To me advocacy is educating yourself on a topic that is often misconstrued, misinformed, or not even spoken about and to then take the information you learned and present it to others in order to bring about awareness and understanding. The ultimate goal is to change how the topic is handled or viewed by our current society.
The word movement instantly brings to mind the historic women’s voting rights movement and its connection to the current women’s movement seen advocating for a multitude of topics very recently at the women’s march worldwide. Historically the Civil Right’s movement sought to bring to light the issues faced by those marginalized in America specifically African-American people and the ways in which they were and still are mistreated.
With awareness comes a call to action. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu. This quote by Desmond Tutut, a South African social rights activist, connects the education side of advocacy to the movements that come from advocacy. Once aware of the issue and injustices in this world there must be a movement to create a difference. The final goal of advocacy is to no longer need to spread awareness of an inequality because the inequality no longer exists.
The student debt movement interests me and intersects with my life as the movement strives to lower the amount of debt students face upon graduation. The women’s rights movement strives to make sure women have equal rights, reproductive rights, and much more. By exploring these movements I will become aware of inequalities that affect me and work with other like-minded people to make a difference in my own and my peers future. Moving forward I anticipate challenges convincing others that there are still issues to face when it comes to women’s rights and making a change legally in the current political climate.