and groups affected by specific problems that require change. To give an example of this key concept, it should be mentioned that collective social identities linked to specific health problems, such as the immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), among other health problems, have given rise to important movements of community activists. Referring to HIV, what is now a worldwide movement began as a local activism within homosexual communities in the United States, Canada, Western Europe and Australia. The objective of these community activists was to educate their communities on the basis of HIV prevention and, in addition, demand action from governments, clinical researchers, health care providers, pharmaceutical products, different companies and legal systems (cited in Mason et al., 2016). Emerging mobilizations against HIV / AIDS have involved diverse communities, including people living with AIDS in Brazil, Uganda, and South Africa, sex workers in Thailand, religious and community leaders in Senegal, and impoverished mothers of child AIDS victims in Romania. Activists in the HIV / AIDS community have sparked government and industry responses, bringing with them the most effective prevention and access to treatment with significant impact.

In terms of awareness, critical reflection and praxis are three interrelated components of community activism. Individuals who participate in activist efforts should be involved in increasing their public awareness about the problems and what are the causes that cause them (Mason et al., 2016).

Raising awareness is not just offering information to people until they engage in critical reflection. Awareness is a reflective process where individuals and groups analyze their own particular situations and contexts in order to identify what contributes to those situations. Critical awareness arises through the reflective processes of posing problems and interpretive decoding of lived experiences (as cited in Mason et al., 2016). An example of awareness following the previous topic is that through these reflective processes and education to individuals and the general population regarding HIV, through this process we can prevent the spread of the disease by creating awareness of what should be done to avoid it, how to protect yourself, not be promiscuous, not use needles previously used by others. Only by becoming aware of the seriousness of diseases such as HIV can their spread be prevented and thus lower the statistics.

As for critical reflection, it is essential to understand the links between the problems and problems of the local community and those of other communities. With critical reflection, it is visualized what actions can be carried out to achieve change (cited in Mason et al., 2016). Critical reflection implies attention to the political processes and actions essential to challenge inequalities and make changes. For example, only with a critical reflection on the part of all the individuals involved in the community can we understand that problems happen in the LGBTQ community that feel discriminated against, what we must do as a community to integrate this community and in the same way integrate into it as be unique humans with the same rights.

Praxis is a thoughtful and determined action that comes from individual and collective conscience and theorizing, and is based on the commitment to build a more just society through different resources, including culture, circles, critical pedagogies, action research and activism. community (as cited in Mason et al., 2016). Praxis is a repetitive cycle of consciousness-reflection-reflective action in which the relations of power and inequality are identified, challenged and changed. For example, returning to HIV, the community is made aware of the disease, the different ways to prevent its spread, we obviously raise awareness through reflection on the problem we are facing and the action to be taken is based on this we have reflected on regarding this disease. I think that if the problem continues, it is because more must be done at the community level.

Empowerment is a construction of different levels that integrates processes and results of social action through which individuals, families, organizations and communities benefit by achieving equality and improving the quality of life (cited in Mason et al., 2016 ). Empowerment strengthens a disadvantaged group. What we achieve, for example, in the LGBTQ community is to give them the knowledge, as a community we actively unite in the claim of their rights, we seek the necessary influences to achieve a change in the health care they receive and thus achieve equity.

Involvement of Advanced Practice Nurses in Order to Limit Negative Health Impacts of Large Tobacco Companies in Health Communities

Globally, tobacco use caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century and causes the death of about 6 million people each year according to the World Health Organization (as cited in Mason et al., 2016). In the United States, consumption of and exposure to this great evil remains the leading preventable cause of death. In 2011 the tobacco industry in the United States spent $ 8.4 billion promoting cigarettes and another $ 450 million promoting smokeless tobacco products (cited in Mason et al., 2016). Incredibly, tobacco companies worldwide, tirelessly promote their products in low- and middle-income countries, looking for new generations to become addicted to tobacco, mainly the young. The newest modality, electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are the tobacco industry’s latest hoax, and many tobacco control advocates are concerned about the lack of regulation, misleading advertising, and rapid acceptance by this population.

As advanced nurses we must actively participate in communities with effective tobacco control interventions, such as high-impact mass media anti-tobacco campaigns and comprehensive smoke-free policies. We must implement interventions aimed at the youngest population and young adults in order to prevent the start of tobacco use, promote the cessation of the habit among the population that already consumes it, eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke, which is so harmful like first-hand consumption. We must continue to carry out educational strategies at the community level.

