THE ELEVATOR PITCH
What We Do
What is it? The Advocacy Academy is a transformational Social Justice Fellowship for young people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. Across eight intense months, we support young leaders from marginalised communities to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.
How does it work? On the Fellowship participants attend four fantastic residential retreats and three evening events a month. They work with top campaigners, creatives, academics and coaches to help them develop the skills to lead a grassroots campaign in their community, deliver a speech to their Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, and so much more.
When is it? Our next Fellowship will kick off in July 2017. Applications will open in January.
Who is it for? The Advocacy Academy is perfect for anyone who is passionate about changing things in their community, society or world. Applicants must be in Year 12 and living in South London.
Where will it be? Our programme is delivered out of community spaces across London. We’re proud of where we come from, and so are our participants.
How do you apply? It’s easy! Applicants have 200-400 words to tell us what makes them angry via a nifty online form, followed by an interview.
Will it be accessible? Yes - we ensure all our events are accessible to everyone. We're especially looking for applications from women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, disabled and LGBTQ people. We are committed to ensuring all voices are equal. We do not require our Advocates to have any particular grades or experience to apply.
Who is involved? Expert campaigners, academics, politicians and creatives from across the UK come to pass on what they know to our Advocates. We also have youth workers who provide pastoral support to our participants across the retreat and throughout our programme.
What We Believe
The Advocates' Charter
A better world is possible. There is nothing inevitable about injustice and inequality.
It is our right and our responsibility to build that world.
We strive to continually improve ourselves, our communities, and our society.
The lives of ordinary people matter.
We are one family. We love and support one another and stand in solidarity with each other.
It is our right to define ourselves, and have our identities celebrated.
We actively work to uncover, acknowledge, and overcome our biases.
We value experience, and do not do for others what they can do for themselves.
We prize conviction, and support each other to live our values in our everyday lives.
We value critical thinking and challenge. We approach discomfort, disagreement and difficult conversations with an open and curious mind.
We practice the powerful combination of education and action, and believe both are required.
We work to create inclusive and supportive spaces where we can each be our best selves.
88% of young people feel that their voices are completely unheard in society.
- “Stand Up and Be Counted” Sky News Survation Poll, 2014
60% of young people don't understand how decisions are made about local or national issues.
- The Youth Citizenship Commission, 2009
Young people from poorer families are 29% less likely to participate in democratic action than their more affluent peers.
- "Young People's Participation in Social Action" Ipsos Mori, 2014
WHY WE DO IT
KNOWING | DOING | BEING | BECOMING
We see the dangerous impact that feeling disaffected can have on the confidence and aspirations of young people. Feeling unrepresented and powerless can lead them down a path of apathy and alienation.
Advocating for social change instills in a young person a sense of self-worth, giving them the power to change their own lives through improving the lives of others. They take the future of the world into their own hands and are no longer voiceless.
Knowledge & Insight: We broaden young people's knowledge of the world and the role they want to play in it, helping to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Our team of experts address real-world issues and the tactics that successfully effect change.
Skills: We know that many students leave education unprepared to lead in the real world. Academic qualifications do not always teach the skills they need to succeed. That’s why we focus on developing
three skills every leader and employer needs: Collaboration, communication & critical thinking.
Character: To make a difference, young people need healthy attitudes towards themselves and the world. They need to believe that change is possible and that they are capable of creating it. That’s why every element of our programme focuses on developing 6 key strengths: confidence, leadership, compassion, Grit, self-awarenes & hope.
Networks & Access: We know that young people from disadvantaged communities lack access to people with power and influence. We introduce them to powerful campaigners, grassroots organisers, politicians and Chief Executives (we could go on...) who expand their networks, deliberately choosing young role models to demonstrate that power isn’t always connected to age. And our participants join a small cohort who experience the year together, becoming a close-knit network of their own.
Civic Participation: In developing all of the above, our Advocates will embark on a path of life-long democratic participation. They take part in campaigns, vote in elections, advocate on behalf of causes, dream big for themselves and their communities, self-educate, and generally "become the change" they want to see.
