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Advocacy Learning Center

Welcome all advocates!

We gratefully acknowledge Mali Kouanchao for original artwork that speaks to the power of advocacy as a force for change for
women and children all over the world

Whether we work with survivors of sexual assault or battering, with trafficked or prostituted women, advocates share the same vision:

The goal of the Advocacy Learning Center is to strengthen the core activities, skills, principles, and knowledge used by advocates working in all areas of violence against women.

This will be a rare opportunity for us to come together, connect, and learn from each other.

We will reshape and revitalize our advocacy programs with the short-term goal of improving our response to the women and survivors who turn to us for help and the long-term goal of ending violence against women.
What is the Advocacy Learning Center?
How will it work?
Who is it for?
What about the cost?
What about accessibility?
Interested?  Let's talk

PDF flyer about the Advocacy Learning Center

What is the Advocacy Learning Center?
The Advocacy Learning Center is a 2-year experiential course created to examine the vision, identify the principles and knowledge, and practice the skills and qualities that make advocacy a powerful force in the movement to end violence against women.

If you are a front-line advocate, crisis counselor or program manager/director of an independent, community-based advocacy organization or tribal advocacy program, funded by the federal Office on Violence Against Women, the Learning Center is designed for you and your program. We also welcome the participation of OVW-funded tribal, state, and national coalitions and groups that play a critical role in supporting advocacy programs.

Working with other advocates, you will develop new ways to define and structure advocacy, from
  • engaging and working with survivors to
  • strategizing and acting to change systems and community responses.
The Learning Center curriculum presents conceptual frameworks and theoretical foundations that can strengthen the application of advocacy in any setting.

See the 24-Month Course for more information about course content.

How will it work?
Program teams including both management and front-line staff (about 50 individuals) will move through the course together in a class. Members of each class will participate in the course activities as well as work with other staff, volunteers, and board members at your local organization to consider and try new ways of doing advocacy.

Over the two-year course you will complete/participate in

  • 3 introductory audio conference sessions in the first month
  • 2 in-person events
    • 5-day retreat
    • 3-day training
  • 2 site visits
    • one to a non-local social change organization for 1 team member
    • one to a local advocacy organization for another team member
  • Quarterly audio conference trainings/webinars (for frontline advocates)
  • Quarterly audio conference trainings/webinars (for manager/directors)
  • Quarterly keynote lectures
  • Affinity group calls every other month
  • 2 self-study courses
    • E-learning course
    • Workbook and DVDs
  • Readings (articles)
Download the complete Course schedule and syllabus

Who is it for?
Any independent, community-based advocacy organization, or tribal advocacy program, receiving funds from the federal Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) as well as community-based advocacy partners of OVW-funded projects and sub-grantees of state STOP funds. Tribal, state and national coalitions and groups that are OVW-funded can also apply; a limited number of spaces may be allocated to coalitions and national groups. Advocates working in government-based victim assistance programs may be selected by a local advocacy program to participate on their program’s team, e.g. prosecution or law enforcement victim assistants.

OVW grant programs include:
Abuse in Later Life, Campus, Disability, Community Solutions (formerly Arrest), Legal Assistance, Rural, STOP, State Coalitions, Supervised Visitation, Technical Assistance, Transitional Housing, Tribal Coalitions, Tribal Governments, Children and Youth, Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services, Engaging Men and Youth, Services to Youth, Sexual Assault.

Not sure if this describes your program? Contact us. We’ll help you determine whether the Learning Center fits your organization.

A limited number of non-grantee advocacy programs may also be selected.

What about the cost?
The course itself and course materials are free. There will be minimal costs for long-distance phone calls for audio conferences, and an Internet connection is necessary for webinars.

Participant teams must travel to 3 events involving flights in 2 years. You may use OVW set-aside training funds, or other funds you may have available, for these costs. If sufficient funds are not available, OVW will subsidize travel for your team. Subsidies will also be available for a limited number of advocacy programs that are not OVW-funded.

We do not want costs to prevent any advocacy program from applying. Contact us with any questions you may have about costs.

For more information about costs see What is Required.

What about accessibility?
We value making the Advocacy Learning Center accessible to all participants and will strive to ensure that our retreat, training institute, and other course components are as accessible as possible.

Upon selection, team members will be contacted to determine your specific accessibility needs. We will make every effort to offer an environment that allows you to fully participate in Learning Center activities. For example, sign language interpreters will be made available, upon request, for the meeting times during the 5-day retreat and 3-day training. We will seek to provide accessible lodging facilities, arrange to accommodate personal care attendants, supply large-print, and address dietary and other needs upon request.

Interested? Let's talk
We’d love to talk with advocacy programs about this opportunity. Call Praxis at 651-699-8000, ext. 20, or e-mail

This project is supported by grant #2009-TA-AX-K030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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