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Seattle’s Party with a Purpose is on again, as ‘Agency’

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Global health is sexy.

At least in Seattle. The best evidence of this perhaps has been the annual Party with a Purpose, a celebration sponsored by the Washington Global Health Alliance and lavishly funded by donors like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Boeing and others. This year, the party’s name is changing to Agency.

Why? Here’s what the artists formerly known as Partying Purposefully say:

“Agency means taking action on behalf of others. Agency is founded in the belief that focusing the power of young adults for the betterment of a single global health cause, even just for one night, can lead to world-changing progress.”

Aimed primarily at the younger set, the idea behind this event is to combine a spectacular, posh night out with educational and fund-raising activities devoted to a particular issue in global health. Organizers bravely launched the event with a focus on diarrhea and last year took up tuberculosis.

This year, the party is July 14 and they will focus on a University of Washington organization, Health Alliance International, working with mobile phones to improve maternal and child health.

Here’s a video pitch from lead organizer Kristen Eddings:

Announcing Agency from WGHA on Vimeo.

Note: Some have raised questions about the actual impact of these celebrations, if not the conflicting message they send — as I noted to much consternation last year. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger!

What I can say in defense of the idea of partying about diseases of poverty is it’s a heck of a lot better than ignoring these issues.

So party on!

A word to the wise: These events have sold out both times so if you want to go, better get your tickets as soon as they go on sale. I’m told it will be sometime in April.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.