Brixton-based Advocacy Academy seeks young recruits

Group of young women pose for photo
My Uncle Is Not Pablo Escobar

The Brixton-based Advocacy Academy, which trains young people with experience of injustice to achieve long-term change for themselves and their communities, is looking for recruits.

It is seeking 16-to-18-year-olds, who either live in or go to school in an SE or SW London postcode, and are passionate about social justice and changing the world.

“If this sounds like a young person you know then please nudge them to apply through this link,” says the academy.

Anyone wanting to find out more should contact Frankie Ganon Williams of the academy’s programmes team at

The deadline for applications is midnight Sunday 21 April.

One recent Advocacy Academy campaign was My Uncle is Not Pablo Escobar: LatinXcluded, demanding better representation of the Latinx community in British society.

It won commitments from Lambeth council, the Arts Council, and King’s College London to add a Latinx category to their HR forms, and campaigned with Citizens UK to lobby for a change on the national census that would recognise the more than 200,000 Latinx people currently living in the UK.

The academy trainees raised awareness of their work through the sold out performance of My Uncle is Not Pablo Escobar at the Brixton House theatre.

The Advocacy Academy explains that they are youth organisers “working to create a more fair, just, and equal society, by building the collective power of young people to bring about change”.

They train young people with lived experience of injustice to achieve long-term systemic change for themselves and the communities they live in.

“We combine formal instruction in social and economic systems, practical training in community organising, with the heart and soul of radical youth work.

“We equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to become active agents for change in the community.

Government data from 2020/21 found that only 6% of 16-24 year olds are engaged in any civic or political activism.

In the decade preceding this survey (2009-2019) funding for UK youth services was cut by more than £400m. More than 760 youth centres have closed since 2012.

“Skills and practice” have been removed from citizenship education in schools and training of teachers in the subject defunded.

A House of Lords report said in 2018 that citizenship education in England has been allowed to “degrade to a parlous state”.

Group of young people with banner in street protest
2017: Advocacy Academy students unfurl a banner at Brixton Rail Station saying Build Bridges not Walls – Home Against Hate

The academy, a registered charity, was founded just over 10 years ago.

Its work to date has focused on three core programmes: the Fellowship Programme (a six-month immersive course into organising and civic engagement), Spark Programme (a five-day introduction to the basics of organising for change), and the Change-maker Development Programme (training which supports its members in developing youth work and facilitation skills).

It says the campaigns its alumni have developed “are having a real and lasting impact at borough, city and national levels”.

A broad-based alliance of more than 400 partner organisations and individual campaigners, both locally and nationally has been created.

“Our work at The Advocacy Academy is focused on the development of young people’s campaigning work, helping them build campaigns that shake the nation, and supporting their growth through an advocacy membership model.”

The academy says remains rooted in its home borough of Lambeth where it has built deep and purposeful relationships across South London.

“We are proud to be bringing together young people and local civic leaders in the heart of Brixton, continuously rooting our work in community and solidarity.”

Its aim is “to open up our training methodology to as many allies as possible, enabling young people to gain the skills and experience and access to campaigning experience and expertise whether they grew up in a village in East Anglia, flats in Glasgow, or down the road from us in Brixton.”


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