Footwear brand Toms has named The Advocacy Academy as its first UK grassroots partner, following the evolution of its giving model away from One for One to
donating a third of its annual net profits to grassroots organisations
announced in April 2021.
The Advocacy Academy is a youth organising movement based in Brixton, South London working to create a more just and equitable society, through training and campaigning.
Toms impact grant will help support 22 graduates of The Advocacy Academy’s Social Justice Fellowship Programme, which gives young people a grounding in social justice theory and organising communities and campaigns for change within their community.
Specifically, the grant facilitates the formalisation of the Fellowship campaigns, so they can become self-sustaining through the establishment of financial mechanisms, the development of decision-making processes, and further mentorship and skillset development.
In addition, Toms will support the Spark programme that introduces adolescents, aged 14 to 16 years, to social justice and community organising, and the Changemaker Apprenticeship programmes, which trains young advocates to become changemakers and facilitators on the Fellowship themselves, creating a movement for young people run by young people.
Amy Smith, chief strategy and impact officer at Toms, said in a statement: “The past 15 years of giving have shown us that community leaders know best what is needed for their peers to thrive, and so we’re here to support their efforts.
“We’re proud to work with The Advocacy Academy, a grassroots organisation in Brixton, that provides passionate young people from South London with the tools to develop their own campaigns, following their personal visions for a more equitable society.”
Saba Shafi, chief executive of The Advocacy Academy, added: “It’s great to see brands like Toms, who have been committed to social impact from the beginning, realise the power of grassroots movements in creating lasting change.
“The impact grant is supporting our advocates to campaign for systemic change from decolonising the curriculum to addressing the illegal levels of pollution in our cities. As Toms’ first European partner, we’re excited to bring them on this journey with us.”