Without a doubt, evidence-based interventions are a key factor for tobacco prevention and control (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). We have to actively join in health communication campaigns that reach the population, emphasizing young people, disadvantaged communities. These campaigns should include images that reach the depths of people, so that they can understand the harm that tobacco use does. We know that there are many products that help to stop this deadly vice, tobacco users must be provided with all the necessary information about these and the resources available at the community level so that they can quit smoking. We must bring our voice to Congress so that the cost of tobacco increases, and thus help reduce its consumption, due to its very high prices. Policies should continue to be implemented to have more smoke-free public spaces. Much has been achieved, but we must remain active in the fight against tobacco. It is necessary to include in these campaigns, the new modality of the electronic cigarette, which in the same way hurts and its use has increased greatly. The key is in education, prevention and health promotion and advanced practical nurses are key in the fight against smoking.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Tobacco Control Interventions. Retrieved from

Mason, D.J., Gardner, D. B., Hopkins Outlaw, F., & O’Grady, E.T. (Eds.). (2016). Policy and Politics: In Nursing and Health Care. (7th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.

Discussion 9

Ana Barreras Lopez


Describe the key concepts underlying community activism and give examples of how each of these concepts applies to a specific context.

           Community activism is the way in which individuals, groups and organizations fight together to achieve a specific change within society that benefits everyone. It implies an interactive cycle of awareness, reflection, take action, and social change. For this, it is essential to follow key concepts such as: “social justice, community, consciousness-raising, critical reflection, praxis, and empowerment” (Mason, Leavitt & Chaffee, 2016). Community is the involvement of the impacted individuum by specific issue or social phenome. Social justice is closely linked to human rights and equality. Implicit in it is the establishment of equal opportunities for all members of society, as well as the equitable distribution of resources, access to health, food, drinking water, jobs, housing, etc. it is about eliminating as much as possible the disparities between the social classes or the regions of a country.

           Consciousness-raising is referred to present the evidence of injustice to engage audience in order to increase concerned awareness about a specific social or political phenome. Critical reflection is a process to identifying, analyzing, questioning, and assessing social and community circumstances and the actions needed to change it. Praxis is the application of the specific intervention that arise out from the individual or collective conscientization in order to build a more equal society. Empowerment is when autonomy and self-determination enable peoples to lose of the sense of powerless becoming stronger and in control to attain equity and better quality of life.

           Clinical experience and skills learning during nursing programs and performance as professionals allows nurses to identify social issues and fight for change. For example, the cost of medications and treatments (social justice issue) overwhelm patient and family budget (community). The awareness of the situation initiates the interactive process of consensuses raising, critical reflection and praxis that guides to nurses to seek information in order to address the inequity. Seek for alternative treatment or resources, share available discount programs, using persuasion with community and others elected leaders to address the issue, join campaigns and efforts to improve health care services, are some of social actions that nurses uses as form of empowerment. (Patient Advocacy in the Community and Legislative Arena, 2012).


Examine how Advanced Practice Nurses can engage in community activism to limit further negative health impacts from Big Tobacco in their respective health communities.


           Big Tobacco refers to the largest global tobacco industry companies: Philip Morris International, Altria, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, and Japan Tobacco International. Tobacco dependency leads to disability and death all over the world and is more common among minorities and vulnerable populations. Nowadays a new threat is emerging: the use of electronic cigarette mostly in teenagers. As nurses we have the knowledge to address the dependence using pharmacotherapy combined with individual or group behavioral counseling. This is an interactive process where the patient is core and active participant on the development and implementation of the plan of care. It could be facilitated with the systematic use of the 5 A’s: Ask about tobacco use, Advice of the benefits of quitting, Assess willingness and readiness to quit, Assist to secure medications/counseling treatment, and Arrange clinical follow-up visit (Fathi, 2020). 

           Education about the danger of the second-hand smoke, use of electronic cigarettes, provides local resources, personal and/or professional testimonies, could help patients to avoid tobacco consumption are some ways to be involved in community activism. Also, Support groups and initiatives against tobacco such as Truth Initiative® as well as anti-tobacco media campaign (Who We Are, 2019). The court case of the American Cancer Society and other plaintiffs against tobacco industry is an example of how being community active initiate a movement that end in victory. The Judge Gladys Kessler found tobacco companies guilty of lying to the American People about the negative effects of tobacco consumption so now they must run an extensive media campaign at their own expenses admitting the truth (Big Tobacco Has to Tell the Truth about the Dangers of Smoking, 2019)


Big Tobacco has to tell the truth about the dangers of smoking. (2019). American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Fathi, J. (2020). Tobacco Use: The Current State of Affairs and How Nurses Can Help Patients Quit. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 25(3).

Mason, D. J., Leavitt, J.K., Chaffee, M.W. (2016). Policy and Politics: In Nursing and Health           Care. (7th Ed) Elsevier.

Patient Advocacy in the Community and Legislative Arena. (2012). Ojin.Nursingworld.Org.

