The Graduate School of Public Health at SDSU has launched a partnership with the social media company Tumblr. The partnership initiated by Professor John Elder and recent Global Health doctoral student Joe Smyser involved the development of an open source health communication text titled “The Global Communication Project”. They aimed to develop a dynamic and ever-evolving text that would go beyond regional, cultural and even linguistic tethers but instead could be adapted by users universally.
Recently, the partnership has expanded to include Action.Tumblr, the social media’s social responsibility platform. Each month, the two organizations promote research findings pertaining to topics of concern for Tumblr’s 550 million users. These topics focus on broad social issues such as women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, xenophobia, racial justice, climate change, civic engagement, healthcare, and chronic and infectious disease.
The goal of this partnership is to educate and engage Tumblr’s users. Each new issue provides users with an op-ed written by a prominent academic, followed by curated content taken from Tumblr’s site, and specific calls-to-action such as opportunities to donate, sign petitions or volunteer.
Social media is an established and powerful platform to raise awareness, promote social responsibility, and organize social movements. While the rhetoric around social issues in the US has become highly polarized, SDSU is excited to help drive the conversation and promote positive change.
Please check out the Global Communication Project to learn more.