Activist Academy is a fellowship program created to support community activists across Massachusetts in developing their advocacy tools. There is always more to learn, and this is a program for folks of all experience levels.
Fellows work to increase their knowledge of HIV advocacy and public health advocacy by attending webinars and participating in comprehensive training. These trainings are facilitated by past Fellows, community leaders, consultants, public health activists, and other experts- creating a diverse and intentional networking opportunity for our current Fellows. Throughout the program, each team works to create a project that aims to educate and mobilize community members and state officials regarding HIV prevention and access to care for those living with HIV/AIDS.
The advocacy focus for the 2020 cohort was sexual health education and harm reduction/overdose prevention. A new feature of this year’s program is the selection, by the applicants, of the project development track that interests them: Community Awareness or Policy Engagement. The Community Awareness track involves cultivating and mobilizing community stakeholders through educational outreach. The Policy Engagement track involves training activists and increasing awareness of/engagement in policy and legislative developments. By having Fellows select which track they’re interested in, we are able to connect folks with similar advocacy interests, and each team is able to use their project track as a guide for their learning and project creation.
Continue scrolling to learn more about each team project and the Fellow experience!
The Harm Reduction Community team partnered with two local agencies to a dynamic and engaging toolkit of materials that organizations and advocates can use to advocate for more safe, quality, and accessible harm reduction efforts.
The Sex Ed Community team connected over a shared goal of directly engaging community members in the conversation around sexual heath education in MA.
The Harm Reduction Policy team utilized their shared passion to understand community needs and their lived experience to inform their project.
The Sex Ed Policy team worked to craft a virtual and accessible “Sex Ed Lobby Training” that was free for community members to attend.