Who We Are? (2019, March 18). Truth Initiative.

Henly Rojas

Community Activism in Nursing


Concepts of Community Activism


I can comment that the primary basis of activism at the community level is to establish priorities at the individual level within the community and thus focus on establishing differences in relation to those priorities. Among the main points related to such activism we can highlight social justice, community, awareness, critical reflection, and empowerment. With reference to social justice, I can say that it encompasses the defense of human rights and equity. In the context of community activism in ​​nursing, it involves protecting socioeconomic justice and equitable access to primary health care services and health promotion resources. With reference to the concept of community within community activism, I can comment that it refers to the participation of the relevant group elements in the fight against the lack of equity in ​​health. As nurses we must be involved and related to the community that is affected to address the needs of that group. Awareness relates the obligation of the parts of said community in relation to the problems and needs they face as well as the theme of solving them. I can also comment that a community activist has the duty to incorporate the other members to reach a critical reflection on how the necessary issues to be addressed are found in order to find an adequate and necessary solution. With respect to empowerment, he manages to make the elements of said community have control of all the sociodynamic and political elements that are involved in all aspects of his personal life.

Advanced Nurse Community Activism on Impacts of Tobacco


I can say that the main ways in which an advanced nurse manages to intervene in activism against the impact of tobacco is through the promotion of policies and reforms in the legislative area, as well as the awareness of the community regarding this issue. through educational programs. Advanced nurses manage to intervene with the community leader to achieve a unified axis in the legislation, suggesting bills that achieve a financial commitment to tobacco companies. This can be achieved, for example, by achieving law projects that make tobacco companies pay the medical bills of people in the community who have contracted diseases due to tobacco use, especially businesses that refuse to stop the distribution of tobacco. tobacco products. Nurses can also be involved in sensitizing the community through educational programs that help it to stop using tobacco and its derivatives.




Hanks, R. G., Eloi, H., & Stafford, L. (2019, April). Understanding how advanced practice registered nurses function as patient advocates. Nursing forum (Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 213-219).


Webb, J. A. K. (2016). Our role as legislative advocates. Nursing Management, 47(8), 7-8.


Gonzalez, R., & Maryland, M. (2012). Patient advocacy in the community and legislative arenas. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1).


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Aymee Morales Aranegui

Community Activism: Social Justice, Critical Reflection, Community, and Consciousness

Among the most significant community activism concepts are social justice, critical reflection, community, and consciousness-raising. Social justice is a philosophical, sociopolitical, and public-health concept rooted in human rights and centered on equality (Cornish et al., 2018). Ideally, community activism should ensure impartial distribution of resources and opportunities to the target audience (Thrift. et al. 2019). Further, critical reflection helps acknowledge the relationship connections between difficulties in the target the local community is compared to and those of other communities worldwide through critical discourse, conceptual meditation, and community. Activists create opportunities for community development by engaging in critical discussion and research. They foresee opportunities for collective action that will lead to change. Finally, as an essential activism concept, the community involves individuals and groups on which the specific issues regarding the change in the activism context are directly influenced. Community or grassroots activism is mainly localized and focused on a single region or community desired change. Notably, consciousness-raising is also a vital community activism concept regarded as an insightful, cogitative process. During this process, individuals and communities evaluate their conditions and contexts to identify cultural, political, social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental variables that contribute to these situations. 

Advanced Practice Nurses in Community Activism: Health Implications of Tobacco

To mitigate adverse health impacts in the future, nurses should advocate for policy changes by actively speaking about the health implications of tobacco. Essentially, they are well-versed with the health effects resulting from the Big Tobacco industry. Therefore, through participation in their local drug and substance abuse control coalitions, nurses can influence positive policy changes in the tobacco taxes and restriction the number of tobacco outlets that would have long-term results in the fight against Big tobacco (Gonzalez et al., 2012). The participation of Nurse Practitioners in an education project on the health impact of smoking, promotes knowledge in patients of a service that may be quite unknown, but that really falls within the main aspects to be addressed. Treat in Nursing interventions in Primary Care for smoking cessation promotion, prevention and health education. In addition, it is paramount to engage in a comprehensive tobacco control policy to prevent adolescents from using it since they are very vulnerable. Thus, the strategy should emphasize avoiding the use and protecting all people from ever-initiating tobacco use.


Cornish, F., Campbell, C., & Montenegro, C. (2018). Activism in changing times: Reinvigorating community psychology: Introduction to the Special Thematic Section. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 6(2), 526–542.

Gonzalez, R., & Maryland, M. (2012). Patient advocacy in the community and legislative arenas. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1).

Thrift, E., & Sugarman, J. (2019). What is social justice? Implications for psychology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 39(1), 1–17.

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