For the Community: We are developing a new generation of community leaders who work together to make their local areas better places to grow up and live. We believe that we must increase active citizenship and strengthen local networks in order to assure the future vibrancy of British democracy. Our Advocates generate a ripple effect, impacting their families, friends, schools and wider communities.
For Society: Civil society is dominated by the privileged few. Valuable voices are missing from the debate, leading to policies and provisions that fail to reflect the diverse experiences and interests of all our communities. Good policy needs everyone's input.
Our Advocates are these voices.
MP for Vauxhall
"I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the participants of The Advocacy Academy this summer. Their speeches exceeded my expectations, persuasively raising important issues ranging from foreign aid, to women's rights, to reinstating the EMA. They gave some of the best Parliamentarians a run for their money in tackling many of the biggest problems facing our society today. I was impressed with their depth of knowledge and commitment, and inspired by their personal stories and fearlessness in holding their representatives to account. The Advocacy Academy is both a transformative and much needed programme, and these young men and women are already well on their way to helping change the world. I very much look forward to meeting next year's Advocates."
No Fly on the Wall
"I can't say enough how amazed and impressed I am by the young people I met at The Advocacy Academy! I facilitated the final workshop on Intersectionality and I feel like I learn a lot from them! These young people were having advanced, intense conversations about privilege and injustice - the types of conversations I am only seriously having now in my twenties and many people much older than them are still struggling to engage in.
Every single young person in that room was thoughtful, intelligent, and really passionate about making the world a better place. They all come from different backgrounds and different walks of life and each was very aware of their own privilege and how these interact with the things that make them and their friends marginalised in society. I was really inspired by them and filled with hope for the next generation."
Hannah Retallack & Camilla Stanger
UCL Institute of Education
"We can honestly say that The Advocacy Academy is one of the most dynamic, innovative, thoughtful and important youth projects we've ever come across. Having just delivered a workshop called 'Playing in the Waves: Moving with Feminist Theory', we were completely overwhelmed and inspired by the energy in the room, as well as by the extraordinary mix of young people all brought together on a Saturday afternoon to learn about gender and privilege and to advocate for social change. As the Advocacy Academy's mission statement points out, 'there is nothing inevitable about inequality and injustice' and it takes projects like this one to empower young people and to support them in changing the world."
Freedom & Balance Academy
Working with the young people at The Advocacy Academy was a refreshing experience. The young people there are super switch-on, sharp, and ready to make a change in their worlds. After a few minutes of being with them I already felt at home. I feel that if there are any young people who will make a change in our culture, it's probably these guys. I'll definitely work with The Advocacy Academy if invited again!
"Facilitating an economics workshop for the Advocacy Academy was a brilliant experience. It made me more optimistic for the future of our country to see such switched-on students grappling with real and deep issues of privilege and power. I'm sure they will go far, armed with the skills the Academy has brought them."
Senior Assistant Head Teacher Jon Wilson
Lilian Baylis Technology School
“I just wanted to say thank you for taking Alex in and working with him over the past four days on your project. He has had a great time and I can tell already that he is already thinking differently. His speech in parliament yesterday was absolutely fantastic, as were the other students. Well done to you!”
The Great Men Initiative
"Co-facilitating a workshop on gender inequality for the Advocacy Academy was thrilling. So rarely do you get to work with a group of young people so engaged, so up for debate and thirsty for knowledge. What's most inspiring about the advocates is that, when exploring a really complex idea such as hegemony, they access it from a deeply personal place. Being in a room with these young people is enough to renew your optimism for a year. You believe in change like never before."
“Delivering a workshop on disability rights was a huge privilege. I was so impressed with the work of The Advocacy Academy and especially with the young people. I have no doubt the support these savvy young social change makers received will have a positive, long-lasting effect on them and their communities.”
Black Feminist Activist
"I was heartily impressed with the young people I meet, I found them thoughtful, articulate, aware and powerful. It was a pleasure to be with them."
