Q&A with Kiemia Rezagian

Did you know that health professionals are amongst the most-trusted messengers on issues of environmental equity and climate change?

At CAPE, we are embracing this opportunity to train members of our community in non-partisan advocacy to address these issues through an evidence-based health lens. Much of our growth is attributable to the demand for this expertise from healthcare professionals. Kiemia Rezagian, Advocacy Training Program Director, leads this timely initiative at a time when environmental risks to human health are growing more quickly than ever. Read how CAPE is investing in our future by investing in our community’s knowledge and skills in our Q&A with Kiemia below.

Seven health professionals and two CAPE stand together on a sunny February day in Ottawa with Parliament buildings in the background.
Seven health professionals and two CAPE staff stand together on a sunny February day in Ottawa with Parliament buildings in the background.

How has your campaign or program built momentum with our community’s support?

The Advocacy and Mobilization Program (AMP) was born directly from the CAPE community. Thousands of health professionals come to CAPE understanding the science linking environmental and human health, and see the related health impacts on their patients. They also understand that treating patients experiencing ill health due to environmental impacts does not treat the root cause of the illness – so they asked CAPE for training and opportunities to advocate for change at a systemic level. 

AMP was born directly from this ask. Since its launch in June 2022, nearly 100 health professionals have participated in the training and have lobbied federal politicians for stronger environmental protections. This has expanded the reach, power, and success of CAPE’s campaigns, and will continue to do so through our third cohort.

What challenges have you encountered, and how are you overcoming them?

CAPE has gone through massive growth in the last couple of years which is exciting! The staff team is actively building out our systems to most effectively support and mobilize CAPE’s network. 

The 100 graduates who have participated in AMP are keen to put their training to use and leverage the power of their voices, however, we are still working out how to best implement and streamline processes to plug participants directly into opportunities or support their environmental advocacy aims. 

The team meets regularly to work on stronger integration and improve our systems, and with every passing day we better understand how to work together more seamlessly and efficiently to best support and mobilize CAPE’s network.

What keeps you motivated to deliver on your campaign or program objectives?

I love this program and I think I have the best job at CAPE! Getting to design and facilitate space for people to connect and build power together is a joy. I get to work directly with the caring and passionate health professionals who fill me with hope and enthusiasm in a space that frequently feels heavy with doom and gloom. The vision of hundreds of organized, skilled, and activated health professionals across the country fighting for environmental protection motivates me because I deeply trust and believe this community can turn the tides of our shared future and restore the balance we need for safer, healthier, happier lives for all.

A screenshot of a six-panelled Zoom screen including three health professionals and one CAPE staff smiling with Senator Rosa Galvez and her staff person.

What’s on the horizon that our community can get behind?  

AMP Cohort 3 applications are now open! Health professionals can join our 6-month capacity-building program from September 2024 to February 2025 to sharpen their advocacy skills and put them into practice through writing op-eds, conducting interviews, and lobbying government officials for better human health and environmental outcomes. Click here to apply.

 

Profile photo of Kiemia Rezagian

Kiemia Rezagian
Advocacy Training Program Director

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