Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advocacy . . . . learning as I go

As is fitting for Diabetes Awareness Month, the DSMA blog carnival has us talking about advocacy.  What one thing will I do differently and how will I accomplish it?

I think the one thing I need to do when it comes to advocating is to be more . . . . . aggressive . . . . bold . . . . I’m not quite sure exactly how to put it into words.  But here is the thing . . . . I always feel like I should be doing more, and like I want to do more.  So I guess I need to be more proactive in finding ways to advocate.  I need to just go for it!

My advocacy table at our JDRF walk
When I signed on as the Advocacy Team Chair for my JDRF chapter, I was scared out of my mind.  I’d never done any government advocacy before and I wasn’t sure I’d be up for the challenge.  But I knew I wanted to try and I knew I would give it  my all!  And I have loved every minute.  I’ve pushed outside of my comfort zone to meet with government reps numerous times.  And to make calls to their offices about diabetes issues (I am so not a phone person).  And I’ve spoken about advocacy, on stage with a microphone, at our two JDRF walks.  I was a bundle of nerves for each of these tasks, but the rewards have been so great.  I think it’s important, and very good, to push ourselves to do more than we think we can.  (Hmmm, I sound so preachy, don’t I?  Yuck!)

Wow, tangent much?  But to sum it up, one thing I will do differently is to do more, even if some advocacy tasks are outside my comfort zone.  The way I will accomplish it is by being bolder and not listening to those scared voices that try to hold me back and by being more proactive in finding ways and opportunities to advocate.

What are your favorite advocacy opportunities?  Do you have any new advocacy goals for 2013?

This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at


  1. Well said, if preachy. Sometimes we all need that anyway. Especially me. Thanks

  2. Thanks, Karen! Yes, I agree with you - I need to step outside my comfort zone and get back to more ground-level advocacy. I fell out of that in 2012, for whatever reason, and I miss it. I think the same thing as far as being more "aggressive" in these meetings with reps and senators... and I want to start taking that to the state level, too. Anyhow, thanks for writing this!

  3. I love that you're growing, and enjoying the process even if it's scary sometimes.


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