The ACLU of Massachusetts Advocates Academy is an ongoing series of workshops and trainings created to inspire, educate and mobilize a new generation of civil liberties advocates. 

We’re here to:  

  • Demystify public advocacy 
  • Teach practical tools 
  • Support anyone taking action and flexing their democracy muscle 

Below are materials from past sessions. Future sessions are listed here:  

If you have an idea for a workshop, email us a


Preparing Written and Oral Testimony 

April 26, 2023 

It is the job of our elected officials to hold public hearings and solicit public comment on a wide variety of issues. Whether you are advocating for an issue at your local town hall meeting or at the state legislature, learning how to prepare written and oral testimony is a foundational skill that will help you be a more effective advocate. 

At this Advocates Academy training, we review how to approach preparing written and oral testimony and the key components that will make your testimony effective.  


Preparing Oral and Written Testimony Slide Deck 

Recording of the training 

Preparing Testimony Worksheet 

Written Testimony Example 

Oral Testimony Example 


Lead Where You Live 

March 11, 2023 

They say all politics is local, but have you ever wondered where to get started? This workshop explored how local government works and how to take the first steps to make change for your community. 


Presentation Slide Deck 

Municipal Worksheet to get started understanding your local government 


Massachusetts State Legislature 101: How does it all work anyway? 

February 23, 2023 

Have you ever wondered how laws are made in Massachusetts? Have you been interested in a bill or issue but you're not sure how to track its progress? 

If so, you're not alone. This training looked at the structure of our state legislature, what happens over the course of our 2-year legislative session, and different scenarios for how a bill becomes law. 

Hosted in collaboration with the Boston Public Library.  


Presentation Slide Deck