With Advocacy Month coming to an end and advocacy engagement high, it is important to recognize how we can continue this momentum to create change year-round. When dental students across the nation work together to advocate for key issues, their united voice makes a difference.
ASDA’s Annual Session in 2020 inspired me to take a more active interest in advocacy. At Annual Session, I saw students legislating and taking action that would directly impact thousands of dental students. This proved the significant impact we as students could have, and I hoped that I could use my experiences to create new events for Houston ASDA’s members that would inspire them as well.
Sonali Lallu and Hilary Wong have been committed to ASDA and learning about their future careers throughout their undergrad studies. Here, they discuss how predentals and rising D1s can get involved and why advocacy is important to students at all levels.
Words have the power to invoke a feeling, relive a memory and inspire change. In advocacy, the rhetoric we choose can make or break the conversations you’re having. To lobby is to converse with people in power and persuade them to enact change. Using the aspects of rhetoric can enhance our advocacy and lobby efforts.
Advocacy Month 2020 is here, and this year, we are exploring the past, present and future of advocacy through the theme, “Hindsight is 2020: Act now to change the future.” As we delve into Advocacy Month, we’ll explore where advocacy started, where we are now and where we’re headed.
Deamonte Driver was a 12-year-old African American child from Maryland who died from a tooth infection on Feb. 25, 2007. Ever since his mom was unable to find a Medicaid dental provider in his low socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhood, he has stood as an example for how severe oral health disparities can be for disadvantaged children in the United States, specifically those from a non-white race or ethnicity.
This past April, as part of the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day in Washington D.C, 1,000 dentists and dental students went to Capitol Hill to lobby for the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA), legislation that would help children with congenital anomalies.