Social Justice and Advocacy - Advocacy Day

Advocacy Day

I never knew that I, just one student here at Messiah College, could make a difference in the lives of others just by advocating for a bill. As part of our Social Welfare Policies course, we were required to select a bill which we found interesting to us and then follow the progress of that bill by watching it online. In order to promote the bill, we could encourage those around us to support it by simply writing e-mails to state legislators. Then, we were given the opportunity to attend Advocacy Day in Harrisburg, where we were able to visit one of our state representatives and present our positions on a certain bill. I had never realized just how easy it is to find something you are passionate about and speak up about it. This was a very valuable experience for me, because I learned that by learning about and promoting policies, I can change the lives of other people for the better. Never get stuck by thinking that you are only one person and can't change anything! -Kelsie 

In my opinion, advocacy equals attitude. I firmly believe your attitude is far more important than knowledge and experience because ultimately it’s how you perceive the knowledge and experiences of how your life will be determined. It's important to realize how a persons attitude ultimately determines their actions and change occurring. Advocacy day,in particular, meant fighting for house bills regarding the social work profession. This day created a mixture of emotions, and overall I felt extremely passionate and fierce; and it felt great. Towards the end of the day after speaking with representatives, and rallying for our profession I finally felt passionate about vocalizing my opinions and feelings. For the first time I felt as if what I said mattered and was actually taken into consideration. -Ashley  

Being involved in advocacy day was an eye opening experience. We were able to voice our opinion on current issues that were related to our own field of study. We addressed one law that would enable social workers to become licensed at a Bachelor's degree level. The fact that this law pertained to my own future made the experience much more personal. I also learned that advocating for something you believe in is not as hard as it seems, and that one person really can make a difference! - Laura Lea  

The first time that I able to experience advocacy on the political level was during Advocacy Day at the Harrisburg state Capital. I was able to talk with Senators and Representatives about policies that influence social work. As a result of this learning experience, I have been able to confidently go back to the Harrisburg state Capital and meet with my Representative and discuss a policy on school social work with him. I was able to talk with him about my perspective on the policy and how the policy would impact my local community. At first I did not think that I would enjoy advocacy on the political level. But I have found that I do enjoy the process and experience of working and talking with political leaders about social work and about empowering others. -Amanda