MLFCN Learning Cohort: Policy Advocacy

June 1, 2022 - December 23, 2022

Registration Deadline: May 23, 2022 - 11:59PM


Contact: Kolia Souza

What is the purpose of this learning cohort?

Organizing is a distinct methodology that addresses social problems by strategizing for concrete changes that improve people's lives and building the broader movement for racial, economic, and social justice. The craft of organizing includes a unique set of skills, knowledge, and values. The Policy Advocacy Learning Cohort will cultivate these skills in the development of an advocacy campaign and local advocacy network.

Who is this learning cohort for?

The Policy Advocacy Learning Cohort is designed for local food councils who have identified an organizing issue to advocate for in their communities and are either: 1) In the beginning stages of building a base to support an issue that will be further refined by community participation, or 2) Ready for action planning.

It is expected that 2-3 people attend on behalf of the local food council, and we strongly encourage councils to consider inviting a community partner to be a part of their action learning team. Participants will be provided a stipend, and funding and technical assistance will be available to support organizing efforts.

Time Commitment: June – December 2022

The Policy Advocacy Learning Cohort will begin with a soft launch, offering the opportunity to participate in the Michigan Local Food Council Network Legislative Education Day on May 10th at the Capitol.

This 7-month experience will:

  • Feature 60- to 90-minute trainings led by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Trainings include but may not be limited to Understanding Health Equity and Leveraging Research and Evaluation in Advocacy.
  • Provide intensive community organizing training with Midwest Academy that includes four (4) virtual sessions. These 4-hour trainings will occur over the course of two weeks and held on two consecutive days each of those weeks (16 hours total).
  • Offer an orientation to Healing Justice through a series of interactive sessions (format TBD).
  • Any group meetings will be decided among the learning cohort but may include a midpoint check-in.

Technical Assistance

This learning cohort will be co-led by Kolia Souza, Food Systems Equity & Advocacy Specialist, and a new Grassroots Organizing Fellow who will provide 1-on-1 consulting and group guidance for the duration of the learning cohort. The Michigan Department of Health & Human services will also provide intermittent project support.

How do I sign up?

If your council would like to be a part of the Policy Advocacy Learning Cohort and/or are interested in finding out more about this opportunity, email Kolia Souza ( with names and contact information of those who wish to participate by Monday, May 23, 2022.

You may also email for a Zoom link to open office hours on Thursday, May 5th and Friday, May 6th from 9-11 a.m. to have any questions answered.

Registration for this event has closed.

Related People