What is Advocacy? Tips for Communities to Advocate and to become an Advocate

Advocacy is a service aimed at helping people understand their rights and supporting them to have their voices heard. It includes different types of activities to create change. Advocates help to give people ways to speak out about things that negatively affect them. 

Advocacy can be used to create a positive change toward greater social justice and equality, influence those in power to invest resources and take action, and raise attention to important issues. 

Anyone can become an advocate. Most of the time, advocacy begins at home, school, or community. In Canada, advocates can be family members, friends, patients, healthcare providers, volunteers, or anyone who wants to affect a positive change in people’s lives.

Healthcare advocacy is also so important and can play a vital role in our lives. It includes speaking up about patient rights, communicating with healthcare providers, clarifying diagnoses and conditions, identifying health resources, making referrals, and explaining confusing medical information. Some skills all healthcare advocates should possess are empathy, communication skills, and organizational skills. 

Advocacy is needed everywhere. There are a lot of things you can do, and you just need to be passionate about wanting to make a difference in your community. To become an advocate, you must stand up for others and fight for a specific cause that you truly believe in. Sometimes personal experiences are the best motivators and inspire you to be part of a bigger cause. 

Today social media is a creative way of capturing people’s attention. Set clear goals, and you need to know exactly what result you want to achieve. Build alliances and remember that you are not alone.


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What is ‘Health Equity’?

Health equity is achieved when everyone has equal opportunity to “attain the full health potential”, regardless of their gender identity, their sexual orientation, the color

Ika Washington

Ika Washington founded DiversityTalk intending to create a platform and consultancy that can work with organizations and corporations to engage with marginalized and underrepresented groups within the health and social service space. 
Ika Washington is a public health professional specializing in health policy and equity. She is passionate about best engagement practices, building meaningful partnerships, programs and services to improve the complex social and health problems impacting communities. Equipped with a diverse experience, including governance and regulatory affairs, policy development and implementation, health research design, and project management, coupled with an M.Sc focusing on social science and a progressive Ph.D. in Health Policy and Equity,  Ika thrives on being solution-based to improve spaces for marginalized groups and improve business designs. 
Ika’s work experience includes working as a Policy Analyst and Program Specialist at Health Canada and Regional Lead for an Indigenous Health Authority serving over 31 First Nations communities in Ontario. In leading the stage as a global speaker, she has been featured in Leafly, Globe and Mail, The Green Room, GrowOp, Postmedia, and guested on various podcasts and documentaries.
Ph.D in Health Policy & Equity – York University (progressive) 
M.Sc. in Social Science – University of Southampton (UK)
B.Sc. in Biology (Ecosystem & Health) – Western University