Why did you choose Antioch's Advocacy program? I choose Antioch's Advocacy program because I felt it would best support my professional goals of gaining work in the organizing and advocacy field working to support clean energy policies at the state level. I was especially drawn to the opportunities to integrate theory and practice. I recall reading the description of the program being akin to a degree in theology or social work, but for organizing. This idea, that there were academic concepts and a body of knowledge worth studying to gain valuable skills and knowledge in the organizing field, made a lot of sense to me. The program is unique in providing an opportunity to dive deep into organizing and advocacy's best practices and knowledge.
What did you like most about your time in the program? My favorite part of the program was being able to study research and theory by professional activists and scholars while applying those ideas in a real world setting. I appreciated the amount of time built in for practicums. I also really liked studying the MAP model of social movements.
What valuable skills do you think you learned in this program? I think the most valuable skill I learned was how to think in terms of holistic campaigns. I think for many activists it's a challenge to clearly connect tactics to campaign goals. The advocacy program at Antioch helped me to think about activism in a very concrete and integrated way that contributes to my success at work and helps me see the big picture. Creating a mock campaign with the Midwest Academy Manual was invaluable.
What is your current work and what other jobs have you had since graduation? I am currently an online organizer for the Beyond Coal campaign at the Sierra Club. I work with organizers and campaign reps in ten states throughout the East to develop online strategies to mobilize online activists to put pressure on decision makers and recruit to become active volunteers offline.
How did Antioch's Advocacy program help you get there? I can say without a doubt that had I not gone through the Advocacy program I would not have the position I have today. The program provided me the opportunity to pursue an internship with the Sierra Club in New Hampshire while at the same time studying organizing best practices. The graduate program's philosophy is also very closely aligned with that of the Sierra Club's, enabling me to speak the same language as the organizing staff I work with.
Is there anything else you want to add that I didn't ask? I think the program is great. I hope more people study there and further develop the skills and knowledge needed to protect and save our democracy in a professional setting. I pursued graduate studies in Antioch's Advocacy program to work for the Sierra Club doing clean energy advocacy at the state level, which is what I am now doing. The program got me where I wanted to be!