A group of advocacy institute members pose outside in front of large trees

Advocacy Institute for Safety and Justice

Program and Application

Our Mission

To honor the spirit of the many advocates and activists that came before us by creating opportunities for learning and self-advocacy within Oregon’s most marginalized communities.

We believe the people closest to the problem are also closest to the solution. Behind every story, every experience, there is a human. 

That’s why we formed this initiative. It centers survivors of violence and people impacted by the criminal justice system. In collaboration with partner organizations throughout the state, we aim to empower, develop, and guide advocates on their journey to healing, influence, and change within the criminal justice system or wherever their passion for reform leads them.

Our Goals

To provide trauma-informed leadership development to Advocacy Institute Leaders through monthly coaching meetings, trainings, retreats, and group projects driven by our leaders’ interests and community needs.

To help build our leaders’ capacity so that they can engage meaningfully in our Transforming Justice Coalition, which is a diverse group of partners committed to racial justice and ending mass incarceration. By collaborating with these partners and empowering our leaders to participate, we’ve advanced significant reforms. 

When Advocacy Institute Leaders see the impact they’re making, it inspires them to continue pushing for positive change in their lives and communities.

Our Values

  • Collaboration and partnership
  • Community
  • Lived experience
  • Humanity
  • Leadership
  • Empowerment
  • Antiracism

Advocacy Leaders Will… 

  • Build relationships with other Advocacy Institute Leaders and facilitators through regular meetings and events.
  • Be willing to communicate your needs to facilitators so that you can participate at your best.
  • Take up space and ask questions! We want your voice and ideas. Our interest is in helping you accomplish the change you want to see in your communities. It is important that we know how we can best support your advocacy efforts, and we won’t know unless you tell us.
  • Keep private matters private. Our work can sometimes involve sensitive information about our processes and strategies for legislative change. We will generally inform you when confidentiality is important. If you ever have questions about this, please ask, and we will happily provide clarification.
  • Think critically. We ask that you be dedicated to seeking information, critically evaluating it, applying the knowledge gained, and solving problems.
  • Honor the differences and contributions of each member.
  • Practice honest communication; provide and receive constructive feedback. Due to the nature of our work, we may have different thoughts and feelings at times. We may even be triggered by certain information or group decisions, and that’s okay. We only ask that we remember we are fostering an environment of grace, encouragement, and healing.

Time Commitment 

An orientation meeting.

We will also ask Leaders to commit to at least one monthly one-on-one session with our Partnership for Safety and Justice movement building director or policy manager.

There may be times, such as during the legislative session, when Leaders will be asked to participate in advocacy or events related to our mission. These decisions will be left up to the leader to decide, with the understanding that immersion leads to learning.

We will communicate via email if there are any upcoming opportunities or changes in times or locations.

Who You Are

  • You have a strong interest in advocacy, specifically in criminal justice reform or advocating for marginalized communities.
  • Ideally, our leaders are from impacted communities or possess lived experiences with the criminal justice system.
  • You are capable of attending virtual meetings via electronic platform, or are willing to learn how to attend virtual meetings.
  • You have a desire to make positive changes within the communities you like to serve. No previous experience in legislation or community work is needed.
  • You are curious, open, and willing to learn new concepts and ideas, as well as able to share your thoughts and needs with others.
  • Preference will be given to those outside of the I-5 corridor and those in rural areas, but anyone who is interested in encouraged to reach out.

Contact info@safetyandjustice.org for more information. 

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