Empowering Voices for Change: Alabama Values and Alabama Arise Launch Think Big Alabama Advocacy Training Program

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 31, 2024

CONTACTS
Tim Majors

media@alvalues.org

Chris Sanders

chris@alarise.org

Empowering Voices for Change: Alabama Values and Alabama Arise Launch Think Big Alabama Advocacy Training Program

Montgomery, AL – Alabama Values and Alabama Arise announce the launch of “Think Big Alabama: Empowering Voices for Change,” a four-part advocacy training program aimed at empowering underserved and underrepresented communities in Alabama. The program, running from July 13 to Aug. 24, will equip 20 participants, primarily BIPOC Alabamians, with essential skills in media, public policy and grassroots organizing.

The Think Big Alabama program is designed to align with the missions of Alabama Values and Alabama Arise, focusing on empowering communities by providing the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to address pressing issues impacting their lives. This program will transform research findings from the Think Big learning community into actionable steps for advocacy and change.

Participants will engage in both in-person and virtual sessions, immersing themselves in a comprehensive curriculum that covers narrative building, grassroots organizing, policy advocacy and media strategies. The program will begin with foundational insights into the intersection of media, policy and grassroots organizing, fostering an environment of collaboration and community engagement.

Alabama Values brings to the program its expertise in narrative and messaging for social change, helping participants craft compelling stories that resonate and drive action. Alabama Arise contributes its deep knowledge of policy advocacy and grassroots organizing, providing participants with practical tools and strategies to navigate the legislative landscape and advocate for meaningful policy changes. Together, these organizations will create a dynamic and supportive learning environment where participants can thrive and become powerful advocates for their communities.

Sessions will cover place-based storytelling, crafting compelling narratives and utilizing media platforms for advocacy. Participants also will learn effective grassroots organizing strategies and helpful policy narratives, with practical skills and strategies provided by Alabama Arise. The program will conclude with participants finalizing individual or group action plans to address specific state or local issues, equipping them with long-term engagement strategies for ongoing community involvement and impact.

“Think Big Alabama is more than a training program; it’s a movement to empower marginalized communities and amplify their voices in public policy debates,” said Anneshia Hardy, executive director of Alabama Values. “By equipping participants with the necessary tools and knowledge, we aim to create a lasting impact on the state and community levels.”

Alabama Values is dedicated to using narrative and messaging for social change, aiming to amplify the voices and values of Alabama’s growing pro-democracy movement. This initiative is a testament to the organization’s commitment to building ideological power and fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

“Through this collaboration, we are demystifying the legislative process and providing essential advocacy skills to people who want to improve their communities’ well-being and make Alabama a better, more inclusive place for everyone,” said Presdelane Harris, organizing director of Alabama Arise. “Our goal is to engage Alabamians to become active participants in shaping the policies that affect their lives.”

Alabama Arise is a statewide, member-led organization advancing public policies to improve the lives of Alabamians marginalized by poverty. The organization’s dedication to policy advocacy and community engagement makes it a key partner in this transformative program.

Community members can register to participate in this free impactful learning experience. Participants’ meals and travel costs will be covered.

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Alabama Values is a grassroots communications organization working to raise awareness and increase engagement around community issues in Alabama. They work directly with grassroots civic organizations advocating to build power and break down barriers to civic participation for communities across the state.

Alabama Arise is a statewide, member-led organization advancing public policies to improve the lives of Alabamians who are marginalized by poverty. Arise’s membership includes faith-based, community, nonprofit and civic groups, grassroots leaders and individuals from across Alabama.

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