On April 10-12, 185 people from across the country – including 66 high school and college students – came together in Washington, D.C. for our annual three-day Advocacy Summit, where we called on elected leaders to invest in children from the start. We urged policymakers to focus on giving children a strong start in life by supporting early childhood education programs in the U.S. and by investing in key health and nutrition programs that save the lives of moms and kids around the world.
What makes these advocates so passionate? Matt Bennett from Iowa explains it best.
Follow Matt and his fellow advocates on a photo journey through Advocacy Summit 2016:
Day 1: Preparing to Advocate
We kicked things off with some festivities. Here, Save the Children Action Network President Mark Shriver talks with Carol Lee, one of our advocates from Arkansas.
We recognized Dianna Baker Hoye, one of our advocates from Iowa, as an exemplary champion for kids’ issues.
And we recognized student ambassador Kjersti Kleine, a junior at Furman University in South Carolina, for her amazing advocacy work for kids.
Day 2: Inspiring Speakers
USAID Administrator Gayle Smith spoke to us about how being an advocate is one of the best ways to hold government leaders accountable.
State Sen. Mike Johnston (D-CO), center, quoted the estimable Frederick Douglass, who said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair weak men.”
How is meeting your Congressperson like a first date? You have to make a connection, have a plan, and show your passion. Grassroots lobbyist Tom Sheridan walks a few of our Illinois advocates through a “practice” date.
Kristen Soltis Anderson, pollster and author of The Selfie Vote, told attendees: “Young people have important things to say about issues that really matter.”
And three youth, including Columbia University student and Rwandan Diana Munyana (speaking), shared their passion for helping other kids.
Day 3: On the Hill
In the morning, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was among four members of Congress recognized with the Champions for Children Congressional Award. Our New Hampshire delegation was excited to get a chance to meet her.
The Arkansas delegation met with Sen. John Boozman (R).
Two of our Illinois advocates met with Rep. John Shimkus (R).
Our Granite Staters had a meeting with Rep. Annie Kuster (D).
The South Carolina delegation got a chance to talk to Rep. Mark Sanford (R) about saving moms and kids and early ed.
Our Washington State delegation met with Rep. Suzan DelBene (D), an early sponsor of the Reach Every Mother and Child Act.
Matt and the Iowa delegation met with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), who we’re told remembers everyone he’s ever met!
And our lively Illinois advocates rounded off a day of successful meetings with a group shot by the Capitol.
Use your voice!
Inspired by the work our advocates our doing? You can help! Write to your congressperson about supporting critical legislation that would help kids survive and thrive.