Advocacy Program

Develop your grassroots organizing skills, advocate for social justice and become a community leader!

Now accepting applications for Spring 2020 Advocacy Cohort!

Fill out an application by Friday, February 7, 2020 – applications available online or in person at the YWCA (2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, 94704)

Advocacy Program Overview: 

At the YWCA, our vision is to support young leaders to develop the tools and resources they need to advocate for themselves, and to build collective power in their communities. Voting rights and civic engagement are core components of racial justice work. To fulfill the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, it is critical that we are working to support full access and engagement for women and girls of color in our communities. When we center and follow the leadership of women and girls of color, and uplift the legislative priorities of those most impacted, we can more meaningfully engage in the struggle for access, equity, and collective liberation. 

Spring 2020 Advocacy Program Agenda:

Together we will deepen our knowledge and understanding of voting rights and civic engagement, learn about and connect with legislation and movements to advance racial and gender justice, and will explore how grassroots movements combined with policy can be used as a tool for racial justice and collective liberation. 

We will participate in getting out the vote initiatives to increase voter turnout in the 2020 CA Primary Election, and will work to increase voting rights and access in our communities. We will engage in political education, and will develop our leadership and advocacy skills through community outreach, connecting with local movements, and through taking legislative action. 

Program Goals:

  • Deepen our knowledge and understanding of the historical and current context of voting rights and disenfranchisement in the United States, and support initiatives around ACA 6, also known as the Free the Vote Act, which if passed, will restore voting rights to over 500,000 Californian’s on Parole
  • Get connected to CA legislation that aligns w/ and advances the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women
  • Learn about the legislative process and develop skills and tools to advocate on issues that advance racial and gender justice in our communities
  • Learn how to register people to vote and increase voting rights access in your community
  • Learn about the 2020 Census, and participate in the critical initiative for a just and fair Census, #YWomenCount
  • Learn how to coordinate and organize campaigns on issues you care about

What we will do:

  • Political education
  • Bill research & presentations
  • Voter registration and Get Out The Vote efforts
  • Collaborate with the YWCA Racial Justice program on the Census 2020 campaign, #YWomenCount
  • Participate in this year’s annual YWCA Stand Against Racism Campaign
  • Connect to local movements & build relationships
  • Legislative process overview and lobby visit training
  • End of session lobby visit – meet with a representative to discuss your priority bill, and advocate for social change!


*Our use of “girls” and “women” is inclusive of all cis and trans womxn, non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender queer, and any female-identified folks.