The Advocacy Academy is an activist youth movement of 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 looking for someone to join us who is as passionate as we are about building the world as it should be. If you’re a creative campaigner who’s fired-up by the idea of building a grassroots movement for social justice in order to change the balance of power, we can’t wait to meet you.
1. A better world is possible. There is nothing inevitable about injustice and inequality
2. It is our right and our responsibility to build that world
3. We strive to continually improve ourselves, our communities and our society
4. The lives of ordinary people matter
5. We are one family. We look after each other and stand in solidarity with one another
6. It is our right to define ourselves and have our identities celebrated
7. We actively work to uncover, acknowledge and overcome our biases
8. We value lived experience and support others to “do for themselves” and their communities. Nothing about us without us!
9. We prize conviction and support each other to live our values in our everyday lives
10. We value critical thinking and challenge. We approach discomfort, disagreement and difficult conversations with an open and curious mind
11. We practice the powerful combination of education and action
12. We work to create inclusive and supportive spaces where we can each be our (best) selves
If you are interested in applying please don’t hesitate to have a look at our current vacancies. We host regular meet and greets with the team both in-person and online so you can find out more about us and meet our team and our Alumni. Make sure to sign up for our next event or catch up on a recording from our most recent workshop.
Excited but feeling a bit unsure about if these roles are for you? Don’t worry! Sign up here to make sure you’re notified of any new role that’s posted, or speak to a staff member at a meet-and-greet to discuss more.
Finally, let’s also name the elephant in the room! Sometimes we all experience a bit of imposter syndrome. At the Advocacy Academy, we lean into this feeling. We believe that imposter syndrome is a manifestation of the oppression many of us face on a day to day. You don’t have to tick all the boxes for each role to apply. If you feel a pull towards a specific role and believe you could make a different we would love to hear from you!
Young people have often 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.
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.
Every single decision at The Advocacy Academy is taken by our Advocates as part of a “cyclical leadership model”. After the Fellowship programme 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 122 Alumni and our main focus going forward will be developing the pathways for their journeys beyond the Fellowship - the Movement Infrastructure. This year we have also launched a new entry into our Alumni with the five-day Spark programme, which will bring on a further forty young people through our programmes each year. While some of these graduates may go on to join the Fellowship, we envisage other joining our Alumni pool directly, making the pathways for different Alumni even more critical to understand, develop and communicate.
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 grew, we knew we would 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.
We aim to be representative of the community we are working with. We encourage applications from people of colour, those who identify as LGBTQIA, working class as well as differently abled people, those living with mental health conditions, refugees and migrants. We welcome people from all identities who are made to feel marginalised. Whilst these applications are encouraged, there are some roles at The Advocacy Academy which present some limits that may mean it is not suitable for some applicants. We have flagged any such limitation in each distinct job specification.
We’re not just committed to being an equal opportunity employer, we actively celebrate diversity in all its forms. Let us know if we can do anything to make the application or interview process more accessible. If you are invited to interview, we will at that point ask you for any accessibility requirements or preferences.
As an employer we make all reasonable adjustments to support employees in their work if they are disabled or have a health condition. We will support any application to the Government’s Access to Work scheme which could provide you with financial support to get the help you need to do all tasks successfully. We are happy to facilitate Access to Work assessments and reclaims, and would actively welcome applicants who would need this in order to do the job.
All staff who work on our programme must have, prior to starting work, a returned satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) dated no earlier than 1st January 2021. The Advocacy Academy will assist the application for, and pay for the processing of, a new DBS for staff members where required.
We welcome applications from people with convictions. Please disclose in your application if you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not “protected” (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013)) . We consider each person on their own merits, taking into account all the circumstances.