Hanna Naima McCloskey
Founder & CEO, Fearless Futures
"What The Advocacy Academy is doing is truly special and so needed. To support young people develop their consciousness in order to effect deep and powerful change - grounded in a strong sense of their power, privilege and social location - is so important. I'm so excited to know these young people are in the world, leading and learning courageously. We can sleep much more easily."
"Engaging with the Advocacy Academy’s young adults was an incredible experience. Their courage in sharing stories and experiences of sexual harassment and public invasions of space was so powerful, and not only did they share but they really engaged with the topic both eloquently and thoughtfully. They give me hope for a world where honesty and bravery are omnipresent, and co-exist alongside a true respect for the bodies of women, girls and non-binary people."
"I totally enjoyed running a workshop for the Advocacy Academy. The conversations I had with the students, although tense at times, were insightful and thought-provoking. I'm inspired by how hungry for debate they are and I hope to keep working with the organisation again in future."
Padraic X. Scanlan
The London School of Economics
"Talking to the young activists at the Advocacy Academy about the history of slavery, race, and capitalism was a moving and inspiring experience. It was inspiring to meet a group of such smart, motivated and curious young people on fire for change. Identifying and confronting power and privilege takes insight, courage and tenacity, and the people I met at the Advocacy Academy have all three qualities in spades."
The Brixton Pound
"It was hugely inspiring to see the Advocates making sense of the links between money and local communities, and really energising to hear their insightful ideas during our workshop. I wish every student had the opportunity to go through a programme like The Advocacy Academy!"
10 WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
Want to Help? We salute you!
1. We're always on the look-out for donors who are awesome enough to support The Academy financially.
2. Are you a policy wonk, campaigner, public affairs guru, Parliamentary Researcher, civil servant, or working in the social change world? We’d love to have you share your expertise by leading a workshop for our Fellows!
3. Are you the world's best teacher, youth worker or educator? Can you spare some time to help us make our sessions as interactive and engaging as possible?
4. Are you a social impact guru? Do you know the ins-and-outs of monitoring and evaluation? Would you help us develop an impact measurement system that kicks-ass?
5. Do you have any besties who work in restaurants, venues or businesses in South London who might give us a cheeky discount for our residentials?
6. Are you a comms genius? Do you develop websites? Do social media? How about write copy (better than this!)? Would you give up a few hours a week to help us craft our message?
7. Are you in touch with (or are you yourself) any slam poets, rappers or other cool creatives who might consider inspiring our participants through the arts?
8. Do you know about the £? Are you a savvy fundraiser, a grant writing guru or just another social entrepreneur who's been through it? We would love your wisdom.
9. Do you have a spare pair of hands? We'd love your help running our ambitious events - there's always much to do.
10. Have something to offer that we don’t realise we need? GREAT! Please tell us so.
BUT WHO ARE YOU?
Amelia has a background in youth leadership, and cut her teeth in politics as a Parliamentary Researcher in Westminster and a civil rights lobbyist in Washington, DC. She is hugely passionate about bringing these two worlds together to help empower young leaders to improve their own lives, and the lives of others.
Dominique Airey | CEO | Khulisa
Dominique is the CEO of Khulisa UK and is committed to deepening and expanding their work rehabilitating offenders and supporting those at-risk of crime, violence and victimisation. She believes strongly in the importance of collaboration between sectors to drive meaningful and sustainable social impact.
Prior to joining Khulisa, she was Head of Partnership Development at a global NGO, Youth Business International (YBI), supporting unemployed young people to start businesses in over 50 countries. Dominique started her career at P&G, completing the Graduate Management Programme and latterly working as a Market Strategy and Planning lead. She studied at the University of Manchester and University of Cambridge with a focus on International Management, Economics and Sustainability. Dominique was recognised as one of Management Today's 35 Women under 35 in 2016.
Duncan Piper | Founder | The Unreasonables & Blue Chip Leaders
Duncan Piper graduated in 2009 from the University of York with First Class Honours in English Literature. He then took up his offer from Procter & Gamble to join their Graduate Leadership Programme in business development where he ran a multimillion-pound business operation.
