Press Release: 2022-01-14
Introducing our new Advocacy Network
Introducing our new Advocacy Network:
January 13, 2022 by Alyssa Haywoode
Here at Strategies for Children, we are excited to announce the launch of our new Advocacy Network for Early Education and Care, a year-long advocacy experience for emerging leaders in the field.
To launch the first cohort, we’ve chosen nine new and established leaders from across Massachusetts, including four from Boston. They are all passionate about advocating for children, families, and educators in their communities, and they want to learn new advocacy skills and knowledge to improve programs, communities, and policies. This cohort approach is similar to the one we used to create our Speakers’ Bureau, a program that prepared early educators to use their voices and share their stories with the media or through event panels or at State House rallies.
“Since the pandemic began, the team at Strategies for Children has learned so much about how to engage the field in advocacy,” says Titus DosRemedios, Strategies’ deputy director. “Our daily 9:30 calls informed our approach to the Speakers’ Bureau, which in turn inspired and helped shape the Advocacy Network.”
These nine educator/leaders attend monthly group meetings on Zoom, where they learn Advocacy 101, hear from guest presenters, and share updates with one another. In between meetings, they work on long-term advocacy projects and activities. This includes planning an advocacy training for staff or families as well as surveying local educators about social-emotional needs and advocating for resources. The advocacy leaders also attend rallies, testify to the Legislature, and participate in podcasts to talk about early childhood. They are building their knowledge of state and federal policy, while learning that advocacy for early childhood can take many forms and that anyone can advocate. We’ll share more of their stories over the coming months.
The goal of the Advocacy Network is to create a new, sustainable infrastructure of leaders who can be public policy champions. They will be leaders who can speak out on state budget funding for early education and care, and they can support legislative bills that would create high-quality, affordable child care as well as more mental health services for young children.
These advocates will also become trainers who engage and train other local stakeholders creating a ripple effect that we hope will reach at least 1,200 people through a range of advocacy activities, from letter writing to State House events.
This project is generously funded by a grant from Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health, which is building on a “history of partnering with the community to make a significant impact on the health of children and families.” The grant will enable us to support three cohorts over three years.
“We are learning so much in year one,” says DosRemedios. “After three years, we will have many insights on how to best support advocates, while also building a stronger infrastructure for advocacy in the early education and care field.”
For more information, including how you can apply for cohort 2, contact Titus DosRemedios at email@example.com.