Next week, I will descend on Washington DC with these close friends and many others to advocate for health and physical education as part of SHAPE America’s Speak Out Day. This annual event brings in representatives from nearly every state to speak with their legislators on Capitol Hill about any issues facing our fields. This year, thanks to OPEN and US Games, I will get the opportunity to join others from Georgia in visiting with our elected leaders.
As we prepare to head to Speak Out Day, I encourage all our returning advocates reminisce back to their first experience. Remember the angst, nervousness, and uncertainty of what you were about to do? Look for those “lost faces” on March 5-6 and offer your assistance and guidance to help our first timers so they have a fantastic experience at the event. If you are a first-time attendee, do not hesitate to reach out to some of the veterans who you recognize from previous Speak Out Days! We are here to help, and no question is too simple. You need to feel comfortable and confident heading into your first meeting on Wednesday morning!
While you may not be fortunate enough to join us in person this week, you can still have an impact on the Speak Out Day events March 6th. Tune into social media and be ready to post, re-post, or comment on meetings representatives from your state may have with elected officials. Your communications can make a difference! Check in with your state organization to see if you can find out who is attending (click here for hot links to each state’s website). Make sure you comment on their posts and share your personal stories to assist in our advocacy campaign. Our voices need to be heard and with your help, we can initiate positive change in our fields. More info on Speak Out Day can be found on the SHAPE America Advocacy website, too!