Skills for Social Transformation and Relationship Building


Advocacy education begins with gaining an understanding of the social issue at hand, including any policies that impact it. This can take various forms: collecting quantitative data; gathering stories of people directly affected; and conducting research meetings with experts in the field.


Power is essential to being able to influence decision makers, and grassroots advocates build power by cultivating relationships with constituents in close proximity who share self-interest. These constituents are primarily people directly affected by structures of oppression, for organizers aim not to speak for others but to amplify marginalized voices.


Though one-to-one relational meetings and personal invitations are essential to building power, strategic use of media can greatly extend the reach of a campaign. Advocates frame their argument using traditional media (e.g. newspapers, television stations) and social media to inform the public of the issue, persuade viewers to act, circulate petitions and share other opportunities for action.

Meeting with Decision Maker 

These steps, though fluid, ultimately aim toward moving a decision maker to act, whether that be supporting proposed legislation, implementing a new policy or taking other measures that promote the common good. Advocates seek to influence this individual (e.g. school board member, county council member, U.S. Senator) by conducting a meeting with her/him in which they effectively convey power through a mobilized constituency, present a persuasive argument rooted in human dignity, backed by data and animated by stories, and make an Ask of the decision maker to commit his/her support.

Relationship Building

Relationships are central to the success of advocacy work and are required for each of the skills listed above. Whether learning about an issue from a community member directly affected, asking a peer to support the campaign, accessing media to spread the message, or sitting down with a legislator, effective advocacy rests on the ability of individuals to form relationships and work together to make lasting change.


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Upcoming Events

October 2020

Acoutsticafé | Justice in the World
Friday, October 23, 2020 - 8:00pm to 10:30pm
Postgraduate Service: JVC Northwest Information Session
Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 5:00pm

November 2020

Higgins Labor Film Club: On the Basis of Sex (2018)
Sunday, November 1, 2020 - 4:00pm
Engaged Learning Forum | Spanish CBL @ 10
Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 11:30am to 12:45pm
Labor Café Goes Virtual! November First Friday
Friday, November 6, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Higgins Labor Film Club: Bread and Roses (2000)
Sunday, November 8, 2020 - 4:00pm
CVN Virtual Volunteer Fair (Day 1)
Monday, November 9, 2020 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
CVN Virtual Volunteer Fair (Day 2)
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 12:30pm to 3:30pm

December 2020

Labor Café Goes Virtual! December First Friday
Friday, December 4, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm