What does it take to raise the level of grassroots efforts in a community? It takes leaders who are willing to open their hearts and minds to the possibilities before them.
In this episode, we chat with Tom Coale, J.D., Adjunct Faculty with UMBC’s Community Leadership graduate program about the course he’s teaching: Grassroots Community Advocacy.
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About the Grassroots Advocacy Course
We asked Tom what led him to teach a course for UMBC’s Community Leadership program, and this is what he had to say.
Well, I’m very fortunate to have as my podcast partner and very dear friend to me Candace Dodson-Reed, who works in the administration at UMBC. And she’s the one that came to me with this idea. We had been doing a podcast together called Elevate Maryland, and I believe even some of the other people that have been working with this curricula had heard of our podcast. And so she came to me with the idea. We didn’t really know what we wanted to teach, at that time. But grassroots community advocacy is something that I sort of lived and breathed, both in terms of what my career is, and then in my individual advocacy, and I felt that many people have an idea of what it is, but are either intimidated by it or are doing it wrong. There are some basic building blocks of advocacy and effective advocacy. If you can understand the mechanics of local and state government, you can do amazing things for your community. So we’ve created this course around the idea of empowering people to affect positive change in their communities.
The Community Leadership programs at UMBC prepare aspiring and practicing leaders with the skills and experience needed to generate transformative social change. We help students develop greater self-understanding, engage with the assets and challenges of urban communities, hone practical leadership skills, and build personal and professional relationships that will support their growth as leaders.