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Why Is Advocacy Important?

By Jake Konigsberg

 

Advocacy is at the very foundation of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). It is the tool by which cancer-fighting legislation is passed, ground-breaking research is funded, and life-saving resources are provided. Advocacy is actions that show public support against cancer. By partaking in it, you can play a major role in that fight.

 

What ways can you get involved in advocacy through the American Cancer Society?

ACS CAN is the nonpartisan, advocacy sister organization of ACS. Therefore, most opportunities to advocate are through them. If you are interested in getting involved in advocacy on the legislative end, communicating with legislators and lobbying for legislation, the “What is ACS CAN?” blog is a great resource. Recently created within ACS CAN is the youth starter guide. This resource was created by ACS CAN in partnership with DiscussMed, an organization aimed at increasing youth advocacy through making medical knowledge more appealing and accessible. This guide is very comprehensive and provides resources and planning exercises to help students start school clubs, community events, and fundraisers. These initiatives are excellent ways to show solidarity and support as well as raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer.

 

What is the Youth Forum?

The Youth Forum is another excellent resource to spur on youth advocacy. This forum is a brand new ACS CAN initiative beginning in the state of New York, but open to all who are interested. This Forum will be hosted by the ACS CAN NY Grassroots Manager and experienced volunteers. It will be 1-2 hours in length, filled with workshops, Q&A’s, and guest speakers focusing on how to become an effective advocate and make an impact in your community in the fight against cancer. This bi-annual event will be hosted on October 1st, 2022 from 10 am to 12 pm EST, and is open to all! To register for this event, click here.