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Advocating for a Cause

Advocating for a Cause

Written by Chrissy Sommer, Community Engagement Director

“It isn’t enough to say we ‘need’ the humanities because we ARE the humanities. They are gifts to us from our predecessors, ancestors, and contemporaries. They represent the imagination, [the] innovative, and ask us to think deeply—as the greatest philosophers and artists have always asked us for the last 2,500 years—about our experience, and to think beyond the various intellectually lazy forms of ideology circulating in America today.” – CHARLES JOHNSON, Author and National Book Award winner for Middle Passage.

But why is advocating important?  Advocacy allows individuals to have their voices heard in the public sphere, attracting attention from politicians, the media and high-profile individuals around the Missouri.   Advocacy is an action in which a person or group aims to affect change on a political, social or economic issue. People who are advocates engage in a variety of activities to generate awareness of their cause and initiate change including organizing public speaking events, media campaigns and support groups as well as conducting research and seeking solutions.

Is advocating for Humanities important? Yes!  Understanding one another as humans is vital to a thriving democracy and vibrant communities.  Humanities councils strengthen our nation from the ground up.  The humanities preserve and nourish our nation in times of strife and harmony

Did you know that humanities councils are responding to climate disasters, supporting marginalized communities, and reaching across the rural/urban divide. By supporting cultural programming and community institutions like museums and libraries, humanities councils enrich the quality of life. (1)

Do the Humanities need Advocates?  YES! 

On March 21st, Missouri Humanities will take to the halls of the Capitol, meet with Missouri legislators, and splendor in the beauty of the building.  Missouri Humanities would love for you to join them to Advocate for Humanities. 

If you are a member and stop by the Missouri Humanities’ table on the 3rd floor rotunda, they will have something special for you to say thank you for joining thems on Advocacy Day.  If you are not a member, you can join right on the spot.   Their table should be set up no later than 10am.  

If you plan on joining them, please let me know at, so they are prepared to welcome you.  

Don’t worry if you have never been to the Capitol or have ever spoken with a legislator in the past.   MH provides trainings for first-time advocates, talking points about funding priorities and practical advice about what to expect. Then it’s up to you to make persuasive cases for why the humanities matter, in 15 minutes or less.  

So here is your chance to advocate on behalf of Missouri Humanities and the museums, libraries, artists, scholars, and schoolchildren, that benefit from our Grants, Programs, Events, and Support.

Source  (1)

How to advocate as a private citizen?

It is Imperative that you never say or imply to anyone, in any social media post, in any email or in any conversation, that you are somehow an official representative of any organization, even if you are volunteering with the organization. You are a concerned individual, but you are NOT a representative of any organization.

Advocacy Toolkit