Spring series will feature workshops and trainings for aspiring activists

The ACLU of Massachusetts today launched its first-ever Advocates Academy. This spring series of free workshops will inspire, educate, and mobilize a new generation of ACLU volunteers and civil liberties advocates throughout the Bay State. The program comes as state legislatures and local governments across the country have emerged as key battlegrounds for civil rights, including free speech, privacy, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, and more. 
“Across the country, fundamental rights are at stake,” said Carol Rose, executive director at the ACLU of Massachusetts. “Right now, the best way to protect and expand those rights is through state and local governments. With new initiatives like the Advocates Academy, the ACLU of Massachusetts is working to ensure that everyone in the Commonwealth—whatever their age, ability, or background—feels empowered to participate and shape the future of our democracy.” 
Session one of the Advocates Academy, entitled “State legislative advocacy 101,” will be held today in partnership with the Boston Public Library. Future sessions will explore issues such as understanding local government structures, advocating in local cities or towns, obtaining and using public records, dissecting municipal budgets, giving testimony, and more. 
“Democracy belongs to all of us,” said Laura Rótolo, field director at the ACLU of Massachusetts. “With the launch of the Advocates Academy, we’re giving more Bay Staters the tools they need to engage confidently with elected officials, develop strong and sustainable campaigns, and fight for positive change in their communities. We're very excited about these first sessions, and we look forward to adding more events in the coming months.” 
The Advocates Academy builds on the ACLU of Massachusetts Action Team, an agile and dynamic community of volunteers working to advance civil rights and civil liberties. The Academy is also informed by the ACLU’s growing mission to make local democracy accessible for all, which includes support for a bill that would require hybrid access for all open meetings. 
For more information about Advocates Academy sessions, go to: https://www.mobilize.us/aclum
For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts Action Team, go to: https://www.aclum.org/en/volunteer