Each month, I take some time off for CEO activism and advocacy. Activities have included representing at a judicial redistricting hearing, attending a gun reform rally, delivering workshops on advocacy writing, and lobbying.

Last month, I went to the N.C. Legislature with NC AIDS Action Network to talk to state legislators about the importance of expanding Medicaid and increasing funding for therapies and programs that benefit people living with HIV. I couldn't make AIDSWatch in Washington this year, but I did continue my tradition of buying coffee for the advocates and allies. Here's the gang getting caffeinated before calling on the North Carolina delegation:

NC AIDS Action enjoys coffee provided by The Word Factory

NC AIDS Action Network advocates on a coffee break sponsored by The Word Factory

Investing in organizations and events on "work time" and/or with "work dollars" sends an important message: "This cause is important enough for me to slow the wheels of commerce to work on". And if you doubt the political influence of business owners, check out how much sway your local or state chamber of commerce has over policymaking.

CEO activism and advocacy is especially important for health-related causes. Healthcare is an integral part of my business, even as a brand journalism studio. Why? We pay insurance premiums. We need our team to be healthy and able to do their excellent work. We all need access to the healthcare services we need at a price we can afford.

I applaud agencies and freelancers who donate creative talent to nonprofits and advocacy groups. Thank you. It makes a difference. I invite you to up your game by joining me in showing up personally for events and rallies, too. Being seen is so vital.

Learn more about why CEO advocacy is important by reading my guest column for AIDS United.

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