By: Aroona Toor
The 2016 Social Good Summit included a variety of inspirational voices from around the world with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. Vice President, Joe Biden spoke about a topic near and dear to his heart, cancer. He lost his son, Beau Biden, the Attorney General of Delaware to brain cancer, a little over a year ago. For any parent the burden of burying your child is heavier than almost anything else in life. During the VP’s speech about cancer, he also spoke about the importance of grassroots community action.
A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend and participate in American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s Summit and National Lobby Day, where attendees volunteered their time and expertise to lobby legislators of all 50 states to make cancer a top priority for our country. I am very fortunate to have had the experience. I gained very important insight on how we can volunteer our time and voice to give hope and opportunity to millions of people around the nation and world. Just as hundreds of volunteer lobbyists did for the National Lobby Day, we need to mobilize at the grassroots level and ensure our state local and national legislators know and understand the importance and benefits of making the UN sustainable development goals a priority as well. If you are someone who wants to amplify the voice of the marginalized communities and have the ability to do so, I would highly encourage you to make plans to lobby at the next UNA-USA National Lobby day. Although most of us won’t have a personal connection to some or all of the sustainable development goals, in achieving the17 lofty SDG goals the importance of ally-ship cannot be surpassed by anything. Younger voices, bipartisanship and wide spread geographical representation are also key in convincing our legislators to help us get closer to #2030Now.