Advocacy & Community Organization
Advocacy is one of the keystones of social work practice. Advocates champion the rights of individuals and communities with the goal of retaining social justice.
Community organizing is a tool used in all cultures and societies to rectify the imbalance between the powerful and the powerless. Community organizing and advocacy work with the power of numbers – many people thinking, working, and acting together – to counterbalance wealthy and powerful groups and the means they have to protect and extend themselves. Historically, community organizing and social work were responses to the many forces that created our society, with all its strengths and weaknesses, and they remain as necessary and effective as ever today.
Community organizing helps communities help themselves. Community groups are often formed around a specific problem or issue, such as education, health care, or welfare reform. Skills essential for the advocacy process include data collection and research, effective public relations and media skills, knowledge of the legislative process, and fundraising.