by Mckinzie Step, OAC Community Outreach Engagement Specialist
Imagine a place where you can be completely yourself. A place free of judgement and bias but rich with information, momentum and connectivity. Imagine a place where obesity isn’t seen as a character flaw, but is instead treated the way any other disease should be – with understanding, respect and support.
When dealing with the disease of obesity, that kind of place is hard to come across. We exist in a world where weight bias and stigma are all too common. Education surrounding obesity is desperately needed. Individuals struggle to find the empathy, support and treatment they deserve. Now, let’s circle back to the place we described above. What if that place existed?
That place can exist and will exist through the OAC’s Community!
Since our inception in 2005, OAC has had the privilege of providing education, advocacy and support to millions of Americans affected by obesity. But, more importantly, we’ve also witnessed an increasing number of individuals who want to be connected, get more involved and make an impact. We’ve learned a lot from our membership in the past 13 years, and our members have truly paved the way for the excitement that is just beyond the horizon!
Since our founding, OAC has built a sustainable membership of more than 58,000 members from all across the country (and some parts of the world). Our membership is diverse – from those who walk the journey each day, healthcare providers who are on the front lines caring for those with obesity, loved ones who act as support systems and policy makers. Throughout the years, we’ve experienced a vibrant community naturally come to life. So the question is – how do we harness this powerful force?
While we’ve achieved tremendous growth, we recognize a greater need for our members and supporters to have the right platforms that foster continuing education, opportunities to get involved and ultimately connect with one another. An old African proverb that speaks directly to this truth goes like this:
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
And that’s exactly what we’re after – going farther together. As such, we’ve taken a great deal of time to reflect on our long-term goals to effect change in obesity, along with what supporters really need. We’ve reflected on past OAC Conventions where our vibrant community has organically come to life. What we’ve discovered is that in order to continue growing, we need to invest more into the people than ever before.
This is why we have recently shifted our energies to developing a member experience designed to empower, support and encourage one another. We’re cultivating that place where awareness, education, advocacy and support come alive and have a permanent home.
OAC is excited to announce that many groundbreaking developments are in motion to help us serve our membership and reach more individuals. The vibrant community that has naturally formed will soon come to life – OAC’s Membership COMMUNITY! As members, you will be the first to know the complete details of what this entails in the weeks to come – but what we can tell you is that you are in for the experience you’ve been waiting for!
Along with the launch of OAC’s Community and the many components that go along with it, we’re also excited to unveil even more excitement that will only amplify your experience as an OAC member. Here’s a sneak peek:
With all the excitement to come, it goes without saying that our members will remain the foundation of it all. We’ve traveled great distances together, and will continue to do so until we reach our goals. Together, we will continue to:
With continued growth, however, comes increased opportunity. There is still a need to work tirelessly in all of the above areas and strengthen our efforts. To do so, OAC requires a strong army of individuals who are willing to help us grow our presence and reach more people.
Do you want to join us in building this future? Will you help move the OAC forward?
Do you want to join us in building this future? Will you help move the OAC forward? Here’s what you can do: