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

January 2021

February 2021

Application Open | SSLP 2021
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 (All day)
Social Concerns Fair
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Application Close | SSLP 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021 (All day)

March 2021

2021 CST Conference: Justice in the World
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
2021 CST Conference: Justice in the World
Friday, March 26, 2021 - 11:00am to 8:15pm
2021 CST Conference: Justice in the World
Saturday, March 27, 2021 - 9:00am to 12:15pm

April 2021