Make a Difference
Anyone can become an advocate. You don’t have to be an expert in governmental affairs or have a complete understanding of public policy — you just need to have the desire to make a difference.
Although you don’t need previous experience, many types of advocacy require the confidence and ability to share your story and experiences. Depending upon your advocacy involvement, you may also need specific communication skills — such as writing or public speaking — in order to effectively educate policy makers, members of your community, the media and others about the many issues facing people who suffer from eating disorders.
If you are not currently interested in sharing your story or don’t have first-hand experience with an eating disorder, but are still interested in advocacy, there are other ways to help.
Ways you can help
Advocacy can take many forms, large and small. For example, getting media attention, public speaking, organizing and rallying, meeting individually with influential people, joining forces with other advocacy organizations, or being the voice for people who are unable to advocate for themselves. There are hundreds of ways to be an advocate and your voice is important.
If you think you want to advocate, but you aren’t sure where to begin, the best way to start is to figure out which of your talents you can use (or which of your skills you’d like to improve upon).
Do you like social media?
- Post, pin, and tweet our Media Monday blogs.
- Post, pin, and tweet news articles or other blog posts that discuss eating disorders, their prevalence, and prevention strategies.
- Post, pin, and tweet ads that include: a variety of natural body shapes and sizes, people of diverse identity groups, images of people eating balanced meals, women and men in non-stereotypical situations, etc.
Do you like to write?
- Write a letter to advertising agencies, magazines, and fashion websites about the dangers of ads that include emaciated models or models whose features have been computer enhanced, ads that portray a person’s size or shape negatively, ads that glamorize images of people on diets, etc.
- Write generic sample letters for other people to use to respond to the above.
- Write for The Emily Program Foundation Media Monday blog.
Do you like to speak in front of others?
- Educate audiences at local schools or rallies.
- Tell your story in front of policy makers.
- Call your local congressperson about supporting upcoming eating disorder or mental health legislation.
Do you like to help behind the scenes?
- Organize and prepare for events.
If any of these opportunities sound right up your alley, or if you have other ideas of how you could contribute to eating disorder advocacy, please email us to receive more information and request an application.
Not interested in volunteering, but want to know when there are opportunities to use your voice? Sign up here to receive Advocacy Alerts.