Community Action Fellowship

Do you want to improve education for your child or community, but not sure where to start?
Do you want more tools to strengthen your advocacy skills?
Do you believe every child deserves an excellent education?
Are you ready to take action on that belief?

Then, the Community Action Fellowship is for you!

What is the Community Action Fellowship?  

The Community Action Fellowship is a ten-session experience focusing on amplifying community leadership and advocacy in public education. Community Leaders learn how to harness their own strengths and skills to support their advocacy efforts.

Who can participate? 

The CAF is for any Birmingham student, parent, family member, educator, or community member who believes all students deserve an excellent education and want to take action on that belief. Ed believes that everyone has the potential to be a Community Leader.

What are the goals of the Community Action Fellowship?

We hope that at the end of the CAF experience:

  • Community Leaders have more knowledge about K-12 education systems and policies and how to influence them.
  • Community Leaders have a plan for their own leadership trajectory and go on to formal leadership roles in future campaigns or advocacy work at the school, district, or state level.
  • Community Leaders go on to influence education policy.

What will I learn about?
Community Leaders will learn about a wide range of topics and skills to amplify their own leadership, including the session topics below (subject to change):

Session 1: CAF Orientation
Session 2: Norms & Values
Session 3: School Governance & Budget
Session 4: Education Data & Levers for System Change
Session 5: Organizing & Advocacy
Session 6: Building Relationships & Working Along Lines of Difference
Session 7: Hosting House Meetings & Leading Stakeholder Meetings
Session 8: Public Speaking & Social Media
Session 9: Capstone Project
Session 10: Graduation

What are the commitments?

  • For the 2020 Fall cohort, all ten sessions will be conducted virtually through Zoom.
    Participants will get the most out of the CAF experience if they commit to attend all 10 sessions.
  • Each session is 1.5 hours long and will require at least 30 minutes of pre-work, including reading articles, watching videos, and reflecting on questions.
  • A Community Leader will be required to attend 90% of all sessions to successfully complete the CAF.

How can I sign up to participate?

  • Complete this application.  Ed’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Corinn O’Brien, will reach out and confirm the next steps for joining the cohort.
  • If you are interested in joining and need support with a device or wifi, please reach out to Corinn O’Brien at cobrien@edbirmingham.org.

What do CAF graduates say about the experience?

“This experience took my policy knowledge from a 1 to 7 within the first few meetings… If you’re looking for a way to get involved that is actually student-centered and committed to “GETTING THINGS DONE” then this is the opportunity for you.”

“Very few people in this region get to “play with power” and I believe that is why we have had the incidents that we have in the last few days. This is an opportunity to experience agency and involvement that has a lasting impact on your community and on you as an individual.”

“Whether you are certain about making advocacy work a career, aiming to develop communication and collaborative skills, hoping to expand your network to a diverse set of caring people, or looking to become more civically engaged, the Community Action Fellowship is a great way to build strong leaders to manage an essential need.”

“Invaluable experience! Excellent leadership, extremely organized and wise use of time, valuable sharing of information, and overall, great opportunity to engage and advocate for a worthwhile cause, BCS students and families.”