NPHW Forum 2021: Strengthening Community from the Grassroots

Join APHA and public health leaders from across the country in this conversation about the community-led movements that are creating a stronger, safer, healthier and more inclusive world. The National Public Health Week Forum is the national kickoff for NPHW.

Watch the recorded 2021 NPHW Forum

Some of the Forum's featured speakers and panelists:

Jackie ByersJackie Byers, NPHW Forum keynote speaker, has over 16 years of experience working in low-income communities of color as an organizer and trainer on a broad array of issues, including tenant organizing, youth organizing, regional equity, and more. She is the founding director of the Black Organizing Project in Oakland. Prior to directing BOP, Jackie served as the associate director for the Center for Third World Organizing where she had the opportunity to support community organizing work by providing training and developing some of the most talented young organizers in the country.

Jackie is a native of Minnesota where she worked as a lead organizer for neighborhood based organizations in Minneapolis working on affordable housing. Prior to moving to Oakland, she was the training director for the Organizing Apprenticeship Project in Minneapolis. Before leaving Minnesota she served as an active board member with Headwaters Fund For Justice.

As a volunteer, Jackie was one of the first recipients of the DFL’s Rising Star award for her work developing training and activating new voters. Jackie is a firm believer in the importance of community, spirit and culture as essential to the transformation of individuals as well as institutions.

Coty BrayboyCoty Brayboy, MPH, BSN, RN
Coty Brayboy is a nurse consultant with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Communicable Disease Branch. In this role, he provides guidance in outbreak management, control measure implementation and surveillance in the COVID-19 pandemic response. He is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. He has a special interest in public health infrastructure, tribal health policy and Indigenous Health. Brayboy received his undergraduate degrees in American Indian Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UNC-Charlotte. He earned a Master of Public Health from UNC-Greensboro and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at East Carolina University. 

Jerome FosterJerome Foster II is an 18-year-old African-American climate justice activist, voting rights advocate and emerging technology developer. He is the executive director and founder of OneMillionOfUs, which is mobilizing a new generation of young people to register and turnout to vote. Throughout 2019, He served as the House Congressional Intern for the late Honorable Congressman John Lewis. He serves as co-editor-in-chief of The Climate Reporter, an international environmental news organization. Jerome has spoken at the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, held weekly climate strikes in front of the White House and Harvard University for over 80 weeks as a part of Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future, and helped to pass the Clean Energy DC Act. He won the World Series of Entrepreneurship for creating a civic-based virtual reality organization called TAU VR.

Rosemary KetchumRosemary Ketchum
Rosemary Ketchum is a member of the City Council of Wheeling, West Virginia, representing Ward 3. Ketchum serves as the Chief Operations Officer of the holistic youth wellness coalition, Edible Mountain. She is also on the board of several organizations including the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Ketchum has been a returning guest on MSNBC and has been profiled by several outlets including The Today Show, Time Magazine, CBS and CNN for her work in community organizing and politics.


Lorenzo LewisLorenzo Lewis
Turn your pain into purpose. It’s a philosophy that speaker and social entrepreneur Lorenzo Lewis lives by. With a decade of professional experience in behavioral health and the founder of The Confess Project, an initiative that confronts the stigma around mental health for men of color, Lewis helps you confess to your issues to begin to build a better process of living. A trained facilitator and speaker, Lewis is available for speaking engagements at high schools, colleges and universities, community spaces, and corporate workplaces — anywhere his message will resonate. Most recently, Lewis was tapped by Google to equip incoming college STEM students from marginalized communities with the mental health tools they need to thrive. Dare yourself to move forward. Lewis will be there to guide you.

Special thanks to the Aetna Foundation for sponsoring the NPHW Forum every year since 2019!

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