Contributed by Joshua with Team 66 | Florida DECA
Advocacy is a cornerstone of positive social change. It empowers individuals and communities to stand up for their beliefs, address issues and influence policy decisions. Whether you're passionate about environmental conservation, social justice, education reform or any other cause, advocacy can be a powerful tool for making a difference.
Florida DECA is making remarkable strides in advocacy through Team 66. We’re dedicated to strengthening DECA's presence in Florida schools and communities all across the board. It's important to note that advocacy often takes time to yield results. When evaluating the impact or success of Florida’s State Officer Team’s actions, analyze through a long-term lens, as that is typically how advocacy is viewed.
So what is Florida DECA doing to advocate?
Florida DECA is currently working on creating an Advocacy Board. This is a board of local and state representatives and elected officials, such as county school board superintendents, senior members of state or county-wide chambers of commerce, graduate business school students, and so much more. Each member represents a different region of the Sunshine State and will meet with the State Officer Team a couple of times a year to provide expert guidance on tough decisions or assistance when necessary.
This board will also serve as another way for Florida DECA to network and build lasting relationships with its community members. As part of its strategy, Florida DECA is committed to providing members, past and present, with networking and advocacy opportunities. They are actively increasing their participation in local meetings, city gatherings and school board events, not just as attendees but as advocates for DECA.
Finally, Florida DECA has undertaken a strategic move by contacting Governor Ron DeSantis to secure an official proclamation declaring November as DECA Month in the state. This action promises unprecedented statewide recognition for the organization. It provides an exceptional opportunity for the Florida DECA Officers to engage with and build relationships with the Governor upon the proclamation's release, presenting a remarkable platform for advancing DECA's advocacy efforts and mission.
How to Advocate Strongly.
Now that you’ve heard about Florida DECA’s advocacy efforts, what can you do to advocate and encourage others to support you? Here are 5 steps to advocating strongly:
1. Know Your Cause Inside and Out
Effective advocacy begins with a deep understanding of the issue you're advocating for. Research the topic extensively and gather facts, statistics and personal stories that support your cause. Being well-informed will boost your credibility and enable you to counter opposing arguments.
2. Define Clear Goals
Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals for your advocacy efforts. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve will keep you focused and make it easier to measure your progress.
3. Build a Strong Network
Advocacy is more potent when you collaborate with like-minded individuals or organizations. Create or join advocacy groups, attend meetings and events, and connect with people who share your passion. Together, you can pool resources, knowledge, and influence.
4. Engage with Decision-Makers
You must engage with the decision-makers responsible for addressing your issue to make an impact. This could be local, state, or national government officials, corporate leaders or other key stakeholders. Attend town hall meetings, write letters, make phone calls and request meetings to share your perspective.
5. Utilize the Power of Social Media
Social media platforms are invaluable tools for advocacy. Create and curate content that educates and inspires, and use these platforms to raise awareness, mobilize supporters and put pressure on those in authority.
Follow Florida DECA on Instagram @floridadeca.