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The difference between an Advocate and an Activist

The-difference-between-an-Advocate-and-an-ActivistI previously posted about the difference between an Ally and Advocate because it became apparent that not everyone knew what the difference was. In this post, I’d like to address two more similar words, Advocate and Activist. While researching my previous topic of ally and advocate I had troubles locating any blog that had previously posted about the differences. This time, however, there are plenty of resources educating people on the differences between advocacy and activism, which I share below.

Rather than attempt to paraphrase – below is the best description I found of what the difference between an advocate and an activist are. This was taken directly from the website.


What is an activist/advocate? What is the different between the two, and which am I?

Activism and advocacy are terms that are often used interchangeably, and while they do overlap, they also have distinctly different meanings. It’s important to remember the distinctions especially if you plan to participate in either activity, so that you know what you’re talking about, and so you know how your actions are different.

An activist is a person who makes an intentional action to bring about social or political change.

Example: Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist who challenged racial segregation in 1955 by refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white man.

An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another person or group.

Example: Angelina Jolie is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador (UNHCR) who uses her talent and fame to advocate for refugees.

Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social change, political change, economic justice, or environmental well being. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.

The word “activism” is often used synonymously with protest or dissent, but activism can stem from any number of political orientations and take a wide range of forms, from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism (such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing preferred businesses), rallies, blogging and street marches, strikes, both work stoppages and hunger strikes, or even guerrilla tactics.

An advocate can also be involved in controversial activities or issues, but because they are speaking on behalf of a group, they tend to be more likely to follow the paths of lobbying and legislation. They are also often part of a bigger group, such as Angelina Jolie speaking on behalf of the UN, or Don Cheadle speaking on behalf of Save Darfur. This is of course not always the case, but these distinctions are sometimes defined in such ways.

Because these actions often overlap, a lot of the information that we’ve included can be used by and activist or an advocate. There aren’t always specific lines that separate roles or actions, but you should use these guidelines to come up with a plan for effective action that’s best for your organization or group.


So which one are you? If any? I often refer to myself as an advocate for the LGBT community and am quite proud of that fact. You can advocate on behalf of a small group or large group and make a significant impact as one single person. Remember that you alone can make a difference.




About Jenn T. Grace

Jenn T. Grace (she/her/hers) is an award-winning author and founder and CEO of Publish Your Purpose (PYP), the acclaimed hybrid publisher of non-fiction books. Jenn has published 100+ books written by thought leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs who are striving to make a difference. Jenn T. Grace’s work elevates and amplifies the voices of others—especially marginalized groups who are regularly excluded from traditional publishing.

8 comments to " The difference between an Advocate and an Activist "

  • Ariel

    Thank you for the post! I am both FYI but I realize my different roles become apparent depending on what I am dissenting upon. I am a higher educator first but my research plays mostly the role of advocacy whist hinting at activism but my civilian duties I preform are clearly activism. My Facebook page is advocacy but my behavior in a civil rights organization is activism! This has been really helpful!

  • […] be it someday. Greg and David discuss the difference between activism and advocacy, and the need for advocates and activists. David burns up a good half hour describing the benefits of burning up a good half hour between […]

  • Nice article you put up here, Jenn. Now I understood the difference between Advocate and an Activist, thanks to you!

  • Thanks Ms. Grace for writing this.

    It proves my point.

    When a person becomes an activist they realize that they are working in co-operation with other activists who while they champion a political cause like LGBT or Free Speech that we have common ground because the U.S. Constitution was crafted by our Founding Fathers to check and balance our differences.

    Those rich white aristocrats,in turn, paid respect to King Cyrus who championed human rights long ago in what we call Iran today under the religion called Zoroastrianism.

    I’m biased I guess. I can’t speak well of advocacy – many people feed the homeless so that is advocacy if you put up a facebook live video showing that you feed the homeless and this attracts more participation then that seems good; but, I have learned that charities kinda suck overall, sorry.

    Take the Salvation Army for example. While it appears true that well over 90% of the funds raised reach those in need it is only a secret to those who don’t care to look that that is a Freemasonic organization that has an agenda.

