Welcome back to part two of our advocating series! If you missed my last blog post about the very first step to advocating, you can read that here.
How to advocate is such an important skill to learn. It helps you to speak up for yourself and others, along with changing the world. You can advocate either on a global scale or on a more local scale.
Global scale advocating just means that you are reaching people outside of your local area that you live in. Advocating on a global scale might seem intimidating, but it’s really not. I would consider nallergy a global scale advocating effort, since it reaches people outside of my town. Here’s a secret; I’ve been doing my global advocating all from my house! I have not had to leave my house once in order to globally advocate for food allergies. This is the joy of having the internet that can reach pretty much everyone in the world!
Local scale advocating means that you are advocating just in your community. However, don’t be fooled by the simplicity of local advocating. Local advocating can tend to go deeper into making a difference for your specific community.
The differences between global and local advocating lie in how you advocate and what kind of difference you are making in your advocating. Global advocating reaches a larger audience, but you don’t have the ability to make deep connections with everyone. In local advocating, you reach a smaller audience, but you will make deeper connections with the people you are reaching. Global advocating involves a lot of work over the internet. Local advocating involves a lot of talking to people and volunteering at places. Advocating groups can go in both categories.
For global advocating, you are going to want to use the internet. This is the best option for reaching a large audience, since most people have access to the internet. I recommend starting a blog and/or social media account. These are pretty customizable, so you get to choose how you want to advocate (for example, from a lifestyle, scientific or business perspective). You can also join online advocating groups. I joined FARE’s Teen Advisory Group in January of 2020, and that was what kick started my advocating journey. (Also, this is the last week to sign up for the FARE Teen Advisory Group, so make sure to check out my experience on it here, and sign up here!)
For local advocating, talking to people is going to be your best bet of advocating for your community. Talk to people about why what you’re advocating for is important, and try to make lasting connections. Another great option would be to volunteer at local centers that also help what you’re advocating for. For example, if you’re advocating for food insecurity, you could volunteer for a local food bank.
I hope this blog post has inspired you to go out and make a difference. Advocating has honestly been so much fun for me! Now go out there and (COVID-safely) make a difference.