MAP’s exceptional performance in Washington DC also inspired other high school students to take an interest in advocacy. To nurture this interest, MAP hosted a Catholic Youth Lobby Day in Spring 2011. The event, designed to be a student version of the annual Catholic Lobby Day, required months of research and rehearsal. When the event rolled around, Mitty students found themselves teaching over 160 high school students from all over California about four current social justice issues: juvenile sentencing, food safety, human trafficking, and the California higher education budget. After a student-friendly mass in the historic basilica located right down the street from the state’s capitol building in Sacramento, Mitty students led workshops geared towards educating the attendees on the intricacies of the topics mentioned above and training them to conduct a legislative meeting. Following this, both Mitty students and students from almost every area of California participated in a total of over 50 formal legislative meetings with their respective legislators. Students drew on a variety of sources to support their points including legislative bills, hard-hitting facts and figures, and personal testimonies of individuals affected by the problems discussed. Through this event, MAP was able to simultaneously spread awareness and urge action to work against the pressing social injustices besieging modern society.
In addition, MAP students met with San Jose Police Human Trafficking Unit Director Jennifer Dotzler to share their passion for eradicating this devastating issue in our community. This meeting established a partnership with SJPD that will result in several community projects over the years to come.
Clearly, MAP has had a dramatic influence over the advocacy world this past school year. What with boldly presenting opinions in the nation’s capitol to instituting a brand-new, highly successful event to increase social awareness and encourage action to reduce injustice in the community, MAP has certainly risen to meet its aim. Additionally, MAP’s efforts this year have irrevocably shaped the tidal wave that is advocacy. With a new school year rapidly approaching, we can only eagerly anticipate what the new year will bring for MAP and the wider realm of social advocacy.