    What is the agenda? Socialism. Essentially, the plan is to use groups like Goodwill and Salvation Army to get the general public to buy into this idea that we need to be saved by people who are superior to us so it merges the Christian savior ideal with secular humanism where community will save itself as organized by banksters like the Rockefellers who pay for what is promoted to us in media including groups like the U.N. that you mentioned where Angelina Joile advocates for the poor of the third world.

    I tell you who I think has my back on this talk is that woman, Rosa Koire, who identifies as Lesbian and comes from a Progressive background.

    She was a big believer in all this community advocacy until she looked into the topic of eminent domain. She is big into environmentalism and then she learned the way it is run is a total scam of the Rockefellers and the U.N. that they made and run that org today.

    Its just the rich landlords who invade our localities by having little agents who take over the city hall and invite us to bogus events where we are supposed to be working together to find common support for legislation when in reality all that has already been decided by elites who run the groups that attract people to participate. Most of us don’t know we are getting our info and direction from compromised groups because we are born into these identity cults and then the rebel groups that are sold to us whether its Infowars or the Huffington Post are also controlled.

    Angleina Joile advocates for people suffering from cancer. How? By telling women to cut their breasts off to stop from getting breast cancer. That is so stupid and evil and unnecessary. What good is hating NAZIs if you become them by asking for the medical industry that is totally run by the Rockefellers to advocate that people retard themselves and willingly choose to become wards of the social state?

    I’m really more mad at us for buying into this self hate sold as a social system by these psychopathic gangsters. They have had their ability to care for others destroyed or they never had it – what is our excuse for going along with this?

    Is getting people to cull themselves environmental advocacy? See what I mean? Its just eugenics posing as secular humanism as if that was any better than how science has been turned into scientism or a search for the Christ within was turned into a state religion of Rome – we are the white blood cells within the body human that fight together to stop our own cancerous behaviors that degrade us as a species.

    When I go to the supermarket it pisses me off that we are encouraged to use a “self check-out”. That’s like inviting people to blow their heads off in public with a gun so some person can eat and other can get a job – not cool.

    People are being taught that its ok to fear other people so they should just stick their heads into their smartphones and isolate while in public from others and to become more and more helpless and dependent on help from outside where we are taught to be arrested in our development and this be sold as hightened tolerance when its just selling acting retarded is cool when it really keeps us weak and sick.

    I first thought of myself as an Activist when I lived in Seattle from ’99 – 2001 and there was a World Trade Organization meeting that became known as the Battle of Seattle as it appeared to be poorly managed in my view till it descended into a fight between just people that lived there and the police who forced people to have to go out onto the streets as tear gas would flow into our apartments.

    I remember going home after getting tired of playing protest all day and you coudn’t even do that – the tv literally came into our neighborhood – I watched this standoff line between protestors and cops march right up Pike St. to where I lived in Capitol Hill up from downtown.

    At another key point, I looked toward the convention center where I worked at Kinkos copies along with two guys from Vancouver, B.C. whom I let stay with me for the protest. They argued that it was not fair for Bill Gates to meet with other industrialists who are technocrats who decide our fate now that tech has taken over for people and democracy in deciding what we do.

    I disagreed. As much as I don’t like them telling us what to do we are free to assemble and speek and act so if we don’t value what we can do from the cheap seats in life then we have failed to access our source of power which does not come from money but from our ability to work which is accessing nature which is where infinite value comes from.

    I think we are not living in the progress that the left sees. I look to a past where people lived in caves and did not have credit debt nor did they work their whole lives just to pay for a home and school – that is so dumb I’m not even going to comment any further with how reatarded we behave today all of us.

    Retarded is not to refer to someone who has a physical disability it shoudl refer to the majority of us who are inamature and have been retarded by a culture that promotes this spoiling of people. Spoiling people is very mean – when you teach people to become victims and helpless by doing for them what they should do themselves. Why do birds know what people don’t? Because people can be retarded very easily through mis-education.

    If you are cool with the established order like with how university is a casino that steals value from your locality to give to the royals then I don’t know how to reach you – you are as mind controlled as some nut who thinks an evangelist is removing demons from her when a cross is pressed into her fat head.

    All our tax money goes to pay for debt and war – none of it goes to pay for roads and such like the left says.

