The first annual Advocacy Academy, hosted by the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, concluded successfully at the Riverside Convention Center in downtown Riverside from December 1 to 3, 2023. The event lived up to its goal of empowering students by equipping them with the necessary skills to advocate for change within their campuses and communities.
The Academy catered to a diverse audience of over 400 students and advisors and extended beyond those interested solely in politics. Participants gained insights into effective strategies for influencing decision-makers at various levels, including campus leaders, trustee boards, city councils, and legislators. The skills emphasized during the event were universal, and applicable whether advocating to fellow students or engaging with senators. These skills encompassed negotiating, communicating effectively, and building relationships.
The participants not only acquired a greater understanding of these essential skills but also benefited from a comprehensive exploration of advocacy techniques. By the end of the Advocacy Academy, students were better equipped to navigate the intricacies of influencing change, fostering a sense of empowerment and readiness to contribute to positive transformations within their educational institutions and communities. The event's success marked a significant milestone in the efforts to cultivate a new generation of effective advocates and leaders.