What is Advocacy? Minnesota Literacy Council February 4, 2004
Goals for Discussion • Broaden our understanding of advocacy - Definitions • Learn about types of advocacy • How does this relate to me or my VISTA experience
Advocacy • How would you define this? • Where did you learn this definition?
Advocacy vs. Lobbying • Advocacy – The strategies devised, actions taken and solutions proposed to influence decision-making • Lobbying – Conducting activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body; to promote or secure the passage of legislation. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
The “Good” Definition • Advocacy is arguing in favor of something such as a cause, idea or policy. One can engage in advocacy by meeting with a legislator on an important issue, writing an editorial for a newspaper, raising awareness for a cause at a community event, or even promoting an issue while having dinner with friends. Advocacy occurs when an individual engages in dialogue about an issue they care about. It can occur in many forms --- speaking out, letter writing, protesting, voting and even wearing a t-shirt that makes a statement. Cal State Fullerton Political Science Department
Why do we advocate? What are we advocating for? To whom? Things to Consider
Types of Advocacy • Case Advocacy • Administrative • Legislative • Media An Ounce of Prevention
Case Advocacy • Researching • Documenting • Bridging Gap – between people and others who impact their lives • Supporting • Educating
Administrative Advocacy • Relationship Building • Networking • Educating
Legislative Advocacy • Communicating with Legislators, Executive Branch • Testifying • Relationship Building • Bridging Gap - between government and people • Educating
Media Advocacy • Letter Writing • Relationship Building • Bridging Gap – between people and media • Educating
Interlocking Components Case----Administrative----Legislative----Media
Education Connection What are the common themes?
Advocacy and You • In what ways does your organization advocate? • In what ways do you find yourself advocating in your work or life? • What barriers exist to advocating?
THANKS! Bharti Wahi Children and Family Literacy Program Director Minnesota Literacy Council Wrap-Up and Questions?