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Applications open for new program aiming to teach Alabamians to help advocate for change

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The Alabama State Office (ALSO), a project from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has announced the launch of its Advocacy Institute. That’s a program to teach Alabamians how to advocate for positive change in the rural communities in the state.

SPLC

“The Advocacy Institute is designed to help community members with practical hands on experience in training and advocacy. It is training grounds for individuals that you don't necessarily see working for organizations or have the title [of] ‘Organizer’ or “Activists’, but who are committed to seeing change in their communities,” said Tafeni English-Relf, director of the ALSO.

SPLC

Up to 15 applicants will be selected to meet one weekend each month beginning June 20 and ending in September for training sessions. They will work closely with SPLC staff to learn the necessary elements for developing and executing an advocacy plan in Alabama.

“If you have the information, if you understand the information [and] if you're educated on the issues that are impacting Alabamians, you will feel empowered to really have your voice heard in a way that you are calling for change in your communities,” English-Relf explained.

Applications for the program are being accepted through April 30, 2024. The goal of the initiative is to eradicate poverty, protect voting rights and democracy, criminal justice reform, ending white nationalism, and addressing the issues that are affecting all Alabamians.

“If you have had an idea for an advocacy plan, if you have a desire where you want to mobilize your community around particular issues [and] if you want to develop a space for more strategy oriented work, the Advocacy Institute is definitely the place for you.”

The SPLC is a national civil rights organization that started in Montgomery in 1971. Today the organization has state offices throughout the south. This is the first time that the ALSO has launched this initiative. To apply or to learn more about the ALSO Advocacy Institute, click here.

Hannah Holcombe is a student intern at the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She is a Sophomore at the University of Alabama and is studying news media. She has a love for plants, dogs and writing. She hopes to pursue a career as a reporter.
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