Advocating for the most vulnerable is part of the practice of our faith. Throughout the Scriptures, God encourages us to speak up for the voiceless and protect the defenseless.
For conversations with allied groups or others you would like to work with, we encourage you to use video chat tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. If broadband Internet isn’t available in your location, you may want to try a group call on a mobile-based tool such as WhatsApp, Telegram, or another platform. Directions for using these tools are widely available online.
As we experience the coronavirus and reflect on the world we’re building together, the principles of a just recovery can guide us in addition to the scriptures and Laudato Si’.
These steps to advocacy may be helpful.
Building a network
- Identify the particular group of people you’re called to support. You may consider people who live in a particular area, impoverished people, or people who lack access to basic services such as education or healthcare.
- Find one or two other people who are interested in pursuing this work with you. This is your team. You will encourage each other, hold each other accountable, and share ideas and prayer.
- Together with your team, identify an organization in your area that is working on the issue that interests you. The Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation commission in your diocese or a nearby religious community may be active, or your parish’s social ministry may be able to give you guidance. If none of these is an option, consider connecting with a secular organization that supports affected communities.
Advocacy in action
- Learn about the organization you’ve chosen from their website and social media and identify calls to action and current campaigns.
- Speak with the organization you’ve chosen about its objectives and how you might best support them.
- If the organization doesn’t have any actions in mind, you may want to suggest one of these:
- Calling or writing letters to the offices of local elected representatives
- Organizing an online meeting with elected representatives
- Sharing news about policies related to the target issue with your parish or other community
- Writing letters to the editor or connecting with journalists
- As you advocate, be sure to meet regularly with your team. It can be helpful to set a regular time to speak, such as once every two weeks.
- These meetings will help you stay energized and assess the impact of your advocacy. If you find you’re getting good results, stick with your plan.
- However, if you find that you aren’t achieving what you intended, feel free to reassess and change course.
- Be sure to include a time for prayer and/or reading scriptures and the teachings of the Church during your regular meetings.
- As you pray and share ideas, consider other interest areas that may be a good fit for your advocacy. Be sure to keep in mind the Season of Creation, which Pope Francis has invited all Catholics to celebrate. The season begins 1 September.