Advocacy 101: Getting Started in Health Education Advocacy

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Abstract

Advocacy for the public’s health and for the profession are widely recognized as responsibilities of health educators. Increasing emphasis on advocacy by professional organizations has peaked the interest of health educators, yet knowing where to begin as an advocate is, to many, a mystifying process. This article provides basic advocacy terminology, dispels concerns about participating in advocacy activities, and provides a practical and stepped approach to becoming an effective advocate. A tiered approach is used in relation to the advocacy strategies of voting behavior, electioneering, direct lobbying, grassroots lobbying, Internet use, and media advocacy to help individuals in their quest to begin or enhance their engagement in advocacy. A compendium of highly accessible resources is also provided. Finally, this article provides motivation for the beginning advocate.

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