10 Tips for Becoming a Powerful Self Advocate
These day’s social injustices are as common as daylight, but one can avoid being a victim and instead take steps to become a victor. When one makes the decision to fight back against injustice, we must immediately remove the fear factor. Unfortunately, one’s fear and ignorance to processes do far more to prevent you from getting justice than any person could.
For example, I represented myself in my civil rights case after I could not find an attorney to represent me. I would never have had the knowledge or opportunity to advocate for myself in court had I allowed fear and ignorance stop me from seeking justice. Although I did not have an attorney, I did not need one to take a stand on my own behalf. What I did have was the determinations to make my voice heard.
It is increasingly important that we educate ourselves about our civil rights, which were designed to protect us personal injury because there are people in powerful positions who are working very hard to turn back time to justify mistreating people and getting away with it. There is a certain subset of people from all walks of life, who seem to long for the days when it was considered normal to violate people without provocation or repercussions. Civil rights violations are a common theme in law enforcement with the tremendous abuse of power that is becoming all familiar. In politics, at Presidential rallies where mostly minorities suffer assaults openly. And now businesses and our government are following suit with the Religious Freedom Law making it legal to discriminate against people whose lifestyle they disagree with in part. But the U.S. Constitution still serves as our age-old barometer for justice.
My advocacy work has educated me about some easy steps one can take to become powerful self- advocates. While I do not recommend that the average person follow the path I chose to represent myself Pro Se in Federal Court and Appeals Court, if one finds it necessary, at least you can feel confident in how to at least get started on your journey for justice.
Recognize when you have a problem particularly when you have been disrespected, denied, treated unfairly, or disregarded as a person, or suffered a wrong that needs to be corrected.
If there has been a violation of your civil rights such as one of the many forms of discrimination, there may a potential for legal recourse. Civil rights violations are the foundation for social injustices.
Make your concerns known to the powers that be
Be ready and willing to stand firmly when you make your concerns known
Seek help from a professional such as an attorney to discuss the possible outcomes of your situation
Be prepared to read and research your issue to add credibility to your position
Write a professional letter expressing your concerns and asking for exactly what you want
Your honored request means you have successfully advocated for yourself to get what you want
An ignored request means you must escalate your matter, perhaps seeking legal recourse
In most instances people will typically respond favorably to a professional letter highlighting your concerns because they can do without the black eye that can develop when violations fester
Remain vigilant, push forward, and by all means, Do Not Give Up!
Angela Greene is the author of Unnecessary Roughness - The Story of a Mother’s Fight for Justice coming Spring 2016. She is also an advocacy expert and former journalist and radio personality. She is the founder of, Change Agents Advocacy Group, a social justice advocacy group that seeks to educate and empower people about social injustices.