Advocacy gives young adults a way to ‘lead for change’

Cabrini College students participate in a lobby day arranged with the help of CRS. The students met with a staff person for New Jersey senator Robert Menendez to discuss foreign aid.

The website “ConfrontGlobalPoverty.Org” interviewed me about teaching young adults to do advocacy. Here is a portion of the interview.

Young adults today are growing up in a time of political polarization, cynicism about leaders and often a lack of inspiration. They are disengaged from the traditional processes of citizenship. While they are often generous and involved with service, the larger process of systemic change appears to be beyond their power to understand and influence. If students are given the gift of a “justice lens,” their aversion to involvement in systemic change begins to dissipate. Once they start to see, understand and judge what is happening in the world through the lens of Catholic social teaching and other similar frameworks, they can act with conviction and purpose.

When students come out of their first lobby visit in Congress, they invariably say, “My voice mattered. I was heard.” Students educated about global issues, taught to see and judge with the aid of Catholic social teaching, will forever approach the world differently. Global solidarity has become real for them. How this formation will evolve in their future lives, we don’t know. But each student who participates in an extensive and immersive global advocacy experience—whether they are Catholic or from another spiritual tradition—will live as part of “one human family” and find ways to act for the common good.

You can read the full interview here.

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You can see that Mia Scocozzo felt she nailed it. She found that her ‘voice mattered and they listened.”

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