About the Advocacy Institute
The Advocacy Institute supports social justice organizations to build the advocacy skills, knowledge and power they need to shape government policy for a more just and equitable New York. We envision governments at all levels that are accessible, transparent, and accountable to those directly impacted by injustice, especially communities of color.
The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator
The Advocacy Institute is excited to host the second year of the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator that seeks to create skills, capacity, networks, and support for advocates working across New York State. This 10-month program, held from September through June, is an opportunity for 20 advocates with some experience in legislative and budget advocacy to deepen their skills and build their leadership. This program will build on Advocacy Institute’s proven Legislative Campaign Assessment and Tracking Tool (LCATT) curriculum while digging deeper into campaign strategy.
This program will center an intersectional and racial equity lens to examine how multiple forms of oppression combine to impact advocates’ ability to affect policy change. The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator will be grounded in the work of participants, and our sessions will allow advocates to reflect on the challenges they are facing and strategies to address those challenges, in community with their peers.
Applications for the next Advocacy Leadership Accelerator are now closed.
What you’ll get out of the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator
Participating in the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator is an exciting leadership opportunity to:
- Increase organizational capacity to run effective advocacy campaigns
- Strengthen individual advocacy leadership and knowledge, and develop stronger peer networks with advocates across the state
- Strengthen strategies and tactics to build leadership and ensure those directly impacted by injustice increase their influence on state policy-making
- Strengthen relationship-building skills for working with elected officials and coalition partners
- Learn practices and support for sustainability
- Learn additional advocacy strategies and tactics on topics such as: Honing your ask, developing leadership and decision making structures, conducting a campaign power analysis, planning for implementation, and other advanced campaign strategies.
Who is this program for?
This program is designed for advocates and organizers with some experience doing state-level advocacy campaigns, from organizations that will have a state-level campaign in the 2024 session in Albany.
- Serve communities in NY State (we are seeking regional diversity including Lower Hudson Valley, Mid-Hudson Valley, Capitol Region, North Country, Central NY, NYC, Western NY, Fingerlakes, and Long Island)
- Are committed to conducting a state-focused campaign (to pass a bill or influence the budget) during the 2024 legislative session
- Are committed to growing organizational capacity for advocacy work
- Preference will be given to BIPOC-led organizations doing community organizing
The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator might be a good fit for you if you…
- Have some prior experience with advocacy work and are committed to grow
- Have a key role in your organization’s advocacy campaign(s)
- Have organizational support & consent for participating in this program and applying what you learn to your campaign
- Are committed to and grounded in advancing racial equity through your work
- Can commit to full participation in the program (see program dates below), including two in-person retreats, semi-monthly virtual half-day sessions, and monthly strategic consulting sessions
The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator will accept one person per organization. Two people from the same organization may apply if they are based in different regions, and one will be placed on a waiting list, to be admitted if space is available. We are explicitly looking to recruit people of color, queer folks, people of varying abilities, and gender nonconforming people to deepen their skills and leadership in legislative advocacy.
Testimonials from the 2022-23 ALA Cohort
Lukee Forbes, Civil Rights Coordinator, Hudson Catskills Housing Coalition. As a participant in the Advocacy Institute, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from seasoned activists and share space with other passionate individuals. Through the Institute, I have gained invaluable tools, resources, and concepts that have helped me approach social issues in a more effective manner, and I have built meaningful relationships with people across the state.
Lauren Galloway, Advocacy Coordinator, Coalition for Homeless Youth. My time with the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator Fellowship has been pivotal and impactful to the advocacy work I do for runaway & homeless youth. The ALA programing is a helpful contributor to how we create, contribute, implement, and uphold all forms of advocacy from campaign coordination to legislative relationships and everything in between. This opportunity gave me monumental education, tools, opportunities, and relationships that helped form the campaign I am currently working on. Advocacy Institute sets up ALA to reflect the needs of the cohort and ensures that adjustments will be implemented based on collective needs. With the multiple approaches to facilitation and learning styles it truly is an engagement that will allow all learning types and experiences to engage with. I encourage anyone and everyone to partake in ALA because it helps connect the intersecting issues, lowers the organizer silos, and builds upon our advocacy foundations to create sustainable solutions to outcomes.
Program Dates and Logistics
You will be expected to attend all the program dates below. Please let us know in your application form if there’s anything that would support you to be able to fully participate. We will cover meals, travel and lodging for the in-person retreats.
- Opening Retreat: Fri, Sep 8 – Sun, Sep 10 (arriving Thu evening)
- Virtual Session – Campaign Presentations: Fri, Sep 22 at 10am-2pm
- ED Orientation Breakfast: Thu, Oct 12 at 9-11am
- Virtual Session 1: Fri, Oct 6 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 2: Fri, Oct 20 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 3: Fri, Nov 3 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 4: Fri, Nov 17 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 5: Fri, Dec 8 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 6: Fri, Jan 26 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 7: Fri, Feb 23 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 8: Fri, Mar 15 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 9: Fri, Apr 12 at 10am-2pm
- Virtual Session 10: Fri, May 10 at 10am-2pm
- Closing Retreat: Fri, June 28 and Sat, June 29 (arriving Thu afternoon, in NYC)
- Strategic Consulting Office Hours (these sessions are held as open office hours monthly and participation is optional but highly encouraged. Organizations can send additional staff to participate in these consulting sessions)
How to Apply
Applications for the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator are now closed.
Frequently Asked Questions