This advocacy mantra refers to the human nature of decision makers who are often more swayed by a moving story, convincingly told, than a wealth of statistics. Politicians and other decision makers need access to accurate data which is skillfully interpreted. But politicians also need to hear stories from the people who are directly impacted by their decisions, and this is the work of advocates. Alameda County Community Asset Network (AC CAN)’s recent Stakeholder Convening focused on building advocacy skills and incorporating advocacy into the work of other types of agencies.
On May 11th AC CAN members and friends came together for the event, Exploring Advocacy and Making Change. The event started with a presentation from Andrea Luquetta-Kern, Deputy Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. Luquetta-Kern showed the group how to craft an effective advocacy narrative and used a series of videos to demonstrate the power of a moving story to change policy. She also used her experience as a long-time advocate to offer audience members suggestions to strengthen the advocacy stories which they crafted during the session.
The second part of the convening was an exploration of some of the struggles that direct service agencies experience when doing advocacy work. Sarah Jones, who is the Program Manager at the Center for Economic Opportunity at the International Rescue Committee, led this portion of the event. She guided groups through conversations including how to support individuals to use stories to advocate for their own needs and connecting advocacy to the work that busy nonprofits are already doing.
Participants took home helpful resources such as a menu of advocacy activities, a handout on how to construct an advocacy story, and guidelines for allowable advocacy activities. All of these resources plus presentation materials are available at the bottom of this post. We encourage you to download the resources, and find ways for your organization to engage in advocacy work.
Earlier that morning, an audience gathered for AC CAN’s inaugural presentation of the Income and Asset Development 101 (IAD 101) Training. This training is designed as an introduction to the income and asset building field and also to AC CAN’s services and member agencies. If you missed the IAD 101 Training, there will be more chances to take part later this year. AC CAN is also able to present the training to a group of staff at your work location. Contact us for more information on this option.
Download resources from the event: