Selected Campaigns and Projects
Here’s a couple of campaigns I’ve worked on, he majority of which have been on a pro-bono basis. There’s plenty more not included which I might add with time, including fossil fuel divestment, migrant access to healthcare, and more
Initiator and organiser
A learning journey and unconference to bridge between planetary health and blockchain communities, to build better planetary health futures.
Supported by ReFi Spring and a catalyst award from the Royal Society of Arts.
The Envisioning Environmental Equity Collaborative, supported by a wellcome-funded public engagement grant, seeks to raise awareness about climate and health justice using an anti-racist, anti-colonial approach to climate action. To do so, we made films, comics, podcasts, webinars, and more, with partners from Uganda, Brazil and the Philipinnes.
In part through my role with Lancet Migration/ UCL, I organised and delivered 2 events at COP26 in collaboration with the WHO, IOM and French Government. Speakers included Ban Ki Moon (former UN secretary general), and the heads of WHO and IOM, who made commitments to work across siloes to address these 3 intersecting fields. Press release here.
Seperately, I delivered a statement to Alok Sharma MP, the COP president, on the importance of health within the climate talks, off the back of COVID-19. The intervention was reported extensively, including in the BMJ.
Part of my theory of change is rooted in amplifying and enabling diverse voices in the media, in part drawn from my experience with the NEON network.
I can be booked as a NEON associate to deliver media training for progressive causes, for example, this 6-hour training to 12 healthcare workers, on how to communicate through broadcast media, on health and climate issues.
I provided the health voice to the campaign for a just, green recovery from the covid19 pandemic ('Build Back Better') and contributed to the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Green New Deal.
Our Oceans, Our Health (2021)
3 months aboard Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise as onboard medic and documenting in a series for the Independent why the oceans are important for human and planetary health in the context of climate change.
Purpose: communicating covid-19 (2020)
"We were honoured to work with Dr Rita Issa, who has dedicated her time outside of treating COVID-19 patients to sharing accurate information and guidance with the general public. Purpose teamed up with video producers, VideoRev to produce a short video with Rita on her top 5 tips for becoming a COVID-19 ‘super preventer.’ Distribution and engagement was led by our partners, Tumblr who initiated a Q&A ‘Answer Time’ reaching over 1 million hits, giving their community the opportunity to receive Rita’s expert advice on COVID-19. Rita understood the objectives of the campaign instantly and was the perfect spokesperson for the issue; delivering expert advice in a clear and accessible way, which led to the campaign being a great success.”
Hannah Sharpe - Campaign Manager, Purpose
Doctors for Extinction Rebellion (2019)
I was external coordinator for the ‘October rebellion’. We delivered over 25 talks to health professionals and members of the public on the topic of the climate crisis as a health emergency. Here’s the programme. 300+ health professionals gathered and marched from Shell HQ to Trafalgar Sq where 110 pairs of shoes were laid out to highlight the daily deaths as a result of air pollution across the UK. Despite the rain, we had a fantastic turnout and made it into a number of print and TV outlets, including the BBC, Daily Mail, iNews, Huffington Post, ITV and Belfast Telegraph. We made almost 1 million Twitter impressions 24,000 reaches on Facebook in 1 week. In 4 months we trained >50 doctors in speaking to the media. The total budget was £800.
Reveal of the redacted UK-US trade deal documents (2019)
“I've always found Rita to be a passionate and articulate campaigner. During the 2019 General Election, she single-handedly organised a group of doctors and nurses to take part in a press conference with less than 12 hours notice. The image of NHS staff handing out redacted trade documents went viral across the world”
Joe Ryle - Former adviser to the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and former Labour Party Press Officer
*Note - this was later described by Dominic Cummings as "the most dangerous moment of the 2019 election"