Growing up I often thought about equality and what that means to me. To me it meant that all kids, no matter their age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs or whatever box people may check off, deserved to have the same chances to succeed in life. As an adult I now realize that equality means much more. It means that a kid’s voice needs to be heard by the policymakers in local, state and federal governments.
Equality means that schools should have the same resources for kids to thrive whether they live in the Amani neighborhood of Milwaukee or in Mequon, Wis. Equality means access to affordable, high-quality health care, since we know this is key to a child’s ability to learn. Equality means a safe and healthy environment for kids to grow up in. Equality means access to healthy food options in your neighborhood. Equality in its simplest form is to be treated in the same way you would want to be treated. This is why I have a passion for advocating for children and their families.
Advocating for those who are disengaged from the process
Advocacy is an important extension of the work we do at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. I advocate for the people whose voices are too often stifled. I want their stories told so that we can continue the conversation of what resources are needed to create honest equality. I believe that if I remain silent, then I too am part of the problem rather than being part of the solution. Advocacy is such an important part of my work with the Community Health Navigation team at Children’s Hospital as well as my personal journey. I feel fortunate to work at Children’s Hospital, where personal and collective advocacy are highly valued.
If I advocate for change in my own neighborhood, then it’s easy to see the importance of advocating for those who are disengaged from the process. I advocate because a world based on equality is a world where kids can grow up in healthy environments with the best in education, health care and food options, and a place where local officials truly value the voices of the people they serve. We must never remain silent when we believe equality is at risk.
Let’s work together to make a difference
As a C.A.N. advocate I receive emails about important issues and it is up to me to contact my elected official. It’s easy to sign up and only takes a couple of minutes. Add your voice today at www.chw.org/CANSIGNUP.
- Gabe Doyle, community health navigation supervisor, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services provides community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services, family resource centers and education services.