In 2012, Duncan resigned from P&G to go back into education. He founded The Young Leaders’ Consultancy, The Unreasonables and, most recently, Blue Chip Leaders. All have been committed to creating transformational leadership and educational experiences for young people, to allow them to lead fulfilled and impactful lives.
He is a graduate of Common Purpose’s Frontrunner leadership programme and former Business Advisor to Young Enterprise. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a business coach and mentor, a recently retired Governor of The Skinners’ Academy (Hackney), a member of the Serpentine Running Club (he ran the London Marathon in April 2014 for the Royal National Children’s Foundation) and a poor (though aspiring) Modern Jive dancer.
Reuben Saxon | CEO | The Social Innovation Partnership
Reuben in the CEO of The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP), an advisor to public, private and social sector organisations seeking to maximise their social impact. Reuben joined TSIP from Youth Business International, a global network of independent non-profit initiatives operating in over 45 countries across five continents. As Head of Strategic Partnerships, he developed a global portfolio of partnerships with organisations that included the United Nations, European Commission, J.P. Morgan and Citi Bank, while also leading on aspects of YBI’s strategy.
Reuben also brings on board entrepreneurial and start-up experience in the fund management, property and technology sectors, in addition to a track record in advocacy and public speaking at forums such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance UK and the European Micro Finance Network. He began his career as a strategy consultant with Accenture. Reuben has an undergraduate degree in PPE from the University of Oxford and a Masters in Applied Economics from the London School of Economics.
Sam Grant | Campaigns and Programme Officer | René Cassin
Sam was a founding trustee of The Advocacy Academy. He works as the campaigns manager for René Cassin, a Jewish human rights NGO that mobilises the UK Jewish community on issues including modern day slavery, indefinite immigration detention and discrimination of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community.
Sam was previously a youth worker and community developer for Liberal Judaism, specialising in informal education and game theory. Sam received his Masters in human rights from the London School of Economics, blogs for the website Rights Info and volunteers for the Refugee Cricket Project.
Zoe Tyndall | CEO | OxFizz
Zoe has recently taken on the challenge of leading OxFizz, an educational social enterprise which has raised over half a million pounds for UK charities, and helped more than 1000 students from all backgrounds to reach their academic potential.
Prior to this, she was an Investment Manage at the Charities Aid Foundation, specialising in social investment. Zoe has experience working in international development in Haiti, where she held the role of Head of Portfolio and Monitoring and Evaluation for Yunus Social Business, managing investments worth $3m. Before moving to Haiti, Zoe spent three years at London-based research and strategy consultancy, BritainThinks, working for a wide range of private, public and third sector clients on consumer insight, stakeholder relations and communications. Zoe holds a BA in Modern History from Oxford University.
Advisory Board [Education]
Carole Kenrick | Inventor in Residence | Lab_13
Debbie Danon | Director of Education | The Unreasonables
Lily Eastwood | Director of Learning | Hackney Pirates
Jess Town | Head of Faculty | St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College
Michal Ish-Horowicz | Theatre Maker & Educator
