It’s Your Turn: Use Your Voice for Kids!


 Screenshots from the 4th session of the 2020 Virtual Advocacy Summit.

So…what am I supposed to do with my Thursday evenings now?

After 4 exciting weeks, the last 2020 Virtual Advocacy Summit session focused on going beyond the issues and using our voices for kids!

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin opened the evening by speaking about the critical need for advocacy. He emphasized that every child deserves a fair shot at life, and it’s our job to make sure their needs are represented. “Genius knows no zip code, but opportunity definitely does,” he said.

SCAN president Mark Shriver joined the conversation and spoke about the challenges COVID-19 has created for many people, and the ways that we can help. He echoed Mayor Benjamin’s point that “activism without action is just a conversation,” and urged participants to take the next step and contact lawmakers.

Of course, many SCAN supporters are already spreading the word! In fact, Mark stated that in 2019, SCAN advocates sent more than 800,000 messages to state, national and local officials. That’s amazing! He also recognized those who have gone above and beyond by announcing the winners for 4 awards:

  • Advocate of the Year: Tiffany Welch
  • Student Advocate of the Year: Sondos Asad
  • Community Impact Award: University of Tennessee
  • Community Impact Award: Albuquerque Community Action Team

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you again for all you do!

After the awards, some of SCAN’s best and brightest joined Mayor Benjamin and Mark to speak about next week’s COVID-19 Response Week of Action. The Week of Action is 4 days of activism, made simple. Every day, we’ll offer opportunities to engage lawmakers and raise awareness for programs and policies that benefit children in the U.S. and abroad. So how many different ways are there to advocate (remotely) for kids? As it turns out, there are plenty!

CC: My Members of Congress

It may seem obvious, but it works! Never doubt the power of email.

Diana Onken, SCAN’s National and Digital Campaigns Director, joined the conversation to walk participants through the week of action and the many ways to get involved. She explained the simple process of sending a message to members of Congress. All you need to do is visit one of SCAN’s action pages and fill out your information. The form will auto-select your representatives based on your address. From there, you can either edit the pre-written message to include why you personally feel passionate about it, or let it be. Then simply click send, and your message is off to your representatives! It’s as simple as a few clicks.

Try it now!

Get Social with It

Next, Save the Children Action Network’s social media manager Samra Khawaja took the floor to talk about the importance of spreading the word. Social media is more than dance fads and cat videos. It’s a powerful tool for sharing information and building awareness for important issues. And luckily, SCAN has once again made it easy to act!

Want to create your own post? Easy. Click through a form to send a tweet to your lawmakers or follow a link to post on your Facebook.

Try it now!

Would you rather share a post that’s already live? No problem. Here are some options.

Try it now!

Support Child Care:

Help Vulnerable Kids:

Who You Gonna Call?

Just ask Ed Stierli, the State Campaigns Director for SCAN! Ed offered another effective method for advocating for kids: calling your members of Congress. This may seem intimidating (hello fellow introverts!) but it’s actually a pretty straightforward process. Similar to email, SCAN provides you with a form that includes a call script and connects you directly to the offices. So no need to panic over crafting the perfect pitch – SCAN has done that for you!

Try it now!

Whether you’re a new advocate or a veteran, it’s always a good time to use your voice for kids! As Mayor Benjamin said, “the work that you’re doing is going to enable [children] to live stronger, better, fruitful lives down the road.”

So again, thank you to all of the panelists who reminded us why it’s so important to advocate for kids, and thank you to SCAN for making it simple. It’s time to put words into action. Will you join me?

Learn more about how you can use your voice for kids!

Want to watch the full conversation? View it here >>