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Advocate for the Poor

Photo by David Snyder for CRS

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Put your faith into action through advocacy. Become a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is taking action to support a cause or proposal. It encompasses educating and mobilizing citizens, and it involves them in developing and promoting policies they care about.

We can ease human suffering and help millions of people through advocacy that changes unjust policies or systems. Our campaigns to address the world's most pressing issues, initiatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, are the official voice of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States on easing human suffering worldwide. Join Catholics in the United States and others of good will learn more about policy issues that affect our brothers and sisters around the world, advocate for changes in unjust policies, and help create new policies that benefit the common good.

How does advocacy impact our work in the field?

CRS complements our humanitarian and development work overseas with policy analysis and advocacy at home. Every 2 years we select policy issues on which to advocate in the United States. We analyze global and regional trends, identify issues that impact multiple regions of the world, and consider ways to address them. CRS staff, our partners and the USCCB then help determine priority issues for advocacy.

What is CRS doing to advocate on behalf of poor and vulnerable people? 

Speaking out is central to our identity as a people of faith. By our Baptism, Catholics are committed to following Jesus Christ and being “salt for the earth, light for the nations.” As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person ... As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life.” (nos. 1913–1915)

We invite you to join us as we confront global poverty through the power of our collective voice. Together, we can address the root causes of poverty around the world—hunger, disease, violent conflict, and injustice—which disproportionately impact our impoverished brothers and sisters around the globe.

Our priority issues include:

  1. Supporting poverty-focused international assistance that helps refugees fleeing violent conflict in places like Syria and Iraq, children vulnerable to malnutrition, and people rebuilding their communities after natural and man-made disasters .
  2. Following the call of Pope Francis to take action on climate change and care for our common home. This includes supporting resources for the Green Climate Fund and implementation of the Paris climate change accord.
  3. Pursuing peace in regions such as Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Holy Land .

How can I get involved?

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Public Policy

Catholic Relief Services complements its humanitarian and development work and experience with policy analysis and advocacy to address the root causes of poverty, conflict and marginalization. CRS examines the issues that are dramatically impacting the safety and well-being of poor and vulnerable people worldwide. Our work is based on the principles of Catholic social teaching, primary among them the protection of the dignity of the human person. Read about our positions on: