The words “advocacy” and “social justice” bring vivid images of young people, brightly colored signs riddled with puns, and marches through Washington D.C. Sitting at home with five or so other people, holding scripts and calling the offices of as many politicians as we can or trying to encourage people to come out to vote. I remember putting on make-up and walking from my house with all my classmates to the Wilmington Clerk of the Peace and singing loud enough to silence the Westboro Baptist Church. I think of advocacy as the free and open expression of ideas and the fight for the respect and the rights of all people.
The chief movements that come to my mind when I think of advocacy are the American Civil Rights movements, for black, female, and LGBT citizens. Consistently you see these campaigns heralded by college students. They lead on-campus protests and sit-ins on both sides of the issues, hold debates and discussions, and demand that their voices be heard and their views respected. Historically the mind moves to the Parisian students, protesting and singing in the streets and globally towards the Middle East where students protest and push for progress against unforgiving regimes.
There are two chief movements that I feel are directly impactful in my life, that I view as the two things which I’ve worked for in my life. Fighting for the progress and support of the environment. This encompasses the protection of the National Parks, the preservation and stewardship of the life on our planet (especially bees), and the education of the importance of backyard environmental projects (gardening, farming, pollution reduction, caring for shore life etc.). The other movement I find directly impactful is the fight for equality and respect in the LGBT community.