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This Playbook is a step-by-step guide you can use to plan and implement lupus awareness activities in your community. The Playbook provides the information you’ll need to learn about lupus, educate your organization’s membership and volunteers about lupus, and use social media and grassroots events to raise lupus awareness. The activities outlined in this Playbook are customizable, so you can tailor your approach to fully involve your community and raise awareness about lupus.

Use the Playbook to:

  • Educate your organization and volunteers
  • Spread the word about your activities
  • Plan and execute a grassroots event
  • Implement after-event activities

Use the graphic below to explore each option:

What is lupus?

…and how does it affect me?

Lupus is a chronic disease, meaning it is a long term disease that should be managed. Lupus affects the immune system and is called an autoimmune disease. The immune system’s job is to fight foreign invaders, like germs and viruses. But in autoimmune diseases, the immune system is out of control and mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This can cause pain, inflammation and tissue damage to any organ in the body.

While anyone can develop lupus, more than 90% of people with lupus are women.

Lupus is two to three times more common in African American women compared to White women.

Lupus is most common in women during child bearing years (15-44) and can seriously derail young women’s goals for education, career, family, and health.

Despite this very real burden, lupus is hard to detect because the signs and symptoms are similar to other diseases and may come and go. It can often take years to reach a lupus diagnosis.

Early diagnosis of lupus is critical to preventing long term consequences of the disease and the first step is being aware that you may have symptoms that require medical attention.

How can I help?

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) wants young leaders and key influencers like you, to use the resources in the Playbook to raise lupus awareness in your community. The Playbook will help you learn about lupus and spread the word through social media networks and community events.

We don’t think anyone should wait YEARS for a diagnosis. The sooner someone is diagnosed, the sooner they are on their way to managing their symptoms and avoiding the potential for long-term damage to their health. That’s why we’re here to help and provide the information and resources needed for your organization to raise lupus awareness in your community.

What if I have questions?

If you have any questions about how to use the Playbook, please contact Kate Chiseri, MPH, CHES, Senior Specialist at 404-679- 5305 or

Are you a Faith-Based Organization interested in implementing the Playbook? Please contact Kate Chiseri, MPH, CHES, Senior Specialist (404-679-5305 | ) for materials and more information.

Educate yourself and your organization on campus

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is an ethically-driven, professional membership organization committed to improving the care of patients with rheumatic disease and advancing the rheumatology subspecialty. The ACR Lupus Initiative® is a multi-faceted education program designed to reduce disparities and improve outcomes among people with lupus.


    © 2020 American College of Rheumatology

    Be Fierce. Take Control.® Is a registered trademark of  the American College of Rheumatology and Lupus Foundation of America. All rights reserved.

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