IFTJ Advocacy Day

On November 5, over 1,400 IFTJ participants will head to Capitol Hill
to share stories, facts, and asks for more just policies with their elected officials.

This year’s advocacy priorities include supporting humane migration policies, standing for climate justice, and ending mass incarceration and exclusion.

How will it work?
Participants will will be provided with resources to dig into the issues prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C. and will continue digging in throughout the Teach-In. All Teach-In participants are offered an advocacy training with professional advocates and will be given support to help prepare for fruitful discussions with their elected Congresspersons.

Please note: Attendees interested in participating in the advocacy day are responsible for booking their own meetings. Any questions regarding booking meetings may be directed to Kim Miller at kmiller@ignatiansolidarity.net

SCHEDULING YOUR ADVOCACY MEETINGS


Individual delegations are responsible for setting up visits with their Members of Congress.

Before you schedule your advocacy meetings (August-Early October):

  • We recommend that each participant visits with his/her Representative and at least one Senator. Please have your participants meet with the Congresspersons tied to their voting addresses, rather than the school’s address. Your delegation may be meeting with multiple representatives and Senators (to account for delegates being from multiple districts.
  • Please decide if you will be advocating for immigration reform, racism and mass incarceration, or both issues in your meetings.

Scheduling your advocacy meetings (start this at least FOUR weeks before the IFTJ)

1. Find the names and contact information for your Representative and Senators at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. Remember: we’re asking delegations to book meetings with the Congresspersons tied to participants’ voting addresses, not necessarily the school/parish address. 
2. Contact the scheduler in your Congressperson’s D.C. office and ask for an appointment with the Member or Legislative Assistant.

3. You may need to fax or email your appointment request. Sample request letters are available online.
4. Tell the scheduler the date & times you are available, the issues you want to discuss, and who will be present during the visit.
5. Confirm the visit by phone a day or two before the appointment.

How will it work?
Participants will be provided with resources to dig into the issues prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C. and will continue digging in throughout the Teach-In. All Teach-In participants are offered an advocacy training with professional advocates and will be given support to help prepare for fruitful discussions with their elected Congresspersons.

Please note: Attendees interested in participating in the advocacy day are responsible for booking their own meetings. Any questions regarding booking meetings may be directed to Kim Miller at kmiller@ignatiansolidarity.net

Delegations from CA, NY, and OH: Due to the large volume of delegations from your state, you will have your Senate meeting booked for you. In order to allow for all delegations to take part in a Senate meeting, you will only be assigned one Senate meeting. Please book your House meetings after 11:30am.

An ISN representative will reach out to you in August regarding your Senate meeting. If you have not heard from ISN representative by 10/1, please contact Kim Miller at kmiller@ignatiansolidarity.net.

SCHEDULING YOUR SENATE MEETINGS


Due to the large size and amount of delegations from CA, NY, and OH participating in advocacy day, ISN staff will be responsible for booking your Senate meetings. Please do not book your own Senate meetings. You may book House meetings on your own, but please try to book them after 11:30 am.

An ISN representative will reach out to you in early August to confirm if you would like to participate in a Senate meeting. To keep the size manageable for Congressional staff, ISN will be scheduling only one Senate meeting per school/parish.

Once your meeting has been scheduled, you will be asked to 1) select one representative from your delegation to be a meeting speaker (can be a student, parishioner, etc.) and 2) be part of a conference call with a delegation leader from each of the delegations to determine meeting roles and logistics. 

Timeline

By September 6: ISN will reach out to your delegation contact person to confirm if your delegation would like to participate in the Senate meeting.

By September 12: Confirm with ISN staffperson how many members of your delegation will be participating in the Senate meeting.

By October 3: Select one representative from your group to be responsible for speaking during the meeting. Since many of the Senate meetings will include 5+ delegations, it is important to limit the number of speakers from each group.

October 15-19: Take part in a conference call with representatives from the other delegations who will be part of your Senate meeting. During this call, you will: 1) determine which delegation will be responsible for specific speaking roles, 2) which issues you will be covering, and 3) logistics for helping the meetings flow smoothly.

November 4: At minimum, the person who will be speaking for your school must attend the IFTJ advocacy training on Sunday, 11/4 for your state. It will provide a time for the speakers to meet each other prior to the advocacy day and try a quick meeting run-through.

PREPARING FOR YOUR MEETINGS


All Teach-In participants are offered a policy update and a small group advocacy training (a chance to role-play what a meeting looks like with seasoned advocates). However, ISN strongly recommends that delegations prepare for their advocacy meetings prior to the Teach-In! Preparation steps include: getting familiar with the talking points, attending the advocacy prep webinars, researching the issue positions of the Members you will be meeting with, dividing talking point responsibilities, and practicing talking points.

While participants will have the opportunity to participate in advocacy training on 11/5, 90-minutes is not the optimal amount of time to familiarize participants with talking points, receive coaching, and practice a meeting run-through. Delegations that prepare ahead of time enter advocacy day both more relaxed and prepared, which can help soothe the nerves of first-time advocates (and veterans too!). If you need any support in preparing for your meetings ahead of time, please contact Kim Miller at kmiller@ignatiansolidarity.net.

If you have any joint meetings scheduled with another delegation, connect with the delegation’s leaders prior to the IFTJ to determine which advocacy issue(s) you will cover, and break up responsibilities for meeting roles. Contact Kim Miller at kmiller@ignatiansolidarity.net for a meeting planner and suggestions on what to work out prior to your joint meeting.

Meeting Preparation Resources:

1. Skype or In-Person Advocacy Trainings From Professional Advocates

If you would like to connect with a professional advocate to discuss strategy or receive and advocacy training via Skype, please contact Kim Miller at kmiller@ignatiansolidarity.net or (216) 397-2080. In some cases, you may also be able to schedule an in-person advocacy training with a professional advocate prior to the Teach-In.

2. Advocacy Prep Webinars

All delegations who are participating in advocacy meetings are strongly encouraged to have at least one person from the group present for each of the issue-focused prep meetings. There will be additional advocacy training and issue briefing at the Teach-In, but the webinars will increase your readiness for successful advocacy visits.

  • To register for webinars, please visit: coming soon!

3. Ignatian Advocacy 101 Training Guide

The training guide for schools and communities features tips for advocacy meeting preparation and follow-up, a 90-minute training agenda, sample advocacy letters, meeting planners, and more!

How will it work?
Participants will will be provided with resources to dig into the issues prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C. and will continue digging in throughout the Teach-In. All Teach-In participants are offered an advocacy training with professional advocates and will be given support to help prepare for fruitful discussions with their elected Congresspersons.

Please note: Attendees interested in participating in the advocacy day are responsible for booking their own meetings. Any questions regarding booking meetings may be directed to Kim Miller at kmiller@ignatiansolidarity.net

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