Haven’t held an advocacy-related event at your chapter lately? Do you struggle to secure funding for advocacy events? The Advocacy Beginner Track is the perfect place to start.

How do I get started?

Contact the Council on Advocacy. Your legislative coordinator will help take anxiety out of planning an advocacy related event at your chapter.

What events should I hold?

ADPACADPAC Drive

This is one of the staple items of ASDA advocacy events. ADPAC is the political action committee of the American Dental Association. This event is the one event that is actually held as an ADA event. All ASDA members are student members of the ADA as well. This is something that should be stated at the beginning of the event to formally state that ASDA is not giving this talk. This just has to do with legal factors regarding PACs and nonprofits.

How to hold the ADPAC drive: At an ADPAC drive, a variety of topics could be discussed and speakers could be present. Typically a chapter will hold a lunch or dinner event and invite someone to speak on legislation, the importance of advocacy, how ADPAC and the ADA protect us as future dentists, etc. A recommended invite is a state dental society leader or a local/ state elected official to give a brief talk. At this event, you will use the sign-up sheets for students to join ADPAC as a general member ($5) or as a capital club member ($50). Save your receipts as you can turn them into ADPAC and be reimbursed up to $250 for the event. Given the reimbursement this is a very important, high-yield event to hold.

ChaptAdvocacy_howtoguide_coversPlease consult page 11 of How to Promote Chapter Advocacy and refer to the following resources.

Lunch and Learn
  • Hold a lunch and learn. Lunch and learns are often a first step to introducing your chapter to a specific advocacy issue. A good topic for your first lunch and learn would be: Advocacy 101.
  • With an event like this, chapters can discuss the ways to advocate. This includes ASDA Engage, writing letters to representatives, generally staying informed and lobbying. These are all big parts of advocating for our profession. Regarding the tips and tricks for advocating, one would discuss how to lobby, things to say and avoid saying, how to be more impactful in writing a letter or speaking on a topic. Good sources of information and how to dissect what is useful to learn and must be understood as biased for information.

What event should I encourage my chapter members to attend?

Lobby Day
  • This is the major advocacy event of the year for ASDA. Expose the chapter to the event and start building excitement and recruitment for the event. It is one of the best experiences ASDA has to offer, and it really helps someone bring back a spark of energy to chapters and advocacy!
  • During Lobby Day, students visit Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of themselves and their patients. This unique experience gives ASDA members the opportunity to meet with lawmakers and their staff to discuss the issues that will impact the education and training of dental students and future dentists. Lobby Day attendees receive a full day of training on the issues and policies that are up for discussion with legislators and their staff. ASDA works to ensure all dental students are prepared to discuss these issues at length with anyone from a legislative aide, to the chief of staff, or even the Congressperson.
  • Visit the National Dental Student Lobby Day website for information on this event.