Driving Change: From the Alice Academy for Activists to Voter Registration

When we held our first ever Alice Academy for Activists in January of this year, one of the things that really struck us was how well all the participants gelled over the course of the four-day event (without knowing each other beforehand), and how many synergies there were between their different areas of work.

Since the Academy finished, different participants have been collaborating and supporting each other to progress their campaigns.

One really high-profile and ambitious project to come out of all of this is the new National Voter Registration Day, spearheaded by two #AliceAcademy alumni, Liliana Fernandez and Leon Diop, working alongside Brian Hearne.

Liliana and Leon began working together, having met at our Academy, and their aim is to create an annual National Voter Registration Day every 30th April – with the first one happening this month! – to increase political participation amongst minority groups and young people.

With over 30 organisations supporting their initiative, they aim to inform individuals about their voting rights and encourage political engagement.

Join us in applauding their fantastic efforts to foster inclusivity and democracy in Ireland!

You can read out more about their campaign here: https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-41370622.html

About the Alice Academy for Activists

The first ever Alice Academy for Activists took place in January 2024. Following a highly competitive application process, 21 activists from across the island of Ireland were chosen by Alice to participate. Their areas of interest ranged from migrant rights and tackling racism to LGBTQ+ rights, hygiene poverty, sustainability, tackling homelessness, and challenging stigmas around young people in care.

We brought these 21 inspiring activists together for a four-day bootcamp in Dublin, during which they had workshops on a range of campaigning skills, including strategy, research and polling, fundraising, coalition-building, political engagement, media relations, and digital communications. Members of #TeamAlice delivered these sessions, alongside special guests including renowned activist Ailbhe Smyth; Caoileann Appleby from AskDirect; and Adam May, from our partner agency, Language. We also had a panel discussion over the course of the weekend, featuring Senator Lynn Ruane, migrant rights activist Teresa Buczkowska, Irish Times journalist Emmet Malone, and seasoned campaigner Noeline Blackwell.

One of the most striking outcomes from the Academy was the way in which all 21 participants connected with each other, and have continued to support each other in the months since. The new National Voter Registration Day is ample proof of this!