Advocacy 101 for LPA Members
Advocacy is one of the best ways as psychologists we can impact the world around us. LPA has compiled some tips to assist in advocating for social justice issue about which you are passionate. These tips serve as a rough guideline to help you get started. Our hope is that this framework will apply to various types of causes. A general template is more pragmatic and can apply to various advocacy efforts. As psychologists, we advocate for our clients. Let us now feel empowered to advocate for them, ourselves and others.
To ensure you gain a broad perspective on an issue, you should review reports, news articles, podcasts, websites, etc. before taking a firm stance and deciding how you intend to advocate. It’s important to observe multiple perspectives on an issue before coming to conclusion. Conducting research and being informed will arm you with knowledge to persuade others.
Volunteer Your Time
Explore methods for contributing your time on the ground by volunteering. This can be done through organizations such as Louisiana Volunteers in Action (LAVA), Volunteer Louisiana, Volunteer Match, HandsOn Network, and ActivateGood.org.
Rally List and Global Citizen are websites that can keep you informed and connected with protests and rallies regarding various social justice issues. There are also a number of mobile apps which put locating a demonstration, protest, or rally at your fingertips. Facebook’s Town Hall feature and other social media platforms can also assist with keeping you up-to-date regarding news, issues, and events.
Donate to a Charity or Organization
Charity Navigator and The Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) directory are useful tools to assist with locating a reputable charity for your donation. The Louisiana Office of the Attorney General is also available to address consumer concerns regarding charitable donations.
Call Your Local and State Politicians
You first want to be aware of who your elected officials are in the Louisiana Legislature and in Washington D.C. Research America is a great resource that includes Porter’s Principles for setting up a meeting with an elected official, advocacy FAQs, sample letters to the editor, and political advocacy how-tos.
Spread the Word/Share on Social Media
Many of the above websites have mobile apps which will allow you to connect with others and discover what is happening in your area. Social media platforms can also serve as a way to launch your own project.
Be a Role Model
Modeling behaviors that match your beliefs can inspire others to make a difference. Our daily habits and interactions with others can affect the change we desire. The American Psychological Association’s Citizen Psychologist initiative is also a great resource.