How do you define advocacy?
There certainly at least two definitions.
One is the informal definition of advocacy, which includes counseling, life coaching, informal assistance with understanding legal or financial paperwork, and all kinds of other natural collaborative work to help people to orient themselves, make decisions and support themselves in their lives.
Then there’s the technical definition of advocacy, which splits each of these disciplines into various sets of obstacles – what experience does the advocate have? What resources and funding does the advocate have? What programs and accreditation’s is the advocate affiliated with?
To solve this, we have made our advocacy program profoundly simple. We have individuals who are willing to provide life coaching services to others with no disclaimers and no caveats. We don’t concern ourselves with offering legal assistance in a technical sense, providing mental health services in a technical sense, or educating people in a technical sense.
Instead, we offer advocacy from a model of human empathy.
What does that mean? It means that we are not bound by the rules and regulations of a government or a church, or whatever institution tries to micromanage the ways that individuals interact.
Chris Hedges talks about “American anomie,” the idea that when social connections are lost or break down, a great need for collective ties torments the average citizen. We know that with the hollowing out of the middle class, the advance of late-stage capitalism and the militarization of control here at home, more and more of us feel under pressure, financially and emotionally.
When you’re in a tough spot, you want to talk to somebody. Too often, people who need some sort of mentoring or counseling or other advocacy lack the money to get these professional services – so they need to go a different route. Some people rely on family – but not everybody has family with both the means and the willingness to get involved.
We see ourselves as part of the extended family of a free and deserving humanity that meets and fellowship without borders, legal restrictions, or the dogma of a particular church.
Many of our programs also reflect this approach. We talk about the freedom of the individual and we talk about the family as a community unit. We talk about advocacy in agriculture and in commerce. We talk about providing a helping hand to neighbors in so many different ways.
One way to think about this is that our advocacy is in every category at once. It’s a ministry, but without particular church doctrine – it’s outreach in a diverse world, to a diverse population, without restrictions or limitations.Call us to talk, if you want. Get involved if you feel you have something to offer the community – our human community. What you’ll see if you get more involved with looking at our web sites and programs is that we do not do what we do under the instruction of either government offices or private business oligarchies. We are of the people and for the people, and in our view, that’s what matters most.