Every year the Salem State Center for Civic Engagement hosts an Advocacy Day that brings students, faculty, staff, and community members together to explore social justice topics and learn important activist skills. This year we celebrated our 4th Annual Advocacy Day, reimagined into an Advocacy Week!
The week was titled “How to Get In Good Trouble,” inspired by the late John Lewis, a civil rights activist and US Congressmen for Georgia. The topics we covered, selected by students, were mental health, immigrant rights, climate justice, gender discrimination, and discovering your role in social change. We invited the whole campus to be involved in this full week of advocacy education, exploration, and action.
About 350 people attended our Advocacy Week events including those from our Salem State community, other colleges, high schools, middle schools, and beyond. The Center for Civic Engagement held five events in partnership with classes taught by Salem State faculty, including:
- Greg Carroll (interdisciplinary studies)
- John Hayes (geography and sustainability)
- Jennifer Jackman (political science)
- Cynthia Lynch (civic engagement)
- Sara Moore (sociology)
In addition to the events hosted by the Center for Civic Engagement, there were eight student organizations and offices that also hosted events focused on education, community, and action. A full list of cosponsors can be found below.
Each of our events included an activist speaker addressing a social justice topic and an Activist Tools for Change workshop. This enabled participants to both become educated about the topic while also being equipped with the tools to be an advocate for change.
Program assessment demonstrated high satisfaction from participants: every event was ranked well above a 4.0 on a 1-5 scale, with 1 as "Very Unsatisfied" and 5 as "Very Satisfied." Participants noted they enjoyed hearing from speakers they could relate to, such as current students and recent grads, as well as engaging with each other in the breakout room discussions we facilitated.
- Michelle Ward, Monica Luke, and Takeya Faison from the National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts
- Elsabel Rincon from the Welcome Immigrant Network
- Ella McDonald from Sunrise Movement Boston
- Kimberly Barboza, Elizabeth “Betsy” Kim, and Sarah Jurinsky who are former fellows from End Rape on Campus
- Deepa Iyer from the Building Movement Project
Every session also focused on specific advocacy actions presented by the speakers that participants could take to advocate for these causes that they care about. See a full recap of information, event recordings, links, and advocacy actions using the link below. Even if you didn’t participate in Advocacy Week, we empower you to advocate for these causes and bills that students identified as important to them.
Advocacy Week 2021 was sponsored by Alpha Lambda Delta, the Center for Civic Engagement, Civic Fellows, College Republicans, Education Club (SEAM), First Year Experience Office, Geography and Sustainability Department, Interdisciplinary Studies, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Political Science Department, Psychology Club, Sociology Department, Student Government Association, Salem Sunrise Movement, and Theta Phi Alpha.
If you have any questions or are interested in participating in the planning for Advocacy Week 2022, please contact the Center for Civic Engagement’s Graduate Retention Fellow Samantha Giffen at email@example.com.
Center for Civic Engagement