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Application period for new Advocacy Institute from the SPLC’s Alabama State Office soon closing


The Alabama State Office (ALSO), a project of the nonprofit organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, which works to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people, is taking submissions for its new Advocacy Institute. Applications for the inaugural class are being accepted through Tuesday, April 30.

The SPLC says the program will guide Alabamians in advocating for and advancing issues critical to improving their communities. Curriculum includes lessons on supporting change at the local level, community organizing and connecting participants with the tools, resources and partners needed for success.

“Eradicating poverty, protecting voting rights and democracy, championing criminal justice reform, and ending white nationalism are key issues that affect us all. A lack of knowledge fuels injustice, so citizens must be deliberate when addressing systemic racism and other forms of inequality built into Alabama’s longstanding power structures,” said Tafeni English-Relf, director of the ALSO, in a statement. “Rebuilding and reclaiming our power starts with understanding the rules of engagement, which informs power building, mobilization and advocacy in our communities."

Up to 15 participants will be selected to meet one weekend each month beginning June 20 and ending in September. Transformative change and collective action will be a consistent theme as students travel to locations across the state to identify and tackle issues.

“Urban and rural areas require different levels of engagement and advocacy,” explained English-Relf in a statement. “We will equip grassroots leaders to not only address inequities in their communities but think about how they can positively contribute to the success of their fellow citizens.”

The SPLC says the Advocacy Institute training program is designed to help provide practical, hands-on experience and training in the field of policy and advocacy. Participants will be taught how to organize to bring positive change at the local level, how to forge coalitions and uplift communities and how to advance policy initiatives to improve the lives of people across Alabama.

Time commitment for participants:
• All selected cohort members will be required to attend all in-person trainings and three virtual sessions, once per month.
• In-person trainings will be held on June 20-21; July 18-20; Aug. 15-17; and Sept. 19-21.
• The virtual sessions will be 90 minutes and held on the 2nd Saturday of each month (July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 7).

Click here to apply to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Advocacy Institute.

Applicants must be Alabama residents. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. CT, Tuesday, April 30. Notice of acceptance will be sent on Wednesday, May 15.

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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