Advocacy 101

It takes a special kind of person to advocate for others, especially in the chronic pain and illness communities. It's not for everyone, and that's okay.

The first step is to learn as much as you can about the people you're advocating for, even if you share the same illness as that community. Not everyone will have the same viewpoints, respond to the same medications or other treatments, or have similar onset or severity stories. If you have the same illness, this step will help you to advocate for yourself more effectively as well.

Learn more from arthritis-related organizations:

Advocacy can be as simple as signing a petition, sharing information via social media, heading to an elected official's office to discuss issues, or testifying before state or federal government entities regarding various bills.

Me and Rep. Mark Pocan at his DC office
It helps to know a little more in-depth information regarding how bills come about and similar political information as well.

How to Advocate:

Advocacy means you also need to know who your elected officials are. You can find the federal level information here by simply typing in your zip code. You can do the same with your state legislator here.

If you're ready to start getting involved, I highly recommend the AF Advocate Toolkit also listed below. It gives some great basic information about arthritis that can give you ideas of things to think of even if arthritis isn't your cause.

Resources & Ways to Get Involved:

Happy advocating!

1 comment:

  1. Great article. I love the schoolhouse rock video.