    Neo Cons are just as lost ofcourse – they are controlled by Trotzkyite Commies and have no clue. Quit it the both of the left and right with the Russian witch hunt – as if Hillary and Bill didn’t give them tech and nuke info for money. The Russians fly a flag with a double headed eagle – that is Freemasonry in a nutshell. The Grand Chess board theory is that to control the world you must control Russia which can look to both the East and West for its identity.

    There is zero difference between these national governments or the news hype of political division.

    We need to break out of the bogus divisions in identity politics by being ourselves large enough so that we attract people from outside our tribes toward a bigger sense of who we are as one human anthropos – will we be an unconscious beast or will we learn how to control us like the bankers know how to do with media magic? All we have to do is learn how to use these tools – that is our common ground.

    I consider myself a no labels type of person. I admit and am thankful for the different identity cults I’ve been apart of such as Christian, American, etc. but its because I was exposed to different ones and am an only child that I probably identify with an outsider mentality despite being a white skinned man who inherited some money – imagine how awkward that can be to have that ‘gift/burden’ put into your life. All of us are even more than these experiences that define us.

    I just really want to say that I still identify with the idea of being an activist. Why? Because my experience is that you start out wanting to be some hero for X cause but it doesn’t matter what your specific passion is really.

    The only thing that matters is that you find other activists who are equally passionate about their cause to champion and that you co-operate (not collectivize).

    You could label Activism as a form of social justice and this is confusing because people that may identify with the Alt Right could also be labelled as such though they would see the term SJW as associated with the LGBT community and the liberal protest movements they would hate to realize they were connected with.

    Anyway, I feel that when you become a thought leader and decide you will put your reputation on the line to challenge social norms that you feel are unhelpful to us all then you become a knight of sorts who fights on behalf of others in like manner as I fight for my desires in a co-operation; so, this is a middle road between the poles of activist vs. advocate as has been contrasted here.

    To me, its ok that we have and value our limited identity labels as long as we see they only have value when we realize we are contributing to a larger community. So all the “I hate men” energy that may come from the Feminist community, for example (same with the energy of I hate women from men or some screwy migtow designation),
    is not helpful as you cannot change how male and female energy itself is inter-related.

    Even people that create cartoons know you MUST have rules that are inviolable even if you make that up or else the cartoon won’t work because in order to “work” or be accepted by people it must have some grounding in consensus reality just as dreams do, you see? Just as no person is an island unto themselves so too no one or group may stray too far from nature lest they lose their humanity just as one may lose their life in an attempt to demand it be different than it is in a suicide action, yes?

    Limits and Discipline are necessary to reach freedoms beyond our current state as much as being open is needed.

    Again, this is what Freemasonry appears to be telling us with their concept of morals and dogma – they taught us to challenge each other as we are polarized into identity groups who are unknowingly working together in a grand alchemical work where we are all police watching each other now aren’t we with the Facebook and now Next Door where your neighbors can freak out about people walking around or whatever probably paranoid delusion they may want to play out along a real need to better interact as neighbors.

    Its like we are all in detention and we have to police ourselves and experiments done in universities in the 70’s show that we can easily be turned into witch hunters that would put the Spanish Inquisition to shame so we better learn to get along because the other half of us both individually and all together wants to cause a ruckus.

    Just as you can’t use ideas about race to change the problems with race because the problem with race is that it is an idea that people believe in while also saying they abhor.

    Rome created this idea of races. They created classes of people. This is what the Smurfs refers to. The caps they wore were like Phyrgian caps. These social orders like Freemasons passed down a list of rules from the royal families that promised people access to their riches and advantages if they agreed to perform duties under new race designations.

    In medieval times, if you were a peasant and you were caught by a cop wearing clothes not permissable you could be killed on the spot.

    This is the problem with valuing law – it changes and its the same banking gangsters who know occult knowledge that run the government while they have us all ride a roller coaster where we take turns being on top telling each other what to do as if that was any kind of progress when its not.

