Understand the Issue
Begin with research about your issue and the opposition
It is important to first understand the history of your issue and the events related to its current debate. Why is this an important issue now? What recent events have caused your issue to gain importance or visibility? It is also a helpful idea to do “opposition” research so that you can best plan your strategy.
AU’s national office provides brochures and talking points sheets for all our major issues. If your community or university is facing a new, or unique, church/state concern, contact the national office and our communications team will craft a message specific to your issue.
Gathering information about your issue
On the AU web site www.au.org you will find AU press releases, information about pending legal cases, and recent (and past) issues of Church & State magazine. In addition, your local newspaper is a great resource for information within your community and state. The public library and Internet are also sources of information on many of these issues.
Google is also your friend. Research on search engines, video sites, and picture sites. You may turn up something valuable. Some worthwhile sites include:
- Americans United
- American Civil Liberties Union
- PublicEye (Religious Right Research)
- Center for Religious Freedom
- THOMAS (Congressional Bill Search)
- First Amendment Center
- Thomas Jefferson Center
- Center For Inquiry
The above are only a small sampling of organizations and resources that you may find useful. Explore these sites as well as their presences on Facebook. You will likely find other organizations with resources that may aid you.