It is part of our code of ethics to work toward social justice. So I wanted to write about some ways to advocate.
As I write these, however, I also want to emphasize the importance of educating oneself. This can mean reading books, signing up for a newsletter like the Skimm, watching documentaries, researching politicians, or watching talks or board meetings.
Attending and Organizing Protests
Protesting is a long process, but there is power in numbers. Protests can be one way to show policy makers that the people care.
Donating to Organizations and Spreading the Word about Them
If you believe in the cause that an organization supports, consider donating. Anything can help, especially if you spread the word to others.
NASW Lobby Days
The National Association of Social Workers in California hosts lobby days. Groups of social workers go to Sacramento and advocate for important legislation. Unfortunately, it was canceled this year, but many of my friends boast about it. I was supposed to go, but I will aim for next year.
Writing an Op-Ed
I wrote an Op-Ed my first semester of grad school as part of an assignment. It didn’t get published, but I found it really important that I learned how to write one and advocate. Op-Eds in print or online news articles can help spread important opinions.
Contacting Government Officials
You can call, write in, or physically go to their offices. Truthfully, you may not always speak to the official themself but you can always keep trying. You can tell your story and advocate for change.
Attending Policy Meetings
School board meetings, police commission meetings, city council meetings, etc. There is usually a time for the community to speak. Even if you do not speak, you should be informed of the policies being discussed. It may also be important to get to know the people there, how they think, etc.
Advocate within Your Workplace
Speak up for change during meetings or one-on-one with your supervisor. Look for grants to help you agency fill important gaps.
And make changes yourself where you have the immediate ability. If you have dolls for children, are there different races represented in the dolls? Do you educate yourself on different perspectives (ie trainings, books)? Do you have diverse books for children?
Please let me know what kind of articles you’d like to see in the future!
Check me out on Instagram @eagersocialworker for post updates!