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Advocacy | July 11, 2023

Advocacy Opportunities

By Renee Fry

This is a guest blog from Renee Fry, Policy Consultant for the Weitz Family Foundation. This blog is estimated to take 4 minutes to read.

I’m excited to announce two opportunities to develop your advocacy skills! Apply for Lobby School or to become a Policy Fellow for the Heartland Workers Center, I Be Black Girl, or the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation.

Lobby School

The Nebraska Table, in partnership with the Coalition for a Strong Nebraska, opened applications for the third Lobby School cohort. Whether you are new to advocacy or want to further develop your advocacy skills and build deeper relationships with other nonprofit leaders, you may want to consider applying. Lobby School also aims to support Nebraska Table Member and Partner Organizations in taking a 360-approach to movement building by connecting elections and grassroots efforts to policy work. The application process is competitive and demonstrating a commitment to racial equity is a key criterion for acceptance.

Lobby School leverages the expertise of Nebraska Table Executive Director Meg Mikolajczyk, Coalition for a Strong Nebraska Executive Director Laurie Ponce, Former State Senator Brenda Council and me (Renee Fry) – who bring different and complementary skill sets and areas of practice – as well as the Lobby School alumni network to develop participants’ growth in this work. Lobby School is intended to expand the advocacy infrastructure in our state and build power, particularly among Nebraska’s BIPOC and rural communities.

The next Lobby School cohort will convene September 22, 2023, and end in June 2024. The program will consist of monthly in-person training days before the Nebraska Legislative Session begins, an in-person cohort meeting on the first day of Legislative Session, regular online cohort meetings during Legislative Session, and weekly one-on-ones with a Lobby School mentor for technical support around policy, direct and grassroots lobbying, and communications.

During the Nebraska Legislative Session, beginning in January 2024, participants will be paired for support and mentorship with a policy expert, based on each participant’s interest areas and goals. The cohort will move through Session together collaboratively, coming together for training relevant to the phases of legislative policymaking at the state level. Such training may include preparing for and executing a hearing strategy, partnering with senators and other advocates to run floor debate, and developing communications strategies.

The program will end in June 2024, bringing the cohort together to reflect on successes and lessons learned during Session and celebrate successes together. Cohort participants may also choose to work with their Lobby School mentor and other stakeholders to generate a 5-year policy plan at the culmination of the program.

The Nebraska Table will accept applications for the 2023/2024 Cohort until Monday July 31, 2023. The 2023/2024 cohort will be limited in size, with applicants being notified of acceptance by mid-August 2023. Applicants are asked to submit the policy goal they will want to focus on for this hands-on learning experience, as we have found that participants with a specific Lobby School goal, particularly bringing a piece of legislation, get the most out of the experience.

Policy Fellows

Applications are now open for new Policy Fellows! Participants will grow their policy, communications, and legislative advocacy skills through Lobby School and have the opportunity to advance policy goals in our state. Each Policy Fellow will be placed with one of our nonprofit Member Organizations to advance policy at the Nebraska Legislature and other relevant policymaking bodies. This year, selected Fellows will have the chance to work with the Heartland Workers Center, I Be Black Girl, or the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation.

This is a great opportunity for folks who are new to policy work to learn the ropes and build advocacy experience! Together, we can work to empower our Nebraska communities.

Applications will be accepted until July 31st. Positions are expected to start Monday, September 18th. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and two references who can speak to your experience and qualifications to In the subject line, please put “Lobby and Policy Fellow.”

Teaching, mentoring, and learning from our Lobby School participants and policy fellows has been one of the most rewarding opportunities of my career, and I look forward to working with a new group of advocates alongside our Lobby School alumni and fellow mentors. I hope you will consider applying!


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