Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation. (Justice in the World #6)
Guided by Catholic Social Teaching, MAP aims to improve the quality of life for those who are suffering from preventable and reparable social inequities, while inspiring other youth to take similar action.
Advocacy is the process of changing unjust systems from the inside out. As advocates, we identify issues we feel most passionate about and dedicate time and effort to researching and spreading awareness about them. We focus primarily on legislative advocacy, which enables us to influence policies that will alleviate social injustice at its source.
We believe in the power of young people as a force for change in our democracy. Most of our members start with little to no prior knowledge of advocacy, learning instead through the hands-on experience of diving into policy research, awareness campaigns, and legislative meetings.
Advocacy provides the toolset necessary to create real, lasting change in the world on the issues we care about. With the rise of social media and digital advocacy, anyone can make a difference in the world. This is truly a new age, and it’s our age.
In 2008, a group of Mitty Juniors and Seniors passionate about finding solutions to social injustices they witnessed on their immersion trips approached their Religious Studies teachers for guidance. With support from the school, this small group attended Catholic Lobby Day in Sacramento as Mitty's delegation. This group became the Mitty Advocacy Project, or MAP. From a modest beginning, our membership has grown from 12 to over 150 members and our advocacy initiatives have expanded to encompass legislative advocacy, grassroots action, and community education.
At the beginning of each school year, MAP members propose, discuss, and vote on four to five social justice concerns they see as most pressing. This year’s issue teams are: Environmental Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, Gun Violence Prevention, Immigration Reform, and Mental Health Reform. Check out our website for a complete list of our past issue teams. Over the course of the year, we advocate to legislators at the local, state, and federal levels, implement awareness campaigns in our community, and organize our generation at a grassroots level to alleviate social injustices. In addition to our issue teams, MAP’s outreach teams – MAPx, CAMP, and MAP Inc. – broaden the scope of our advocacy efforts by engaging in project-based initiatives, media campaigns, and international advocacy.
Throughout the year, MAP members participate in a variety of educational field trips related to the social justice issues we pursue, as well as legislative advocacy meetings with elected officials on the local, state, and federal levels. For example, MAP sends a delegation of students on an annual trip to Washington DC to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill. Through such advocacy, students develop skills in legislative analysis and strategy, communicating and building relationships with elected officials and their staff, public awareness campaign development, and negotiating and managing differences in opinion.
Students of all backgrounds, political affiliations, and points of view are welcome to join MAP and work together to build a more just society. Current Mitty students interested in joining MAP are encouraged to check out meetings.mittyadvocacyproject.com for details, including the Zoom link where we currently hold meetings.
MAP members may complete their Service Learning requirement through 10 hours of on-campus contributions to MAP initiatives at weekly meetings plus participation in two special events over the course of the school year.