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6 Ways to Be an Advocate During Vitiligo Awareness Month

6 Ways to Be an Advocate During Vitiligo Awareness Month

close-up of woman's ankles with vitiligo

With the naming of June 25th as World Vitiligo Day, June has become a month of advocacy and awareness for the vitiligo community. Only 1% of the world’s population has vitiligo—and that means that 99% of the world needs to know about this condition without a cure.

Why does advocacy matter? Today we have more research, more treatments and more inclusion of vitiligo than ever before. But the story doesn’t stop there.​​​​​​​​ The reality is that those living with vitiligo are still being bullied and socially ostracized because of vitiligo; there are patients still waiting for better treatments, coverage by insurance, and ultimately, a cure; and in parts of the world, living with vitiligo can even impact your ability to have a job or get married.​​​​​​​​⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Raising awareness starts with each one of us. And it’s easy to get started. Here are six ways you can be an advocate for vitiligo this June.

Be “loud and proud” on social media

With hundreds of thousands of posts with #vitiligo on Instagram and TikTok alone, social media has become an established platform for raising awareness about the condition. Jump on your favorite channel to spread the word about vitiligo by telling your story, sharing a fact or simply using the hashtag. Your presence alone brings awareness to vitiligo.

Attend a local or virtual vitiligo event—and bring a friend

All around the globe, there are events hosted on and around World Vitiligo Day to bring together those living with vitiligo and the families, friends and medical care teams that support them. Join a local or virtual vitiligo event to learn more about vitiligo and connect with others in this community. Better yet? Bring a friend. You can check out our curated calendar of vitiligo community events to get started.

Donate to a vitiligo nonprofit or research center—and ask others to do the same

Every day, there are hundreds of doctors, researchers, lobbyists and patients at work for the vitiligo community—and they need your help. Whether you donate to a nonprofit that provides support group networks, a research lab working to find a cure, or a global support group that advocates on behalf of those with vitiligo, your donation will go a long way to helping the vitiligo community. Learn more about some of the organizations making meaningful contributions to the advancement of vitiligo research and patient support.

Wear a vitiligo t-shirt

Advocacy doesn’t have to mean raising money and knocking on doors. Sometimes it’s as simple as wearing a t-shirt about vitiligo and being willing to answer questions about it. Wearing a t-shirt is an easy way to let the world know that you either have vitiligo or support someone with vitiligo—and you’re proud of it.

Share your vitiligo story

According to John Harris, director of the University of Massachusetts Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center, everything that needs to be done for vitiligo patients, including funding, research and lobbying, comes back to raising awareness by telling the stories of people with vitiligo—including your story. Share your experience with vitiligo by reaching out to a local newspaper, posting photos on social, or contacting local nonprofit organizations and blogs.

Send a postcard or letter to your local government officials

We need elected officials at every level—city hall, school board, governors, state legislators, senators and the president—to be aware of what vitiligo is; to understand that we need more money for research; to influence insurance companies to see it as a disease instead of a cosmetic issue so that it will be covered by insurance; to put money towards raising awareness through public service announcements; and to increase information in schools to end bullying. You can help raise awareness by writing a letter or sending a postcard to your local elected official.

How will you raise awareness this month?

View Comment (1)
  • Hi
    I have vitiligo since I was 3.5 years old. I am originally from Libya which hot country I always have bad time with sunny days! I I’m 29 years old now living in beautiful country Canada became my second home! I came here for school.
    So I wish I could help vitiligo people and I’m student and I’m proud of my vitiligo:)

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