Advocacy: Fighting to Resolve Problems in One’s Society

To me, advocacy means being educated on the seriousness of a particular issue in our society and fighting politically, legally, economically, or socially to resolve or improve it to help others. It means fighting for justice for someone who is unable to for any reason. Without lobbyists advocating for change, government officials and the general public might not be particularly aware of the issues in their societies that need to be resolved. I think of movements such as the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and the Occupy Wall Street movement when I think about movements that work to create change generally. All three included direct, open protests that were impossible for their audiences to ignore, were about issues that were urgently essential to their participants’ lives, brought issues that were not even in the newspaper to the front page and cable news headlines, and are still alive today. While the Occupy Wall Street movement began much more recently (2011) than the civil rights movement and women’s movement, which can both be traced back to the mid-late 1800’s (civil rights in terms of African Americans’ rights as freedpeople and American citizens), all three movements are still going strong or are at least very well-known within our society today.

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The Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21. 
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At a Black Lives Matter protest.

I would like to explore:

As a student who will graduate with debt, I am very interested in any way that I can get out of paying off said debt with constantly growing interest and in what the workforce will look like when I graduate and have to pay off my loans, along with many other college students across the country.

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I also care a great deal about mental health awareness because I have seen so many of my friends and family members suffer from mental health problems: everything from various eating disorders to insomnia and depression. Mental health is still a very stigmatized issue in our society, but the only way to de-stigmatize it is to inform the public about it so they do not fear or marginalize those with mental health problems.

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I am fascinated by the movements to improve our educational system, such as the Education Opportunity Network’s goal to reorganize America’s public schools to better support students personally and academically regardless of economic factors or zip codes. I firmly believe, both personally and as a future teacher, that every person has the right to the best education possible for them personally if they wish to take advantage of it.

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I would like to explore these movements to better understand their history, their future goals, and how their actions may impact the national or global economy in the future, since these factors may potentially have significant impact on my personal economic well-being as well as that of the U.S. itself. Given the current political climate, I would expect problems with the movements advocating for change getting through to lawmakers. Since their non-conservative agendas will likely contradict the plans of the conservative Congressmen, Senators, and President and could make their lives and re-elections difficult if they agreed to support these movements’ more liberal agendas.

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2 thoughts on “Advocacy: Fighting to Resolve Problems in One’s Society

  1. Marissa, I think that you did a great job with this first blog post. You’ve included a lot of details about certain movements, particularly relating to the history behind the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Movement, and Occupy Wall Street. I really appreciate your use of pictures and captions throughout your post as they add a nice visual component for the reader. As a college student, I can definitely relate to the issue of student debt in this country and am very interested to see what you learn about this topic through your research. Again, great job!

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  2. Hey Marissa! I loved your description of what advocacy was, and one point that really stood out to me was when you stated that without advocacy, the government and general public may not be aware of the issues present. I find this an extremely important aspect of why people need to advocate and lobby for what they believe in. If people address that there is a problem but just sit idly by waiting for something to change, nothing will happen! In order to resolve these problems in our society, people MUST take action and work towards what they believe in. This is what draws some people away from advocacy because they do not want to trouble themselves and take time out of their day to advocate for something that seems so hard to change. Some people may say, “Well I’m only one person and my actions won’t make a difference”, but that is the farthest thing from the truth! One person’s advocacy for change could inform and inspire another person, and then their advocacy could inspire another person, and the cycle goes on until a huge number of people are all fighting for the same cause!

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