In today's digital age, it's easy to be a keyboard warrior. While there is a time and place to speak out against injustices online, a lot of those conversations fall on deaf ears.
This month, we challenge everyone to take the next step and learn to be an advocate for whatever is of interest to you. Whether you're concerned about climate change, local LGBTQ+ rights, or women’s rights, we encourage everyone to get involved in some aspect of the process.
Here are 10 simple ways to get involved right now and learn to be an advocate on behalf of a cause:
Actions more often speak louder than words, and one big way to be an advocate for change is to volunteer for a cause that is important to you. If you’re not sure how to find volunteer opportunities, simply Google “(your favorite cause) volunteer (your town or city”. You are bound to find something in your area where you can lend a hand.
#2 Educate Others
Another way to join your cause is to be a staunch advocate for it. Join a local organization and find out how you can spread the word. This is different from simply getting on social media and attempting to educate people about what’s important to you - you’ll likely get pushback and reach the wrong people. Educate those that are truly interested.
#3 Support Local Businesses that Align with Your Cause
Whatever cause you align with, you’re likely to find a local business that also supports that cause. Oftentimes businesses will donate some of their profits to a specific charity or organization, or hold events as fundraisers. Find out where these businesses are near you and support them by purchasing their goods or services.
#4 Donate to a Nonprofit
As they say, put your money where your mouth is. Donating to a nonprofit organization you agree with is a wonderful way to support the causes you hold dear. You will help to fund further community support and educational aspects of the nonprofit. You, in effect, are a ‘silent partner’ in helping to get the word out.
#5 Run for Office in Any Form
If you are a people person and have a passion for serving the community in any capacity, you may want to consider running for office. In this way, you are a spokesperson for the office you will hold, and this gives you a unique platform to address the community about your cause from a place of authority.
#6 Don’t Just be a Keyboard Warrior
It’s so easy to just hop on the internet and shout your beliefs loud and proud. The problem is that so many people do this that your voice will likely be drowned out among countless others. It’s hardly ever a meaningful way to support your cause. Yes, this is one way, but couple that with the other ways of effecting change, and you will be on to something.
#7 Speak Up and Call-In (Don't Call Out)
Going a step further from point #6, it’s easy to be so passionate about something that you get into arguments with people. There is nothing wrong with speaking your mind, but doing so calmly and respectfully towards others enables your voice to be heard in a more effective way.
#8 Commit to One Small Act a Day
Every day, do just one thing, no matter how minuscule, that supports the cause or causes you believe in. Using the suggestions here is a good start. Even if it’s just answering someone’s question or looking for new support opportunities in your area, every day you are one step closer to advocating for change.
#9 Vote Early and Often
You are supporting the government officials who align with your values, and voting in every election can only further the cause of your ideals.
#10 Advocate Change in the Local Government
If you don’t already know, find out who your local government officials are and which ones have the power to advocate for change in the cause(s) you believe in. Call or email these people, or be sure to show up at rallies and other public events they attend. If you can, approach them, and let them know what causes you are passionate about.
Being an active member of your community and communicating with others respectfully garners trust and a sense of comradery you might not otherwise expect. In this way, you can educate and get others on board to advocate for the change you want to see!