Hey y’all. How are we? I’m hoping you all enjoyed the weekend, had some fun and loosened up a little bit. My weekend was swift bruh!😌 I couldn’t even complete half the tasks I set for myself. But all the same, we move!✌🏾
It’s Day 5 of WinterABC challenge and as y’all already know from my previous post (if you’ve read, that is) it’s Day 1 of advocacy week. Yep!
Advocacy!, advocacy!, advocacy!—you’ve probably been hearing that word being thrown around a lot and feel like you have a hint of what it means, but you’ve never really bothered to check the exact meaning. I know. That’s why I decided to do the research on your behalf. Of course, if I’m going to talk to you about something, at least I’m going to have to give you some insight into it right?
So let’s begin with the definition of advocacy, dearies.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, simply, advocacy is the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.
Pretty simple and clear huh. Did it tally with what you had in mind all along? Or you had veered 500km off the road!😂 Anyways don’t worry, if you didn’t know, now you do and that’s a good thing.
My generous self went on further to search the difference between advocacy and activism just for the sake of you, my loves (oh my love for you guys, ha!❤️). Here’s what I found at ruminating.org.
“Advocacy is often thought of as “an act of publicly representing an individual, organisation, or idea” and used as an umbrella term for many intervention tools. It can include active lobbying, including methods such as: letter writing, meeting politicians, running public forums, questions in parliament, participating in various consultative processes.
Activism, on the other hand, often has a less favourable reputation even though by definition, it can be viewed as a form of advocacy. Activism is described as taking direct action to achieve a political or social goal. ‘Activism’ can be a negative concept based on how activism is perceived and how activists are depicted in the media.”
So now that we’re clear on the difference between those two, let’s make sure to not confuse or mislabel people from now on, okay?🤗
Generally, advocacy and activism are tools used in bringing about social or political change. To be an advocate is to speak and learn about social and political issues. It is to bring attention to an injustice, subsequently aiding the activist in their fight against that same injustice. Although different, both are necessary in order to create systemic change. Without one, the other cannot function. I think I’m more of an advocate than an activist because I do a lot of speaking than acting.
Right here on my blog and in my little spaces, I speak up on quite a number of issues that are of dear concern to my heart every little chance I get. Through my creative superpowers, I write on issues like sexual abuse, mental health, menstrual hygiene, racism, female empowerment, and many others all in the hope of raising awareness on them. Although my voice may not travel far like some others, I believe my little quota adds to the existing conversations there are and helps bring about positive change within my circle.
One thing I’ve learned though is that we all do not have to be speaking to be advocates. Listening is as much advocacy as is speaking. If we are all speaking, who’ll do the listening? It is important that we advocate but sometimes —especially in cases where we are not highly educated on the issue at hand— the best we can do is to amplify the voices of those who know better than us in whatever way possible, be it on our social media platforms or in our private spaces. It is important to recognize that our voices might not always be the one that needs to be elevated. A dialogue cannot occur when everyone in the room is speaking.
Through this advocacy week, I’ll capitalize on this moment to once again hammer on those issues that I have always been deeply concerned about. Five days won’t be enough for me to say it all, I know. But I’ll talk about the few I can using creative means to draw our attention to these issues. I’ll also be sharing the works of my fellow creatives who will be doing the same so all of our collective voices can go out there and influence change. I hope this pushes us to do better in the areas where we fall short and continue doing well in the places where we are already doing well.
Thank you for reading? Are you an advocate? What does advocacy mean to you? What is the one thing you are always advocating for? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to hear from you.
Till my next post, stay safe, stay well