I’ll be presenting to a group of about 50 social workers in late September, and the title of the workshop (which runs about 3 hours) is “Advocacy in Tough Times.” I’m starting to work on the agenda now, and I know I want to include some content on the legalities of advocacy, social workers’ ethical mandate to engage in advocacy, some of the current budget context, how-tos (including not only lobbying but also regulatory and media advocacy, how to involve clients), and some success stories. And I want to give them a chance to practice lobbying and media interviews and do some action planning regarding how to integrate advocacy into their own organizations.
I know, it’s already A LOT. And I’ll have handouts–lobbying tips, how to write a letter to teh editor, state budget and political overviews, web links, tips for working with media…
But, before I get too far down the planning road, I want to know what you think that social workers/nonprofit leaders need to know about advocacy. If you were in this workshop, what would you most want to walk away with? What parts of the advocacy process are most daunting to you? What advice/assistance has been or would be most helpful? Please let me know–and I’ll be happy to share what I work up with you, too!
First, thank you to everyone who has let me know that they have enjoyed something here! It is a lot of fun for me, and a good outlet, but it’s very vulnerable to have so much of yourself ‘out there’, so it has been so encouraging to hear from people.
My chief technology aide, my wonderful husband Kory, has fixed it so that, if anyone wants to, you can get an RSS feed (which I didn’t know existed until about 2 months ago–I’m learning so much!) or an email subscription to the site. Either of which would just delight me to no end! Let me know if you have questions about anything (and I’ll ask Kory to figure out the answer so that I can give it to you!).
For about a year now, my students have been asking me to start a website with a blog so that they can still have access to our course materials and (Bless them for asking!) my thoughts on advocacy, policy analysis, community organizing, and all of this ‘stuff’ that we social workers call macro practice. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of social workers engaged in this kind of practice, and many of us who are long for more colleagues and mentors to help us on these journeys. My course materials (most of them, at least) are uploaded on the topic pages here, with commentary that hopefully puts them in some context. And on this main page, I’ll try to post at least a few times a week with thoughts related to advocacy alerts, professional writings with social work advocacy relevance, commentary on current events, tips for nonprofit advocates, and, when I can get around to it, book reviews. I welcome comments from current and former students as well as other advocates committed to advocacy, based in social work values and ethics, towards a goal of sound public policy that reflects a concern with human well-being.