What is Advocacy?
noun ad·vo·ca·cy | \ ˈad-və-kə-sē \
Definition of advocacy
: the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal : the act or process of advocating (see ADVOCATE entry 2) something
Other universal definitions of advocacy include:
- Public support for a cause
- Speaking in favor of something
- Being a champion for something
PTA advocacy can be explained in four words: speaking up for children.
Advocacy takes place every day, from the legislative level down to individual conversations PTA members have at their school. Examples of PTA legislative advocacy at the national level through the years include universal Kindergarten, hot lunches, and seatbelt laws. At the state level, we have supported newborn screening, daily recess in elementary school and a ban on texting while driving. All of these things have a direct or indirect impact on the health, safety and education of our children.
But, advocacy is much more than that.
…helping a child find their voice when they are afraid to tell their teacher that a child in their class is bothering them.
…helping a child find the right words to ask their teacher about something they don’t understand in class.
…finding a translator to speak to a confused and afraid non-English speaking parent who shows up at a PTA event because she isn’t sure where else to go to find help for her child.
…working with a school district to update communications to make sure they are providing the best and more clear message to parents.
…speaking up as a minority parent voice in a group of state education leaders, letting them know how their policies are impacting children.
…mobilizing parents across the state or the nation to provide a unified voice to legislators about what’s important to our kids.
YOU are an advocate. We are all advocates. Our voices are important. We are creating change. Never forget the impact you are having on children as a PTA advocate!