“Our Stories Are Powerful, and Our Voices Are Strong”
On Wednesday, March 4, I was one of nearly 150 food allergy advocates who went to Capitol Hill. Seeing so many people come together gives me hope for the future of the food allergy community.
Guest post by Teen Advisory Group member Anisah Daniel
Anisah Daniel is a member of FARE’s Teen Advisory Group and a food allergy advocate. She was among 150 members of our community who participated in Courage at Congress: FARE’s Advocacy Day to Fight Food Allergies. In this guest blog post she shares her journey to Capitol Hill.
FARE’s Courage at Congress event was truly a memorable experience. I learned the power of my story and how I can advocate for life-changing legislation. The two bills this event focused on were the FASTER Act (the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2019, H.R. 2117) and H.R. 2468, the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act. Increased research funding will advance the current treatments being developed for food allergies and possibly find a cure for this life-threatening disease. Because I have sesame allergy myself, I am motivated to get the FASTER act passed, which would ensure that sesame is labeled as an ingredient on all food items.
Through different sessions and speeches, I learned how to be an advocate and make my voice heard in the legislature. The skills I learned at this event I will be able to carry on for the rest of my life, such as how to raise awareness on social media and how to conduct a legislative meeting. These skills gave me the confidence to demand action from my legislators.
On Wednesday, March 4, I was one of nearly 150 food allergy advocates who went to Capitol Hill and had in-person meetings with a Congressmen and two Senators. Through the training I received from FARE, I felt prepared for these meetings and empowered to share my story. I was surprised by how receptive my representatives were to co-sponsoring the two bills.
It was truly empowering to advocate with other families impacted by food allergies. I experienced the strength of our community firsthand as people with different backgrounds and different stories came together for this important cause. Seeing so many people come together gives me hope for the future of the food allergy community.
Our stories are powerful, and our voices are strong when we come together with a unified message to our lawmakers. This event was inspirational and provided a unique opportunity. I cannot wait to attend the fly-in again next year!