Advocacy Academy 2023

Advocacy Academy 2022

In March 2022, advocates took a trip to Montgomery, Alabama to learn historical lessons and origins of modern racial discrimination. The program empowered youth to take actions and enhance their skills and abilities to drive the necessary changes in their communities to build inclusive communities and create the sense of belonging.

2019-2020 Advocacy Academy

The 2019-2020 cohort of Advocacy Academy attended local politics, service, and advocacy events leading up to two full days of training prior to the trip to Tallahassee. In Tallahassee, the cohort had scheduled meetings with 9 legislative offices, 5 advocacy organizations, and also toured FSU and Florida A&M University.

Advocacy Organizations and Liaisons

Legislative Offices

2019-2020 ANYTOWN® Advocacy Academy

2018-2019 Advocacy Academy

Advocacy Academy expanded to include local politics events leading up to two full days of training prior to Children’s Week in 2019. Youth attended school board meetings, a candidate forum, an art benefit, and community panel discussions. Training focused the scope of issues and policies to advocate for and against, with our young humans bringing and sharing their own expertise and knowledge.

In Tallahassee, Advocacy Academy had scheduled meetings with 9 legislative offices and even attracted the attention and inquiry of legislators passing by. Youth met with the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of Agriculture, recorded interviews on school gun violence and legislation crafted to arm teachers, and joined the press conference to oppose the since passed SB168, which forces state and local agencies to support federal immigration enforcement. Our young humans also toured FSU and Florida A&M University.  They spoke with FAMU president Dr. Larry Robinson about ANYTOWN® and Advocacy Academy.

Advocacy Organizations and Events

Executive and Legislative Offices

2018-2019 ANYTOWN® Advocacy Academy

2017-2018 Advocacy Academy

Advocacy Academy first traveled to Tallahassee during Children’s Week in 2018 after two full days of training. These leaders identified issues and explored how to influence others with a combination of facts and personal experience.

During the three days in Tallahassee, Advocacy Academy toured FAMU and FSU with ANYTOWN® graduates in Tallahassee, met with advocacy organizations, legislators, and community leaders, and addressed LGBTQ+ inclusion, immigration, and education policy.

Advocacy Organizations and Events


2017-2018 ANYTOWN® Advocacy Academy

2016-2017 Youth Leadership Academy

Community Tampa Bay noticed a shift in how young humans at ANYTOWN® and at youth conferences in high schools were talking about their experiences with prejudice and discrimination. There was an increased sense of urgency with the awareness that even while youth were influencing and finding support with their peers and their communities, their very existence could be denied by the institutions that govern our lives. Fall Youth Leadership Academy was born from a commitment to hold institutions accountable and to push for systemic change.

2016 ANYTOWN® graduates attended training sessions focused on four institutions: media, law enforcement, public policy, and education. Each session was dedicated to a different institution to explore the history and global context before sharing the impact on the lived experience of the youth in attendance. The final Leadership Academy cohort consisted of ANYTOWN® graduates who attended at least 3 out of the 4 sessions. They spent a fifth session planning and preparing proposals and recommendations to be presented to representatives from each institution. The Leadership Academy cohort presented at the Youth Leadership Summit in the presence of city council members and officials from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, media representatives, the police department, and school board members and educators. Members of the Fall Youth Leadership Academy were each recognized with the Silver Medallion Award, which Community Tampa Bay has awarded to community leaders since 1970.

2016-2017 Fall Youth Leadership Academy