I recently returned home from Washington DC. It was brisk, but so beautiful. It’s a city I love and I was happy to leave the south and enjoy city life for a few days.
I attended a conference in DC entitled “National Physical Activity Plan Congress.” The National Physical Activity Plan, or NPAP, is ”
a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population. The Plan is the product of a private-public sector collaborative. Hundreds of organizations are working together to change our communities in ways that will enable every American to be sufficiently physically active.
I was part of the University of South Carolina team that went because of my current involvement with the NPAP. In all of my schoolin’ I haven’t actually attended a conference like this. Public health experts & professionals who work toward promoting physical activity in some form (planning / evaluating/implementing/researching/etc) throughout the US attended.
The sessions provided over the course of 2 days were dynamic. I learned entirely too much and by the closing remarks my head hurt. It hurt because I was re-energized. Re-energized about what is being done to promote physical activity in the US, re-energized about my project with the NPAP, and re-energized about the ways that I can contribute to the public health field. When you go to these conferences, you see experts that you read about and it’s like Wow. Wow, I can’t believe I’m here with Dr. So-n-So. I had to read about your work in class! Now you’re here!!
My favorite speaker was Shavon Arline-Bradley. If she couldn’t invigorate you, then you had to be a corpse. She is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning & Partnerships for NAACP. She spoke about equity and encouraged the audience to not just talk about it here, but go back to our organizations and put it into action. All the –isms need to be addressed: classism/sexism/racism/able-ism.
Overall, it was a great experience. I really have no complaints. There are other conferences I want to attend. Definitely the ACSM Health & Fitness Summit & APHA Annual Conference. If you are interested in the NPAP & would like to know more, just hit me up- I would be happy to share! On twitter search #NPAPCongress2015 too.