    Its not progress that I regularly have to argue with people who have white skinned that I shouldn’t be attacked because I have white skin. I shouldn’t be asked to give black skinned people 40 acres and a mule anymore than we should all be punished as Americans for what the military does with our tax money – nobody ever wants war but it always happens – I’m sure a grand culling is coming that is just as supported by the left who supports the environmental movement which is just a new way to war and kill people but with vaccinations and gmos.

    Any pro or anti Trump energy is sucking away energy we could use to get stuff done together. Will the real antiwar movement please stand the funk up my Gawd. The millennials have been destroyed by public education and media – they are all sucked into the daily media circus pitted against each other and they just want to see this whole place go up in flames and I don’t blame them really.

    There must be a destruction and rebuilding – how that goes down is as much on us as any mean old rich men at the top of the power pyramid.

    We individually are our own problem and not others despite the slave system we still live in.

    I’m looking for the warriors in other identity groups to UNIFY with – that is my job that I choose that role, that label.

    The more we fight to be our individuated selves but not in isolation but with others while considering their wants and needs and helping them if we can the more we all will access a greater truth a deeper sense of who we are that is not a monoculture aspect of the multi-cult.

    No, there must be an individuated energy that acts in service of the whole of humanity to counter what I call the Borg Hive Mind that we are also in by integrating media and now social media via the Internet into our aspect of who we are.

    So, for me, I kinda hate collectivist terms like advocacy – nobody better speak for me. Screw the whole idea of elected representatives. We have the damned internet – what do I need the same old white Senators or some woman who acts just like them in a damn pantsuit to speak for me? How offensive, yes?

    I really don’t care if this is all Communism all this social media and social activism – I know enough to know that the Protestant and Catholic movements were what brought about academia and now its this academia that is like the crap that church was banning my free speech as hate speech just for saying the word tranny in connection with a larger transhumanism movement of which we are all in. If you have an android phone you are an android by the damn definition of the word, I care not how someone feels about that.

    The point that we become more artificial than natural is the point that we become transhuman. The Christians wrestled with this long ago. The Puritans were the ones that decided it was ok to wear eyeglasses to improve sight because it was controversial saying if God wanted you to do X you would be able to.

    They even put tools into their stained glass. I agree. Tools are neutral.

    I think that Luciferianism is about tool use. Tools are neutral – they are both sexual energies in one.

    If we choose to use the internet we are choosing to be part of a hive mind so the same people that hate multi-culturalism (which is crazy because that is what America was made to make happen by these Founding Fathers who were Masons like George Washington who followed in the footsteps of people like John Dees who was the personal wizard of Queen Elizabeth who coined the term British Empire).

    Whether we know it or not, we are all apart of a great work to create a master race out of root races – this is what the elite go on and on about and is no secret to anyone who looks beyond the lies we are sold.

    I know enough to know we are all on the same team and if people want to fight each other as if only one could survive then they will play that role which is the same game the unifiers are playing which is one about alchemical transformation or managing the flow of energy from emptiness to form and back again.

    Hate itself must be respected or else we will suffer for it. If someone hates gay people, lets say, they don’t know it but they are seeing something in someone’s physicality that they hate about their spirit self but can’t face and overcome.

    Hate is a way that an animal goes from fear to facing their fear like watching dogs fight which is funny because sometimes little dogs can intimidate larger ones, yes?

    Don’t advocate for bans on “hate speech” unless you are knowingly against “free speech”.

    Even a little slave black skinned girl knew how to stand up to a mean old white skinned supremacist man who would beat her for asking for a dime to go to town and buy items for the household.

    She knew she was in the right to yell “No!” to the slaveowner. And again demand the money on her Mom’s behalf to do their work for the slaveowner.

    We are more and more managing the entire humanity as the beast it is – most people would rather be minion consumers so they will allow themselves to be programmed by those of us who can use self publication tools.

    Your ability to recognize what you know to be merit in another’s action is this tool of equality you seek in terms of our shared pursuit of happiness.

    The more we can give shout outs to people in other identity tribes who share our common need to activate the ideals we strive to honor the more a true Republic will rise that we can respect where the best lead the rest who voluntarily sit themselves into the student seat so they can become teachers – you cannot have everyone trying to be on top all the time so people can choose to take roles as they are able to do them and this should also be about respecting our limitations as much as finding ways to hack these systems.

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