Your Organization MUST Advocate
Last month, the city where my business is based, the city that I call home, Boulder, Colorado joined a long list of other U.S. cities that have experienced a mass shooting. The victims, Denny Stong, Neven Stanisic, Rikki Olds, Tralona Bartkowiak, Suzanne Fountain, Teri Leiker, Eric Talley, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, and Jody Waters were my community members. I’ve spent the last days texting and talking to neighbors, checking in on their well-being, mourning. At this early stage, it’s hard to understand what we become as a community after experiencing this tragedy. Our hope lies in our community’s doubled efforts to address the issues of mental health support and gun control.
Three years ago I encouraged organizations to advocate for their interests and their constituents. As my community begins to pick up the pieces, we are wondering what we should do. Who should advocate for stricter gun control and more mental health support to prevent another devastating loss in our community and others? While there has been a lot of individual, grassroots advocacy, there is also a need for organizations to advocate.
All organizations, even those tangentially connected to major issue topics, should look for intersections and lend their support in advocacy. What interest do retailers have with mental health support and gun control? By supporting these measures, retailers can see cost savings by not having to hire armed guards to protect shoppers. What interest does a homeless shelter have with mental health support and gun control? By supporting these measures, a homeless shelter no longer has to fundraise for mental health support or, alternatively, drop mental health support from its offerings due to costs.
It is your responsibility as an organization to advocate for your business interests and for the interests of your constituents. As my community continues to advocate for comprehensive gun control and mental health support, I strongly urge your organization to find the connection points between your mission, mental health support, and gun control, and join this fight!
For more information on board governance and board diversity, follow along on Twitter or Instagram. Nikki McCord is the founder of McCord Consulting Group, the only choice for organizations looking to energize, innovate, and diversify their Board of Directors.