Learning to Advocate for Children and Families

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Upcoming Events


Ad vo cate (noun): a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.


When influencing the halls of power, whether in your town, your state capitol, or Washington, DC, advocacy makes a difference. In this free webinar series, participants learn skills to be an effective advocate for issues they care about and be engaged and informed members of their communities. From strategies for organizing stakeholders to methods for communicating your priorities, this series explores everything you need to make an impact on the issues most important to you.

All webinars are one hour long and have live Spanish translation and closed captioning available.

This series will be facilitated by Catriona Macdonald, MPP, President, Linchpin Strategies, LLC.


Episode I: The Foundations of Effective Advocacy

Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT

This webinar provides an overview of the nuts and bolts of advocacy, including: 

  • How to find, learn about, and contact your elected officials 
  • How to frame an issue so elected officials respond 
  • Ways to elevate your voice through working with (or creating!) coalitions engaged in your issues
  • Strategies and methods for keeping your issue front and center

Episode II: Advocating for Systemic Change
Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT

While legislative gridlock can prevent policies that are important to children and families from becoming law, communities are moving solutions forward.  Meanwhile, the legislative redistricting process has become highly politicized, fueling further legislative gridlock that citizens and groups are responding to with their own policy solutions and programs.   

This webinar will provide an overview of innovative state and regional approaches to family-friendly policies, highlighting how citizen advocacy made a difference.  We will also dive into the process of redistricting; gerrymandering and why it matters to family-friendly policies and programs; and how to advocate and organize around these issues in your community.   

Episode III: It Takes a Village
Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT

This webinar explores strategies and methods for implementing an advocacy plan and being the most effective advocate you can be, including:

  • Spreading your message through social media channels and the press
  • Understanding the influence and impact of unexpected advocates
  • The roles of community leaders and influencers
  • Ways to leverage voting cycles and elections to deepen your impact

Facilitated by:  

Catriona MacDonald headshot

Catriona Macdonald, MPP,  President, Linchpin Strategies, LLC

Catriona Macdonald leads Linchpin Strategies, LLC, where she assists non-profit organizations in the areas of health, education, and disability in communicating their priorities and needs to audiences at all levels of government. Since founding Linchpin Strategies in 2004, Catriona has led successful efforts to establish new medical research funds; protect small business opportunities from federal agency overreach and multi-million dollar competitors; and secure increases of more than $4 billion for early childhood education.

Catriona’s experience on Capitol Hill includes working for Senator Edward Kennedy on the Senate Labor Committee; staffing domestic social issues and appropriations for Congressman Steny Hoyer; and serving as the Legislative Director for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee. Catriona’s experience in the executive branch includes working as a budget and policy analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget at the US Department of Health and Human Services. She received her B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

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Babies and children, families and communities do the research on what it takes for them to flourish. Listen with us to what they’ve been learning. Watch a webinar. Check out the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative. Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center Learning Network. Join the conversation.

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