The Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute (PPI) will present its 4th annual Spring Symposium from May 11-14. “Stop, Look, Listen: Community Advocacy for Public Health” is the theme for this year’s community symposium — and a line-up of events including a screening of the critically acclaimed film “Still Alice” and roundtable discussions will explore pressing challenges to public health, well-being and the safety of youth.

“Public health policy directly impacts our communities and our daily lives,” said Shari Davis, SMC political science professor and co-director of the SMC Public Policy Institute. “We are bringing top experts together with students and policymakers to foster innovation and explore what is possible.”

All symposium events are free and open to the public, and seating is on a first-arrival basis.

The symposium lineup is:

Monday, May 11 at 7 p.m.: Keynote Address: State of the County. The Honorable Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Supervisor for District 3 will speak on the state of public and mental health in Los Angeles County. An audience back-and-forth will follow. free. The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St. at Santa Monica Blvd. Free Parking.

Tuesday, May 12 at 11:15 a.m.: Film and Roundtable Discussion: “Sex in College.” Screening of an SMC student film on sexual assault and a discussion-led by panelists from the Rape Treatment Center, SMC “Consent Month,” and Planned Parenthood LA-on new laws, new ways of communicating, and age-old advice for healthy relationships. free. Humanities and Social Sciences Room 165, SMC Main Campus, 1900 Pico Blvd. $10 visitor parking at Lot 6, Pico Blvd. and 14th St.

Wednesday, May 13 at 5 p.m.: Screening and Discussion: “Can Mainstream Entertainment Affect Public Policy?” Screening of music legend Glen Campbell’s compelling documentary “I’ll Be Me” covering his unprecedented tour across America after receiving a devastating diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Post-screening discussion with executive producer Susan Disney Lord and producer Trevor Albert addresses leveraging the medium of film as a stimulus for how public policy and entertainment co-exist and can provoke activism. Free. Aero Theater at 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Street parking.

Thursday, May 14 at 11:15 a.m. Roundtable Discussion: “Exploring Big Public Health Issues & Personal Choices.” Explore the many ways public policy and personal choices shape public health. Topics will include prevention of gun violence, immunizations, wellbeing, public health preparedness, disease prevention, and access to health care. Free. Humanities and Social Sciences Room 165, SMC Main Campus, 1900 Pico Blvd. $10 visitor parking at Lot 6, Pico Blvd. and 14th St.

Thursday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. Screening and Panel Discussion: “Still Alice.” Examine early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and find out how advocates are fighting for a cure at a special screening of the film “Still Alice” starring Julianne Moore in her Oscar¬Æ winning role, Kristen Stewart and Alec Baldwin and based on the New York Times bestselling novel by neuroscientist Lisa Genova. Immediately following the film will be a roundtable with special guests including California State Senator Ben Allen and moderated by the film’s co-producer and Alzheimer’s advocate Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns. The panel will discuss how public policy and the entertainment industry together can foster policy change. Free. The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St. at Santa Monica Blvd. Free Parking.

“This year’s symposium on public health gives our students an opportunity to explore issues and community governance plans that impact their lives directly,” added Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, PPI co-director and SMC political science professor. “To me, the best way to teach public policy is to address what is most important to them, and health policy is of huge interest to not only our SMC students but our community as well.”

SMC’s Public Policy Institute provides nonpartisan community programs exploring key economic, social and political issues. SMC offers an Associate in Arts Degree and Certificate of Achievement in Public Policy, with specialties in arts and cultural affairs, education, environment and sustainability, public health, and urban and socioeconomic issues.

A live video feed of the events will be made available at and Twitter users can join in on the conversation using the hashtag #SMCHealthAdvocacy.

To learn more about the symposium, go to or call (310) 434-3541. For information on parking and transportation at SMC, visit

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