2012 Advocacy Skills Workshops

Bread for The World Congregational Offering of Letters

Bread for the World’s 2012 Offering of Letters campaign will urge Congress and the administration to form a circle of protection around programs that help poor and hungry people. Each year, anti-hunger advocates work with Bread for the World to write to their members of Congress about policies that help end hunger in the U.S. and around the world. This skills building session will teach ways to write letters as a group in community or church settings. We will review video and print resources and discuss other tools to help make public witness part of your hunger ministry.

Leaders: Bread for the World Regional Organizers

Election work with junior high and high school students

Even though junior high and high school aged students may be too young to vote, they can still play important roles in the shaping of elections.  Learn how to engage teenagers in election work and help set them on path to life-long citizen participation.

Leader: Jordan Blevins, Advocacy Officer and Ecumenical Peace Coordinator, Church of the Brethren and National Council of Churches.

Voter Registration, Outreach and Get Out The Vote (GOTV)

Who votes, doesn’t and can vote are the ultimate determiners of elections.  Learn how to get persons registered and then help them turn out.  There will be a particular focus on working with immigrant communities and even exploring what immigrants ineligible to vote can do to have an impact.

Leader: Jen Smyers, Associate Director and Noel Anderson, Grassroots oordinator, Immigration and Refugee Policy, Church World Service.

Getting our Message in the Media

The news media has the largest impact upon shaping what people know and think about an issue.  If the message is not informed by our Christian perspective, this is a big loss to the larger common good.  Learn how to craft and share newsworthy messages AND get them heard in the media.

Leader: Dan Nejfelt, Senior Editor and Training Coordinator, Faith in Public Life.

Social Media for Change 

Social media continues to increase its impact in informing groups about issues and organizing and mobilizing citizens for action; and it is not just young people.  Learn how different social media tools can be an integral part of your communications strategy and increase your effectiveness to influence policy.

Leaders: Eric Gibble, Lobby Associate, NETWORK; Jessie Palatucci, Online Communications Specialist, Justice and Witness Ministries Washington Office, United Church of Christ.

  • Social Media for Change (Presentation Slides)
  • EAD Sponsors Social Media Contacts
  • EAD Strategic Messaging Information
  • Facebook Use
  • Twitter Use

Candidates Forums & Town Halls: Hosting and Attending

We are fortunate in the U.S. that we still have opportunities to interact with those vying for our vote in public events.  Candidates’ forums and town hall meetings are two of the best places to bring our perspectives to the conversation.  Learn how to host these events in your worshiping communities with the do’s and don’ts and also learn how best to get your questions asked (and hopefully answered) in other events.

Leader: Meredith Dobson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns, RESULTS

Amplifying Our Voice: Organizing In-District/In-State Meetings with Your Members of Congress 

The definitive event of Ecumenical Advocacy Days is the Monday Lobby Day; however, there are hundreds and thousands of others who could not be at EAD this March.  Never fear, part of the goal this year is help amplify our Monday meetings by organizing in-District and in-State meetings with our Representative and Senators when they are back home too.  In this time, not only will we learn how to get these meetings organized, we will begin the process of organizing in our districts and states to hold these meetings on one or both of the summer recesses, Memorial Day and July 4th.  We encourage at least one person from your community to attend the grouping for your state and help facilitate the organizing for all.

Leader: LaVida Davis, Director of Organizing and Grassroots Capacity Building, Bread for the World

Helping Persons who do Good Charity Add  Advocacy to their Good Works

It often seems that there are not enough people doing advocacy.  Persons doing so much of the good works of charity are often apprehensive of joining in advocacy, but are at least positively inclined on many of our issues.  Learn good methods of helping these good persons add advocacy to their efforts to help others.

Leader: Cricket Nicovich, Outreach & Advocacy Associate, RESULTS.

Influencing our Members of Congress Without Lobbying

Lobbying is not the only way to influence our Members of Congress.  We can build deeper relations to our elected leaders and influence them through prayer vigils, and providing them opportunities to visit our ministries and service facilities.  Learn how these events can be leveraged to influence our Congressional leaders and work for change.

Leaders: Rev. Michael Livingston, Director, National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative; Robin Rosenbaum, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Effective Advocacy with State and Local Government

Though Ecumenical Advocacy Days focuses on Federal issues, advocates can have a significant impact at the state and local legislative level, where ever more decisions that affect persons who are poor are being made. Learn how to make and organize an impact on the local level. We will use Maine’s
experience to end the use of solitary confinement as an example to learn these skills.

Leader: Leslie Manning, President of the Maine Council of Churches

Sponsors: