• WE ARE THE ADVOCACY ACADEMY

    WHO WE ARE

    The Advocacy Academy is an activist youth movement of young leaders fighting for justice and equality. We serve as the political home for grassroots youth organising and the catalyst for collective action. Our Advocates’ lives have been directly shaped by living in an unjust world, and we exist to turn their anger into action.
     
    We are young, dynamic, ambitious and unapologetic, and we are always looking for people to join us who are as passionate as we are about building the world as it should be.

    WHY WE EXIST

    Young people have long been the catalysts for major social change, from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, to the Soweto Uprising mobilising young people to resist the apartheid regime's education policies, to the Sunrise Movement redrawing the electoral map across America. How successfully they achieve real and lasting change depends on whether they are organised and whether they have the right strategy and tactics to be effective
     
    We would rather everyone acted altruistically, but in this world we get the justice we have the power to compel. The power our Movement is building is not about feeling ‘confident’ or ‘courageous’: power is the ability to act. There is a reason why powerless groups are encouraged to think of power as evil and corrupting - it keeps power in the hands of the people who already have it. We argue that powerlessness can be equally corrupting, as anyone who’s experienced it already knows.
  • siana bangura

    no fly on the wall/sassy apparel

    "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."

     

    charlie craggs

    nail transphobia

    "I was brought in to inspire the young people at The Advocacy Academy but I was definitely the one leaving inspired. They were all so intelligent, way beyond their years, and spaces like this are the reason why - spaces like this allow and encourage them to think more, do more and be more. I was smiling all day after meeting them because I know the future is in good hands with the next generation. Send my love to them all !"

     

    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."

     

     

    andre anderson

    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!

     

    yuan yang

    rethinking economics

    "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!”

     

    tom ross-williams

    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."

    kate hoey

    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."

    steph cutler

    making lemonade

     

    “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.”

     

    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."

     

    molly ackhurst

    hollaback london

    "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."

     

     

    mayeni jones

    bec news

    "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."

    marta owczarek

    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!"

     

     

    natasha josette

    the world transformed

    "In party politics we are so used to key messaging and learned rebuttals. Believe me when I say the young people I met at The Advocacy Academy won’t let you get away with that. And why should they? The "Just Politics" night was an evening where we got to share experiences, explore questions from deep thinkers and inquiring minds, where I had to be accountable, and nothing short of authentic was going to cut it. Reckon they can all smell spin from a mile off! If you want to remember why we are in politics; why we are campaigning and fighting for a more equal society, for social justice, against injustice and racism in all forms...I would suggest checking out the Academy. This is political education at its best."

     

    myles stacey

    the conservative party

    “The Advocacy Academy’s students demonstrate excellence in their analysis and understanding of political ideas. Their willingness to challenge, their communication and their respect for others marks TAA out as a leading place to develop all of us. It is a vibrant centre for debate and development. The students become alumni and invest their time back into the programmes, such is the effectiveness of learning there. The staff are remarkable - their energy and love to accommodate participants is second to none.”

    jess thom

    tourettes hero

    “The work Advocacy Academy is doing to support and nurture young activists is innovative, exciting and essential. I was hugely impressed by the young people and their campaigns and felt very lucky to have an opportunity to talk to them about Disability justice and culture. I’ve been involved with Advocacy Academy for a number of years now and feel that the programme Advocacy Academy offers is unlike any other, it takes the lead from young people providing them with high quality, tailored support in an energetic and inspiring way, I have no doubt that the work Advocacy Academy does is life changing both for the young people and all those touched by their campaigns.”

  • WHAT WE DO

    Our flagship programme, the Social Justice Leadership Fellowship, is an immersive six-month crash-course in social justice. Made up of three residential retreats and weekly evening gatherings, the Fellowship is delivered by an outstanding faculty of 250 expert change-makers from more than 50 partners - ranging from Sisters Uncut and the Black Cultural Archives to The New York Times and our patron Helen Hayes MP. Through 400 hours of experiential education and collective action our young Advocates learn to analyse the socio-political conditions in their communities, identify innovative solutions to the injustices they have experienced and build their power to bring about this change.

     

    We also recently launched our Spark Programme as we know not all young people either need or are ready to engage with the six months intensive deep dive provided by the Fellowship. Spark consists of a 5 day introduction to the basics of social justice theory, every day activism and organising for change.

     

    Every single decision at The Advocacy Academy is taken by our Advocates as part of a “cyclical leadership model”. After the Fellowship and Spark programmes our young people continue to organise and grow with us, leading our programmes, working with our partner organisations and launching campaigns as members of the Movement. This year we are celebrating our seventh anniversary with over 122 Fellowship Alumni with 45 new Spark Alumni and our main focus going forward will be developing the pathways for their journeys beyond the Fellowship - the Movement Infrastructure.

    WHERE WE'RE GOING

     

    We have recently launched our long-term strategy for growth which will be focused on four main arms: developing leaders with lived experience of injustice, organising our community, activating new allies, campaigning for change.

     

    We want to be known as the organisation training the leaders in every movement that matters. Like every movement we have a campaigning arm and a training arm. At the crux of our Theory of Change is the belief that young people with lived experience of injustice can create a more fair, just, and equal society. That is why we spent the first seven years dedicated on creating the best activist training programme for young people in the UK. With a community of 122 Alumni equipped to take action, we are now ready to shift the focus away from equipping new young people with the skills they need, to supporting our Alumni develop campaigns that shake the nation.

     

    We are, at our heart, a local movement. No matter how fast we grow, we know we will never be able to reach every young person in the UK. Instead, we want The Advocacy Academy to be a centre of excellence for youth organising in the UK: a thought leader, innovator and training house for passionate individuals and organisations across the country who want to learn how to build on our work in their local areas. This is why The Advocacy Academy is invested in the health of organising in the UK. We want to be the hub for activism in London and a training house for others looking to model our work with their communities.

  • 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 30% less likely to participate in our democracy than their more affluent peers.

    - "Young People's Participation in Social Action" Ipsos Mori, 2014

  • IN GOOD COMPANY

    We're continually inspired by our family of rad youth movements around the world. Here are just a few.

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