A: Catalyst is about action. From fighting back against Big Tobacco to promoting healthy eating – Catalyst is getting the message out through creative youth activism. Catalyst is a statewide network for youth advocates across Minnesota. The movement is committed to taking action to support positive public health change across the state. Right now we are focusing on two key areas, healthy eating and tobacco prevention. Tobacco use and obesity are the two leading causes of preventable death in the U.S., so we thought this would be a good place to start. Our goal is to create change - change policies and change minds to help promote healthy eating across the state and to eliminate Big Tobacco’s influence in Minnesota.
A: Hmmm. Where do we start? Let's do Big Tobacco first. This is an industry that talks about young people as “replacement customers,” more specifically, to replace the people who die everyday from using their products. Big Tobacco has been marketing a deadly product and has been lying to the public for decades. Tobacco companies continue to stand in the way of smoke-free workplace policies and other efforts to protect public health, and they continue to contribute to the death of 1200 Americans every single day. Those are just a few of the reasons why we are fighting back. If you need a few more, just check out what Big Tobacco has to say in our Tobacco Documents section. If you ever asked the question “Is the tobacco industry really that bad?” the documents they write will quickly answer that question.
And healthy eating is at the top of our list too. We figured, why only focus on the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S.? We need to get started on number two. Obesity is the second most preventable cause of death in our country, and we know it is a problem in MN. One in four (approximately 26 percent) adults in MN are obese, and one in three (approximately 36 percent) are overweight. That means less than 38 percent are at a healthy weight. That's a problem! And we know that eating healthy is a big part of the solution. You can find out more info about taking action on healthy eating issues in our key issues section for healthy eating and nutrition. Check it out!
A: Catalyst does all kinds of stuff. So there’s something for everyone. Catalyst provides training opportunities to train members take action in their communities and together at the state level. Catalyst members can apply to serve on our Youth Advisory Board, and to attend the annual Catalyst Summit. We also provide presentations and other materials to help activists organize community events and recruit new members to start local Catalyst chapters.
There are also different healthy eating and tobacco related issues to take action on. If you want to get more healthy foods into your school, learn more about local and organic foods, or find out what you can do to increase access to healthy food in your community, Catalyst can help you find all the info! Or, if you are interested in smoke-free workplaces, tobacco advertising in your community, or public education about tobacco use and the tobacco industry, Catalyst can help you find the information you need to get the word out in your area on those issues too.
So, if you want to do something different than anyone else, tell us, we’ll help you do it. That means whether you like to talk, draw, paint, write, organize, lead, listen or learn, Catalyst is for you.
A: You're in the right place. Just join Catalyst online to get started. You'll have access to the members-only section of the site and will be able to set up your own profile and start networking with other Catalyst activists across the state. You'll also receive Catalyst updates about what is going on in your community and all over the state. And, feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have any specific questions right away.
A: Contrary to popular belief, we are not against smokers, we're against the people who produce the problem, the tobacco industry. We encourage anyone to get involved smoker or not.
A: Absolutely not! That's a big N-O. Catalyst is not about dieting. When we talk about healthy eating and nutrition, we focus on making healthy choices, on understanding what healthy eating is all about, how it can contribute to long-term health, and why it's important for everyone to have access to healthy foods and beverages - especially kids at school.
A: No. Catalyst isn't about prohibition. We’re past that time in history. Making tobacco illegal isn't the solution. We do want to get rid of smoking in places where it affects non-smokers, but we're not talking about a complete ban on smoking and tobacco products. We're talking about protecting everyone's right to breathe clean air, helping people quit, and exposing the truth about Big Tobacco.
A: No again. Just to be clear, we'll repeat ourselves: Catalyst isn't about prohibition. We’re past that time in history. Banning all junk food isn't the solution. We do want to make sure Minnesotans, especially youth, understand what healthy eating is all about, and start making healthy choices about the foods they eat each day. We're not totally against sweets - just ask our staff! We just want to get all the info out there you need to make healthy choices - for example about how many sweets is too many, or what you can do to eat more fruits and veggies. And we want to make sure you have access to healthy foods, especially at school, since you spend so much time there.
A: The Statewide Youth Mobilization Project is supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota as part of Prevention Minnesota, Blue Cross' long-term health improvement initiative that is working to tackle the root causes of preventable heart disease and cancer. Catalyst is staffed by a communications agency called Community Blueprint , which is the social marketing arm of Street Factory Media.
A: Yeah, yeah. We know the world is filled is problems, we've got our fair share as well, but you know we can't cover everything. So we thought about it, and we realized that tobacco use kills more people every year in the U.S. than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. It kills nearly 5 million people every year worldwide, making it the #1 cause of preventable death. We figured, why not start with #1? And while we're at it, let's not forget about #2! So now Catalyst is working to promote healthy eating as a strategy to help prevent obesity, the second leading cause of death in the U.S.
A: We’re flattered. Really. firstname.lastname@example.org