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3 Steps To Effective Advocacy and Activism

3 Steps To Effective Advocacy and Activism

“Advocacy is the efforts and struggles of one person or a group of individuals to take action. Activism can bring social change.”

This quote is from my mom. She was reminiscing about her life, and she mentioned that she fights for what she believes in, and often volunteers to help others. My mom always possessed a practical, no-nonsense attitude. She is the personification of a hip 80 year-old, but she reminds me often that growing up during the Depression gives her an edge of realism. Her mind is as sharp as a tack, so even at her advanced age, she’s truly light years ahead of her pack. Even though I am a middle-aged mom with children in their 20’s, my mom is still a voice of reason.

Since Mom’s body is not as sprite as her intellect, she walks and walks to keep fit. As she was preparing for a trip to visit relatives in Europe earlier this summer, Mom tells me, “I’m walking longer everyday to get ready for the trip. When I want something bad enough, like staying healthy, I become an advocate for it. I’m fighting to keep my mobility. As long as I can still breathe, there’s always something worth fighting for.”

When I was a teacher, I shared my mom’s vision of advocacy. When a parent came to me with the notion their child had been wronged by the system, I would say, “I will help you, but you are your child’s best advocate. No one else can fight their battles like you can.” When they also wanted to change the system, I would tell them to find others who share their concerns and then fight for what they believed in.

Whether advocating for our health, our children, or the environment, advocacy and activism are handy words. In my latest advocacy project, The Moms Clean Air Force, I’ve discovered there are three ways to put advocacy into action:

3 Steps To Effective Advocacy

1. Present clear reasons for your requests: Being clear with yourself and others drives your mission forward.
2. Provide accurate and helpful information: Know the facts and be ready to defend what you believe in. Be the voice of reason (like my mom).
3. Share what you know with others for support: Get out and rally the troops.

When mom came home from her trip abroad, she was immensely proud that she had kept up with the rest of the family. She chided, “You just need to advocate for what you want and then go out and get it.”

What do you advocate for? Please share your thoughts about advocacy and activism.

Read more: Caregiving, Children, Community Service, EcoNesting, Environment, Health, Healthy Aging, Make a Difference, , , , , , , , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.

19 comments

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12:53AM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Your post is 3 months old, but I was very touched by it. I wanted to tell you that there is a part of the human brain called the Amygdala. It is responsible for negative emotions like fear, anxiety etc
sinav sonuclari

1:50AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

thanks

1:44PM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

Advocacy is so important and something Americans take for granted I believe. They enjoy the benefits that others have struggled for but are often not willing to risk much themselves to make a difference.

I have advocated for peace and justice, human rights, civil rights and the environment for over 10 years. It is amazing to find your voice and take action! I highly recommend it!

I also meditate, and Ghandi did too, but he didn't stop the British Colonization of India by meditating about it!

6:14PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes. Some activists try to persuade people to change their behavior directly, rather than to persuade governments to change laws.

8:44AM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

Excellent.!! Thanks for sharing.

8:22PM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

Thanks for posting.

12:02PM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

Thanks.
3 Steps To Effective Advocacy

1. Present clear reasons for your requests: Being clear with yourself and others drives your mission forward.
2. Provide accurate and helpful information: Know the facts and be ready to defend what you believe in. Be the voice of reason (like my mom).
3. Share what you know with others for support: Get out and rally the troops.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/3-steps-to-effective-advocacy-and-activism.html#ixzz1VVFSGS50

10:11AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

thanks!

10:10AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

Thank you

6:20AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

thanks, refreshing topic

you mentioned "What do you advocate for? Please share your thoughts about advocacy and activism"

I think a topic of interest is to "demonstrate peace" as (i think possibly) more important than "demonstrate for peace" (e.g Maharshi effect reduction in crime from meditation).

Demonstrating peace sets the example and can be done most if not all the day. Mantra is one way to help, so is meditation. Being positive helps too.

This (in my opinion - which may be wrong) takes it to the realm of power not force - change focussed on the inside. More ideas on mantra here (including diffferent religions mantras)
http://www.amritapuri.org/6719/mantra-japa.aum

(you can do mantra japa during all your advocacy work, it may likely boost the energy in a good way)


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