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African Nova Scotian Health Resource

Health Advocacy - Definition

(Disclaimer: The content of this page was adapted from University of Maryland's SHARE Program Module VI)

Advocacy: the active support or a cause or action.

Eg: Attending a local school board meeting and speaking publicly about the importance of music classes would be advocating for those classes


Healthcare advocacy: The process by which the actions of individuals or groups attempt to bring about social and/or organizational change on behalf of a particular health goal, program, interest or population.

Eg: Attending a school board meeting and speaking publicly about the rise of a communicable disease within the student body.

How to be an Advocate

What do advocates do?

 Help an individual or group accomplish goals by providing resources, like money or supplies

• Provide skills to move a cause forward

 Develop tools for people that need help advocating for themselves

• Provide resources to people so that they can succeed

 See a problem and work to find a solution

 Speak up for a cause and educate others as to why this particular cause is important


How do I become an advocate?

• Think about what you are passionate about, or where you see a problem

Think about any people you know who could help you get started- do you know anyone who has done something similar before, or who is directly involved with the problem you noticed?

• Talk to people- see if other people have noticed the same problem, or if there are any existing groups in your community working towards a solution


National Advocate - Dr. Onye Nnorom

A portrait of Onye Nnorom

(Image Source:

Dr. Onye Nnorom is advocating for public health agencies to record data on the intersection of race and health.

Advocate - Morgan Gleeson

​Questions to Consider

  • What is Morgan advocating?
  • Who is Morgan advocating for?

Advocacy - Brain Storming

Starting Off

  • Pick a cause to advocate for- it helps if you feel strongly about it
  • Research the problem in your community:
    • Use the Internet
    • Talk to the people around you- what are their experiences?
  • Use  the brainstorming worksheet found just below

Advocacy - Letter Writing

Writing the Letter


  • Write a persuasive letter convincing a representative that this is a problem in your community, and urging the representative to help solve the problem


  • You should be able to present a solution to the problem in your letter, and convince the representative that this is the best solution for everyone

Things to keep in mind while writing:

  • What is the problem?

  • What is your solution?

  • Who is your audience?

  • What facts do you have?

Reading more will help you write more

  • Get an idea of how to write effectively by reading the Persuasive Writing Examples found below 

  • Listening to famous speeches may give you ideas of how to write persuasively

Advocacy Resources