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Activism 101: Scholars at Risk

Capitol Hill Advocacy

Join the NYU Brademas Center and Scholars at Risk for the second annual Student Advocacy Day at NYU Washington, D.C., for a convening of students and faculty participating in SAR’s Student Advocacy Seminars at Bard College, Bard College Berlin, Fairfield University, Hunter College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Roger Williams University, and the University of Iowa for two days of skill-building and hands-on advocacy on Capitol Hill.

After a full day of exploring best practices, small group discussions, and engaging with guest speakers, students put their training into action on Capitol Hill where they will meet with government and elected officials to make their case for the U.S. to support imprisoned scholars around the world.  

Thursday, March 8
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Student Workshops

Friday, March 9
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Advocacy on Capitol Hill

Student Advocacy Trip


9:30-10:00 AM: Arrival & Registration

10:00-10:15 AM: Welcome & Student Keynote

  • Remarks: Dan Munier, Acting Director of Advocacy, Scholars at Risk
  • Student Keynote

10:15-11:00 AM: Case Presentations

  • Facilitator: Margaret Coons, Advocacy Associate
  • Team introductions and brief summary presentations of cases
  • Discussion of initial questions, challenges, and concerns

11:00-11:45 am: Making the Case: How to Advocate on the Hill

  • Facilitator: TDA
  • Effective steps for presenting your case
  • Lessons learned by returning participants

11:45-12:30 PM

  • Scott Busby, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, State Department

12:30-1:15 PM: Working Lunch

  • Discussion of advocacy challenges in mixed groups

1:15-2:15 PM: Behind the Scenes: Advice from a Congressional Aide

  • Congressional Aide: TBA

2:15-3:45 PM

  • NGO Panel featuring the National Academy of Sciences, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Tahrir Institute, and the Defending Freedoms Project

3:45-4:00 PM: Coffee Break

4:00-5:15 PM: Mock Meetings: Making Your Case

  • Each seminar practices their case "pitch" with faculty and SAR staff serving as "representatives"
  • Seminars and "representatives" then discuss their performance and offer feedback

5:15-5:30 PM: Wrapping up

  • Lessons learned, remaining questions, and an overview of the next day's advocacy meetings


8:30 AM

  • Convene at hotel lobby before traveling to the Dirksen Senate Building

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

  • Capitol Hill advocacy meetings with Members and staff