The ACLU High School Program will bring students together to participate in a firsthand learning experience for the next generation of social justice advocates. With ACLU laywers and activists students will examine the success and struggles of some of the most important national and state-wide advocacy campaigns.

Students from across the country will participate in a week-long, unique learning experience for the next generation of social justice advocates, July 22-28th. The National Advocacy Institute will provide students with substantive experiential learning opportunities that help them hone in their skills as issue-focused campaigners and take it to the next level.  

Through an intensive program in Washington, D.C., students will be given a rare experience to hear from and speak directly with ACLU lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and policy experts working to defend the civil rights and civil liberties critical to a free and open society. In classroom sessions, lectures, and policy debates, students will explore the complex nature of issue advocacy, legal strategy, and real world political decision making in Washington, D.C. 

Key program elements will include:

Electives covering the ACLU’s wide array of issue areas, taught by communications experts, lawyers, policy advocates, and other professional organizing staff from the ACLU and partner organizations.

Daily seminars in small groups to explore social justice and civil liberties issues.

Next Generation Conference and Gala to mark the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the ACLU. This one-day event will feature guest speakers from the public sector as well as other nonprofit organizations.

Networking and Life-long connections with other young activists from across the country.

Boosting political knowledge and campaign abilities, learning more about mobilizing issue-based advocacy campaigns, growing a team, identifying a strategy for engaging with policy-makers, and maximizing impact for the issues that drive you.

Visiting our nation’s capital, key historic sites, museums, and college campuses in the Washington, D.C., area.

The program will culminate in meetings with elected officials and/or congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and an issue rally to bring attention to a cause selected by the 2020 cohort!


Cost and Session Information

The ACLU High School Program will run from Wednesday, July 22 through Tuesday, July 28, 2020. A tuition fee of $2,300 per student covers all experiential learning activities, off-campus social events, hotel accommodations, and all student meals. The ACLU has generous full and partial scholarships for families that qualify.


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