Doing any type of macro level advocacy work year after year is a brutal, yet wondrous job. Not brutal in the sense that you deserve hazardous pay, but brutal in the sometimes frustrating snails pace that is social change. Advocates work everyday to bring truth to the halls of power with those whose voices have not been heard. Advocates devote hours to being sure the data backs up the definition of the social problem they are tackling and that the solution they land on – is feasible, effective, and will have limited unintended consequences. They spend hours putting together the right coalition, the right message, and building strong relationships with those can make policy change or influence those who are in the decision making seat.
When asked to reflect on the question “Why do you do this work?’ I was struck by the simplicity and the power of remembering why I do the work. Oftentimes advocates are a bit removed from the people they advocate on behalf of, so it is a helpful thing to reflect on WHY you are here doing this work. I do the work because kids don’t choose to be in tough situations and parents have a very difficult job to keep it all together – they need support. I am doing it because every now and then there is a win that makes this world a better place – any time there is a win as an advocate – it generally means a win for thousands of kids.
Why do you do this work?
Please share your thoughts about what inspires you to do the work of an advocate.