Next month, the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the Friends of NIDCR will host the annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. This event, which will be held on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET, is intended to bring those who support dental, oral and craniofacial research to Washington, D.C. to educate policymakers about the value of this work.
For some, this event may be second nature, but for others, an advocacy day might be an entirely new concept. Whether you’re new to this type of event or simply need a refresher, we have put together some information about what you can expect for the 2018 Advocacy Day and why you should attend:
Why host an Advocacy Day in the first place?
There are many reasons to host an advocacy day. In particular, advocacy days:
- Amplify causes by having a diverse, compelling group of individuals make their voices heard;
- Allow individuals to have face time with those who are creating policy and making decisions about how federal dollars are spent;
- Bring peers and colleagues together to network and share their experiences with one another; and
- Provide an opportunity for individuals to hear about the latest developments in Washington, D.C. and how it may affect their home states.
What should I expect on the day of the event?
After breakfast, the day’s agenda will begin with a key issues briefing. Over the course of the morning, attendees will hear a legislative and political overview about what’s happening in Washington, receive a scientific update on the activities and research initiatives at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) from NIDCR Director Dr. Martha Somerman, and receive a message training about how to navigate the Hill the conduct meetings with staff.
Once we break from the morning’s briefing and lunch, attendees will head to their visits with congressional offices. AADR is aiming to book at least two meetings for each participant. These visits, scheduled with members’ elected official(s), provide a unique opportunity for attendees to share why they care about dental, oral and craniofacial research and why it is important for the government to fund it.
Why should I attend?
For AADR members, the fields of dental, oral and craniofacial research presumably have a large role to play in your life.
As a researcher, this field may be your livelihood.
As a student, this work may be integral to your future path.
As a patient advocate, this research may hold promise for the disease or condition that you and/or your organization are working to tackle.
Regardless of your connection to this field, your voice is central to elevating oral research on the Hill and ensuring that policymakers know why it should be funded. Members of Congress value and listen to constituents. You are the best stewards of this message. By participating in this event, you can help protect funding for dental research and keep it on the minds of policymakers over the course of the year.
Last year, AADR members conducted over 70 meetings with members of Congress and congressional staff. We’re aiming to conduct even more visits this year!
I’m in. Where do I sign up?
Register by completing the registration form online. *Please note: your registration represents your professional commitment to attend. Last minute cancellations or failure to attend will harm our relationship with members of Congress and their staff.
If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact AADR Assistant Director of Government Affairs Lindsey Horan.