Shelly Maters | Teacher
Karis Barnes | Teacher
Madeleine Fresko-Brown | Teacher | London Academy
Advisory Board [Advocacy]
Jem Stein | Founder | The Bike Project
Andy Kempster | Policy Advisor | Cabinet Office
Martha Mackenzie | Deputy Head of Government Relations | Save the Children
Olivia O'Sullivan | Innovation and Results Analyst | Department for International Development
Pete Jefferys | Senior Policy Officer | Shelter UK
Rebecca Viney | Policy Advisor | Department for Culture, Media & Sport
Changemakers | Inspirers | Wonderful Humans
Abi Symons | Writer & Activist
Adam Francies | Educator
Adam Tyler | Videographer
Afrida Nahian | The Orchid Project
Alex Holland | Brew
Amy Baron | Educator
Andre Anderson | Author & Creative Facilitator
Andy Ryan | Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Andy Soar | The Children's Society
Angela Awuah | Mental Health; The Arts
Ben Jewkes | Drum
Ben Kirk | Henderson Global Investors
Camilla Stanger | Educator
Ciaran Thapar | The Access Project & Hero's Journey
Charlotte Fischer | Citizens UK
Charley Fone | The Changing Face Collective
Christopher Moore | The Clink
Chloe Hamilton | The Independent
Daniel Costen | MWW
Daniel Grabiner | Cloverhawk
Daniel Reisel | NHS Ethics Centre
Danny Rothberg | Foreign & Commonwealth Office
David Brook | Theatre Maker
David Gilbert | The Changing Face Collective
Ed Bracey | Medical Research Council
Ettie Bailey King | School Consent Project
Fredi Lorie | Women in Prison
Gabriella Brent | Family Drug and Alcohol Court
Gemma Maddock | Voice Coach
Hannah Green | Bank of England
Hanna Retallack | UCL Institute of Education
Hibo Wardere | FGM Survivor & Activist
India Thorogood | Greenpeace
Jacob Hajjar | Voice Coach
Jake Felix Goldhill | Photographer
James Asfa | Citizens UK
Jamie Kelsey-Fry | Activist
Jason Grant | The Forgiveness Project
Jen Tyler | Theatre Maker
Joel Trill | Voice Coach
Jonathan Smith | Social Value Group
Josh Pugh | Educator
Kajal Odedra | Change.org
Karis Barnes | Educator
Lauren Davidson | The Telegraph
Ligia Teixeira | Crisis UK
Lucy Curtis | The Changing Face Collective
Luke Waterfield | Save The Children
Luke Forsythe | Videographer
Madeline Crowther | Waging Peace
Madeline Fresko-Brown | Educator
Mairi Hayes | Central School of Speech and Drama
Matt Cole | Drum
Melanie Pope | Scope
Michael Goode | Allied Bakeries
Nathan Pierce | Greater London Authority
Nick Arnold | Black Jeans Pictures
Peter Bray | Voice Coach
Peter Dawson | Prison Reform Trust
Poppy Terry | Shelter
Rachel Ellis | Soul Focus Yoga
Rachel Griffiths | Theatre Maker
Rachel Pierce | Shelter
Ralph Scott | Demos
Rebecca Falcon | Save the Children
Rebecca Livesey | Barrister
Sarah Wayman | The Children's Society
Sarian Kamara | FGM Survivor & Activist
Scott Leonard | The Champion Agency
Simon Bishop | Special Advisor to Justine Greening
Simon Gentry | MWW
Shadi Brazell | Helen Hayes MP
Shelley Masters | Educator
Tim Hughes | Berry Palmer & Lyle
Tom Brookes | Team Up
Tom Ross-Williams | Theatre Maker
Tom Silverton | OMD
Tracy Frazuel | Greenpeace
Verna Rhodes | Central School of Speech and Drama
Will Heaven | Speechwriter to Michael Gove MP
Yas Necati | Activist
Katie Booth (Brittney)
Lucy Rimmington (Betty)
Adama Kamara (Ariana)
Alex Manning (Darren)
Amy Price (Celine)
Freya Godfrey (Elizabeth)
Hazel Morgan (Ashleigh)
Gaia Manners-Armstrong (Malika)
Indie Shergill (Samantha)
Joe Cox (Perreira)
Melanie Pope (Thalia)
Rachael Deacon-Smith (Kaitlin)
Rebecca Falcon (Sarah)
Vanessa Lefton (Zhané)
Katie Youens (Azal)
Sarah Pickin (Michelle)
Sophie Parsons (Erica)
Simon Kaye (Sam)
Tabetha Bhatti (Amal)
With Special Thanks to...
Cllr Lib Peck
Cllr Mo Seedat
Cllr Anna Birley
Cllr Rachel Heywood
Cllr Mary Atkins
Cllr Jack Hopkins
Cllr Malcolm Clark
Cllr Andy Wilson
Cllr Tim Briggs