Advocacy for the dispossessed, marginalized, vulnerable and forgotten is a way to practice and embodied theology that upholds the image of God in every person. It is also a contemplative practice in that it requires attention to how God is working in the world and in the lives of others. From the Deuteronomic Laws, to Hebrew prophets like Amos and Micah, to Jesus and the early Christians, advocacy for the dispossessed is an essential part of the spiritual life.
While no one person can address every issue or cause of social injustice, every person can do something. Here are a few basic steps for living into Advocacy:
- Listen prayerfully for those situations and causes that God wants you to pay attention to. Which ones won’t let go of you? What gets your attention? Which do you see as a divine nudging?
- Learn as much as you can about the issue and the people involved. Learn data and statistics, but also listen to stories…in the end justice work is about real human lives.
- Connect with groups/organizations locally or nationally that are also dedicated to this cause or issue.
- Be a voice in support of justice both privately and publicly.
- Find specific ways you can advocate: write a letter or meet with an elected official, participate in a non-violent protest, offer to teach a class on this issue in your faith community, post about the issue on social media, etc.
Links to Advocacy Resources:
- Sojourners: https://sojo.net
- Red Letter Christians: https://www.redletterchristians.org
- Poor People’s Campaign: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org
- Social Justice Resource Center: https://socialjusticeresourcecenter.org
- General Board of Church and Society (United Methodist Church): https://www.umcjustice.org
- 5 Calls: https://5calls.org
- Change.org: https://www.change.org