Advocacy is one of those words you hear over and over. It may make you think of a lobbyist, Washington DC or a political rally. It may be one of those words you skip over, thinking-- I know what it means. But what does it really mean? Merriam's definition doesn't offer a whole lot of help in this area either.
Early on, Iowa Farm to ECE Coalition members established advocacy as a core value. In other words, a core value is:
a statement that makes it clear how we expect members of the coalition to operate
a value that is at the foundation of our work, reflected in every decision, action and communication
our culture, "the way things are around here"
a behavior that we expect of our partners, and also hold ourselves accountable for.
Since a core value serves as the foundation, its important to really understand what it means for a group. Especially a group that has a unified vision, but brings different perspectives, operating principals, and historical experiences to the table. Recently, Iowa Farm to ECE Coalition members spent some time developing a shared understanding of what advocacy means to us. Together, we developed a broader meaning and also some examples that can be are actualized in our work.
If you are looking for a way to get involved with the advocacy work of the Iowa Farm to ECE Coalition, send us a message today.