In episode 88, Carol Hamilton interviews Lisa Hazirjian, a historian turned advocate, as they delve into Lisa’s unexpected journey from academia to the forefront of nonprofit advocacy. Through a candid recount of personal challenges and professional transitions, Lisa shares her story, motivations, and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Some of the conversation’s highlights:
Motivation for Advocacy: Personal emotions during times of loss and the desire to effect change in public policy were Lisa’s primary motivators to engage in advocacy work.
Nonprofit Misconceptions: Lisa corrects the common misconception that nonprofits cannot engage in policy advocacy, stressing that they can and should, as they often hold valuable expertise that can inform policymaking.
Strategic Advocacy: Despite political power dynamics, Lisa argues that effective advocacy is less about which party is in power and more about the ability to influence decision-makers through strategic engagement and communication.
Building Relationships: The importance of building relationships before needing to make an ask is highlighted, with suggestions to conduct surveys and use supporters as effective messengers to lawmakers.
Volunteer Engagement: Discussion of a “ladder of engagement” approach to progressively involve volunteers in advocacy work, starting with simple actions and building up to higher responsibilities.
Training and Responsibility: Emphasizing the need to train volunteers not just for tasks but also for understanding the bigger picture, the narrative includes a personal story demonstrating this practice.
Small Wins and Community: Acknowledging small victories and the value of creating a sense of community among advocates is presented as crucial for maintaining motivation and momentum in long-term policy campaigns.
For the transcript and more information click here:
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