Community Action Board Honors Community Advocacy Institute Graduates

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Community Action Board Honors Community Advocacy Institute Graduates

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 28, 2021

            The Montgomery County Community Action Board recently celebrated the 18 graduates of this year’s Community Advocacy Institute (CAI) with a virtual graduation ceremony. The virtual graduation program included personal statements from participants, expressing what the program meant to them and highlighting their future advocacy goals.

Now in its fifth year, the CAI is a free eight-month advocacy training program for lower-income community residents. Due to the pandemic, this year’s program was conducted online. Participants attended monthly workshops on a variety of topics, including how to work with elected officials, storytelling, research, letter-writing, and developing testimony. They also received in-depth information from experts to learn more about key policy issues. Participants completed advocacy projects, including sharing oral and written testimony to the County Council. 

The graduation ceremony included remarks from County Executive Marc Elrich, State Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins, County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz, Councilmember Sidney Katz, and Department of Health and Human Services Director Dr. Raymond Crowel. 

“By participating in the CAI during this difficult year, graduates had unique opportunities to address issues brought to light during the pandemic, especially the ongoing disparities that exist along racial and socio-economic lines,” Elrich said. He urged the graduates to continue using their knowledge and skills to continue addressing these important community issues.

 “The CAI embodies one of the core values of Community Action: maximum feasible participation. This recognizes that lower-income people are in the best position to address needs in their own communities,” said Tiffany Jones, Community Action Board chair.

The Community Action Board (CAB), is the County's federally designated antipoverty group and provides governance to the County’s Department of Health and Human Services Community Action Agency, including Head Start. The CAI, which started in 2016, is led by CAB volunteers, with the support of CAB staff. Alumni of the program have gone on to serve on County advisory groups, nonprofit boards, and have become actively engaged in a wide variety of advocacy efforts. 

The mission of the Montgomery County Community Action Agency is to advance social and economic mobility among communities and neighbors through services, partnerships, and advocacy using an equity lens. To learn more about the CAI and other Community Action programs, visit

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Media Contact: Mary Anderson,