Social Justice Advocacy 101: How to Become a Social Justice Advocate From A to Z

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The premise of the book Social Justice Advocacy 101: How to Become a Social Justice Advocate From A to Z is that people are passionate about standing up for causes they care about, but simply don’t know where to begin to take action. Through a step-by-step guide, the book educates readers on the basic knowledge needed to start advocating. The basic knowledge includes a brief overview of how the United States government works, how to build relationships with government officials, different kinds of social justice events, and other aspects of advocacy that are important to know. The book ends with a glossary of helpful terminology and resources for further learning.

The introduction welcomes the reader to the exciting world of advocacy, while also setting up the way the book will work. It explains that glossary terms are underlined and can be referenced for definitions in the back of the book. The glossary terms are created by a combination of the author’s experiences and common knowledge. It also explains that there are resources at the end of the book too, as well as chapter summaries at the end of each chapter. In addition, the introduction takes some time to go over how to pick a cause for which to advocate.

The second chapter, “Quick Government Rundown,” goes over how the United States government is run. It describes the branches of the government, such as Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. It also goes over the levels of representation, including Local, State, and National. Finally, it explains how bills become laws.

The third chapter, “Befriending Government Officials,” discusses how to build relationships with government officials in order to bring change. It covers choosing an official, meeting with one, calling one, and writing to one. It also breaks down most of these steps further. For meeting with an official, it discusses setting up the meeting, preparing for it, dressing up for it, having the meeting, and following up. For calling, it explains how to create a phone script, leave a voicemail, and improvise. Last but not least, it divides writing into emails and letters.

The fourth chapter goes over several advocacy events that are important to know, summed up in the chapter title, “Rallies, Protests, and Marches. Oh My!” It explains how to differentiate these events, find out about them, dress for them, and prepare for them. To prepare for these events, the chapter breaks down further to cover several tips. The chapter also briefly discusses the importance of the reader knowing his/her/their rights before going to any of these events, as well as how to network at one.

The fifth chapter, “Honorable Mentions,” groups together several important aspects of advocacy that don’t necessarily require their own individual chapters. These include donations, organizations, petitions, social media, town halls, and votes. Some of these sections are divided further. For example, the Organizations section covers finding them, networking at them, and signing up for their newsletters. The Town Halls section is broken down further as well, including finding out about them, preparing for them, and speaking at them. Finally, the Votes section is divided into deciding whether or not to vote, registering to vote, and what to expect when arriving to vote.

The sixth chapter, “Knowing Your Limits,” has a title that is self-explanatory. It advises on what shouldn’t and should be done when advocating. The Don’ts section includes not being negative, picking fights, going to extremes, name calling, always speaking for someone else, and being too hard on yourself as the reader. The Do’s section includes being assertive, spending energy wisely, genuinely listening to the other side, trying to see others’ points of view, advocating consistently, learning from others, being patient, keeping mental health in check, practicing self-care and boundaries, and being optimistic and staying inspired.

The conclusion briefly discusses everything that’s been mentioned so far. There is then an “About the Expert” section that discusses the author of the book briefly. The “Glossary” is then in Appendix A, giving definitions based on the author’s understanding of certain terms, and common knowledge, throughout the book. Finally, the book ends with “References and Resources” in Appendix B, which includes apps, further reading, inspiration, references, videos, and websites.

Through several chapters and appendixes, the book covers the basic knowledge that anyone hoping to start in the advocacy world would need. Readers will finish reading and feel they have a rudimentary understanding of social justice advocacy. By then, they will be equipped with the tools necessary to begin advocating right away.

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